Thursday, July 9, 2015

Summer Happenin's - Summer School

Howdy, Islanders!

Our summer is off to a fantastic start.  My mom-in-law, Judy, came to visit for the holiday weekend and we had a blast sharing our fun weekend with her.  We visited my bro-in-law's new fancy apartment in the city and helped him settle in with lots of housewares.  We laughed, we shopped... because, well, what visit with Judy would be complete without a shopping trip?

In yesterday's Wordless Wednesday (WW) post, I shared photos of Munch in one of the store parking lots from this weekend's shopping trip:

 Seeing her tote that doll around still makes me giggle to myself.  She's such a little mama.  I shared the other photos from over the years because it seems she has ALWAYS had a doll on her hip, lol.

The other images in the WW post remind me just how much she's grown and yet how young and innocent she still is.  I don't want her to lose that innocence. Don't get me wrong, her sassy-pants are growing.  No, seriously, this pre-pre-teen life ain't easy-haha!

Anyhoo, Munch has had a great summer with her Grandma Lisa and Pop-Pop so far.  Her days have been filled with movie dates, manis and 'big girl' pedis, shopping and more!  This summer, Munch is also enrolled in summer school.

WHOAH! I just shared that.

I was once super embarrassed about the out-of-cycle instruction.  I thought summer school was for the kids parents who were failing.  As a child, I remember seeing kids get off of school buses during summer vacation and thinking, "oooh, they must be BAD kids!"  I guess that childhood prejudice has stuck with me but shifted from the kids to the parents.  Shame on me for that!

Munch LOVES summer school.  She's in a bridge program that covers third grade concepts taught by a fourth grade teacher.  This teacher also introduces fourth grade topics.  The best part of summer school is that there is zero pressure for the students and teachers!  Who thought learning could be fun?  Who thought learning could allow for creativity?  Who is playing games and writing funny stories and, all the while, developing math and grammar mastery?

Everything I disliked about Munch's typical learning environment is what makes summer school unique.  Teachers are able to do what they're called to do, teach.  No lectures or standardized tests... no boring lessons or mass-produced lesson plans... just 3.5 hours of solid instruction... smaller classes and bigger possibilities.  Munch comes home excited to tell us about her day and we are excited to hear about it!

"Daddy, today, we played a game called 3 truths and a lie.  We had to write biographies and read them to our group and everyone had to guess what wasn't true.  I said I have a cat... and everyone believed me!!"

Hmm, nice touch, summer teacher lady.  Nice touch.

When the recommendation for summer school was presented, I immediately pushed for improvement thinking that would help avoid dreaded summer school (after all, in my mind, it was only for failing kids/parents and she was FAR from failing).  Then, with her vision issues identified late May and the extent of her prescription, summer school became increasingly more appealing.  I'm so glad we decided to enroll her in the program!

She's home in enough time to enjoy summer with her baby doll and even converted her bedroom reading nook into a doll nursery.

My craft room trash can became the bedside table, her magazine holder became the baby's bed, the crib quilt became a rug and she even recycled some old party decor to be wall and room accessories.

Summer school allows me to rest easy knowing she is challenged academically and allows Munch to enjoy her time when she comes home to do, well, whatever little mama wants!  She reads to us every evening and it's a lot less stressful for everyone!

Here's hoping you're having a productive and FUN summer too!


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