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!