Learning and Fun in the Summer

On a scorching Friday morning, T and I went for a hike in our city’s beautiful Botanical Garden.

We explored nature, had a picnic of apple juice and Goldfish crackers in the shade of a willow tree, and he saw and learned about cactus plants. Oh, and he spotted a beaver up close too.

This was the first week of T’s summer break. It was also my first week of vacation all year. While it was not as work free as I had looked forward to when lockdown began in March, there were pockets of time to relax and to spend time with T.

We took a break from homeschool this week and let T just relax with tablet games. We all needed a respite from the routine and schedule for our collective mental health and wellbeing.

But we plan to keep learning happening all summer long to avoid the summer slide that often happens. More so than ever, it is important to keep T on track.

We plan to keep learning more relaxed, play based, hands on, and interactive this summer.

  • Reading regularly is a simple way to grow his literacy skills. Although the online resources his teacher had provided are expired, there are plenty of other online resources, like Scholastic and read-aloud videos on YouTube. Our library also now provides curbside pickup.
  • Practicing handwriting is something T needs to work on. His teacher gave us lots of worksheets that we made duplicate copies of. We’ll keep working on writing letters and numbers this summer.
  • Self directed discovery is something I want to tap into. What is T curious about? Like the other night, he was asking me if his brain slept on a bed too. I thought it was an odd question. But I made a note the next day we would learn about how the brain worked. It’s a good sign that T is genuinely curious and so I want to build on those interests.
  • Making stuff is fun and builds creativity and skills, whether it’s building a tower or baking a cake. Also very therapeutic.
  • Outdoor time and getting physical activity are so important to keeping him regulated and healthy. I’m thankful we have outdoor pools and nature trails within our reach.
  • Building social skills is something I think about a lot with T. I am thankful his day camp is open. He will be going back for two weeks in July and August. It will give him needed time away from home and to be around other kids and adults again. I can’t wait to get personal and quiet time too!

We’ve also started T on medication for ADHD.

It’s only been a week since we started the medication so it’s too early to tell what the long term benefits – or detriment, Lord help us – are.

Putting T on medication was something I struggled with but I am going into this with an open mind, for the sake of his long term outlook and ability to learn and to get along with others.

Most importantly, summer is about fun!

As a child, summer break always felt long.

Life has not fallen into a routine and rhythm. Each new grade coming up is filled with mystery.

Life does not yet feel predictable and time doesn’t seem to fly by in the blink of the eye.

So for sure we want to keep the learning going. But we also want to have fun. Especially this year, we want to have fun. And we have a few surprises planned for T.

I wish all of you a summer filled with fun, learning, wonder and time well spent with loved ones – and yourself!

17 thoughts on “Learning and Fun in the Summer

    1. Nice to hear from you, Emma. It’s been a while. I hope you and your daughter had a good past few weeks.

      I’m sorry about the social struggles. It will get easier, bit by bit and step by step! And with your helpful and attentive eye on her.

      Enjoy your Australian summer in December. Today is 6 degrees Celsius over here. Lol. A trip to the beach would be so nice!!! Enjoy every moment.


      1. Thanks.
        Yes a nice beach an hour away with a big playground. Has showers too which is a bonus.
        We are just about to open the borders. 0 covid cases in 70 days or something. I was shocked America got 80,000 in one day.
        I’ve decided to homeschool my daughter next year as going to school is a real battle she doesn’t seem to fit the mould. It’s 18 degrees some day tad warmer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Australia and New Zealand have been a marvel and wonder to watch. You have all handled COVID so well and are real role models for us. Canada is not as bad although our cases are going up not down. US is just a nightmare and I hope we don’t open our borders to them anytime soon!

        Good luck with the homeschooling. That is a big decision but you know your daughter and her needs best.

        If you are able to seek behaviour therapy services or to read up about it and the basic theories and principles, that has made a world of difference on my son and his behaviour challenges.

        Enjoy those warm weather and beach days! 🙂


      3. Thanks sorry I though you were in America.
        Yes our government has been strict we were in lockdown in Tasmania for a month but poor Melbourne has a larger population.
        Yes a big decision it’s not forever it’s kind of see how we go and had someone ask about her Autism but she’s not been diagnosed with that so might be something to look into. I will see about a psychologist and go from there. We are a small town and lack in some services.
        Yes you keep rugged up this winter we had snow once in a hundred year thing. Been a funny year.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. We would gladly welcome you for a visit, Diane, if you bring one of your yummy pies. 🙂

      And thank you for your well wishes. It’s only been 1.5 weeks of medication – at half doses to start – so it’s too early to tell. But we always step forward with cautious optimism and hope for the best. 🙂

      Hope you keep enjoying what sounds like a great summer with your family.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds great! Will save this recipe to revisit later this summer. We’re harvesting the next bunch of rhubarb this weekend and making TWO strawberry rhubarb pies. Your recipe again. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks for sharing your Summer adventure with T at the Botanical garden. He reminds me of my son at that age. I can’t forget it because the adventures & the joy he shared with me as he discovers the world around him where some of my happiest moments. Nature always has been one of our fav places to go, especially the beach. How he loves the water. He is a teenager now, his likes changed but on a good day, he allows me and his my to take him road trips & be close to nature again. Take care & regards to your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this! You said it best, experiencing the adventures together and seeing the world through a child’s wonder-filled eyes are the most wonderful moments.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andi! It’s too early to gauge the impact of the medication but we are hopeful and optimistic. 🙂 Hope you continue to enjoy your summer together with your family.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robyn. It does fly by so so fast – at least for us grown ups – and hope to make the most of it. And I wish the same for you and your family. Enjoy every moment!

      Liked by 1 person

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