Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer School In Session

It is that time of year again where I am over joyed to have my babies home with me for 2 months. Of course that joy very quickly subsides to merely happy to see their dirty faces to down right annoyance by the middle of the first month!

One of the most difficult things a stay at home parent can do is try to entertain their children for the summer months all while trying to maintain some independance and sanity. I assure you this is no easy feat. This is the time of year when video games and television become a parents best friend. I remember when I was a kid, my mother just shoved us out the door and we only came into eat. We did not watch t.v. all day or nag our Mom to take us to indoor playgrounds or amusement parks, that stuff just did  not exist when I was a kid. While I would love to shove them outside for the day, lets face it times  have changed. I just won't let my 7 and 5 year old kids play outside without me be right out there with them. I try my best, but there is only so much water play, sidewalk chalk, scraped knee's and bugs that this old fart can handle.

One of the other challenges that parents face during the summer with their kids is keeping them educated. It is very easy for a young child to forget many important things that they learned during the school year fresh in their minds. This summer I am spending a great deal of time on the continuing education of my kids. My son who will be going into grade 2 is now reading on his own, but he is lazy. He would rather have me sit with him and sound words out for him than do it on his own. My daughter will be going into senior kindergarten and just started early reading programs at school. So far I have taken them to the bookstore to buy several books, each for their reading level and some story books as well. I found this neat little DIY book publisher kit at Chapters. It comes complete with 2 hard cover books that the child can write their own story in and do their own illustrations. My son loves to make up his own stories so I bought two of these kits. I have gone onto several websites looking for teaching tools to share with my kids over the summer. So far my favorite site has been The Teachers Corner . My son thinks that if he is not in school that he should not have to do homework....tough, I say. Then of course he says "Well you don't learn new things, you don't go to school". You know what he is right! I have not been in school for about 15 years now! I have taken a few courses here and there, but nothing too exciting.

So I made a deal with my son ( or perhaps the devil) that if he read 20 new books this summer that I would also learn to try to speak Italian, something I have wanted to do for the longest time. I purchased the Rosetta Stone Totale program and like my son have started working diligently at it.  The bonus with this program is that my children are drawn to it. They like to hear the Italian words spoken and they love the photos uses in the program. It just may be that my kids will learn some Italian this summer too! My son will be rewarded with a new Wii video game, and upon my completion of  Rosetta Stone, I will be traveling to Italy next summer hopefully armed with enough Italian for small conversation!

Who says summer vacation is just about beach days, bike riding, video games and television! It can also be a great opportunity to learn something new!

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