July 6, 2005

School is Out

Well I went back and forth and then finally admitted to myself we are truly taking a summer vacation from school type work. At first I thought I would try to keep up with math, handwriting and phonics but then I realized we all need the break. Of course Rhiannon still reads about an hour a day just by her own choice. Yesterday I had to talk to her about walking upstairs with her nose in a book, though I must admit it was a precious moment to me to realize she was so interested in her story that she was unwilling to pause to come up the stairs so she needed to double task. She also writes letters, cards, journal entries or just word lists on her own about once or twice a week. We also tend to do math problems in the car as we drive, simple addition and subtraction games. So I figure we are keeping the skills we learned fresh in her mind once a week and she is reading enough for me to not need to do anything. Besides having the break is refreshing and good for all of us.

We do more field trips. Our memberships to the arboretum, zoo and historical sites are getting good use as is our local beach. We take swim lessons, ride bikes and play at the park. We look for frogs, moths, butterflies and birds nests. We examine eggs, find lost animals and just enjoy being outside. We seem to drive more so we also listen to more books on tape. In general we spend lots of time outside and doing interesting things. Learning through all of them and just plain having fun, an important part of childhood to be sure.

The one thing I struggle with is we read so much less than I am used to. Those of you who read my blog regularly have surely noticed how much shorter our reading list is than usual. This is because we are spending less time reading, tend to read and reread our favorite books over and over again and because I am worse about keeping records in the summer when I am not keeping other records regularly. I do feel a bit guilty for the change in our reading habits. Part of me justifies it by saying with Rhiannon is reading more on her own, but still the other two need me to read to them.

Don't get me wrong we probably still read more than an average family does but I feel a real lack and I find myself missing the closeness of reading time in our house. Of course I know I need to let them be outside and enjoy this good weather for the few months we have it, but I miss our reading time. Occasionally a day will go by when I realize I did not read aloud to a child today and that saddens me as we typically spend over an hour each day reading aloud. I am trying to get better about reading before bed regularly at least. Truth be told though the kids would rather get five more minutes in on their bikes or running in the yard so I comply and let the reading time decrease, knowing I will pick it up again in the fall when everyone want to snuggle under a blanket and read for an hour at a time.

Hope you are enjoying your summer vacation.



  1. I think you're doing great. Riding bikes and doing stuff is valuable, and fall will be here before you know it.

  2. Oh, Tenn, I know the feeling exactly. We have not returned to "our way" of doing things since we made this last move. It's better, but I miss those very things you mentioned. And yes, we still read a lot more than most, but that isn't how we gauge our days - by others - it's by our goals.

    Fortunately, the boys handle the heat and humidity the same way I do, so we've been reclaiming the afternoon swelter-period for reading and snuggling inside. That's helping.

    I do look forward to fall, though! :-)