Today marks the first day of summer for Pkin and me. Third grade is now behind her…and it was fairly painless. She had an amazing teacher, good special ed support, and met some fabulous new kids. She also continued some existing relationships, which is mostly great!
This also marks my first summer where I actually feel up to doing as much with her as I have intended to since I ceased full-time employment in 2010. Thanks to countless generous educators around the U.S., I am full equipped with lesson plans and activities and field trip ideas. My main goal with all this (beyond just spending lots and lots of fun time with her) is to help her explore her interests in greater depth and to, as much as possible, limit the summer slide. This is particularly challenging because her unique needs and learning tendencies can result in slide from one day to the next, let alone over several weeks.
My hope is that by giving her lots of control over what we study, lots of breaks from the organized activities, and opportunities for lots of success (especially in subjects she is convinced she can’t do — aka math) that she will find it fun and not some sort of cruel and unusual parental torture.
So far, so good. Not only did we finish pretty much everything I had planned today with minor adjustments and only one bit of resistance from frustration (when completing a math worksheet, surprise!) and one mini-meltdown (averted by allowing her to lay across my lap on her stomach while I used my finger to trace the path of different basic cursive strokes on her back), but she actually asked to do things with me during her breaks rather than running for “alone time” (we played a board game, colored, and did a Hello Kitty watercolor painting).
All in all, I count this as a success!