Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Learning, Summer Style

We have been busy since I decided to start supplementing some of the school work M Bug did this past year. 

I bought this book.  Mostly for my own edification.

And this one for summer bridge work.  Despite its title which seems douche-y to me, it is pretty easy work.  Or at least work that they did this past year in Kindergarten.  By no means do I think M Bug is gifted, just normal.  M Bug opened the book up to a random page last night and did a bunch of pages without assistance.  I feel like if my child can do the work without asking questions and he does it willingly that makes learning that much better for him.  If he was being forced to do it unwillingly, I would stop this and find a new way to do it!  If he thinks it is fun or light, it works out well! 

I printed off some random stuff from the interwebby too.  Not sure I will use it per say.  I had the idea to do something more formal (like learning sections done in two week time periods) but I found this past couple of weeks if I just leave things out on his desk or the kitchen counter top, he will do it on his own, ask questions as needed and seems happier mostly operating on his own.

I finally linked his new Leapfrog thing up to the computer too.  We went with this device instead of the Nintendo DSi which is what I planned to get him because of the learning aspect of things with that.  We still limit his TV and computer time pretty harshly.  I know we are THOSE parents but I feel like there is so much more to learning than TV/computers (which are good and have importance do not get me wrong) plus they get enough of that at school oddly enough.  I just keep going back to the past few weeks -  had we not limited this TV/computer time, we would have never seen those baby Robins grow outside our door or explored worms and lightening bugs in the yard to no end or picked strawberries in the garden or explored the many aspects of the houses being built in our 'hood or... seriously and that is just in our backyard!  He can either watch TV for 30 minutes or do his Leapfrog for that time period.  He's been opting for the Leapfrog which is groovy since most of things he picked to put on there are reading. 

The only thing that was value in his report card was to learn M Bug's reading level was much higher than we initially thought so...

We hit the library over the weekend to pick up some of those reading level books.  M Bug also signed up for the summer reading program, his idea, not ours.  He is super geeked to get the prizes which were an added bonus but mainly he wanted the free book!  LOL.  He said they came and talked all about this library summer reading at his school, go random public education perk!?

Finally, the best thing we did was sign M Bug up for our public school program's summer camp.  I had no idea what it would be like so we did alternate weeks of that public school camp and Y camps. 

The public school camp is AWESOME.  OMG.  So well run, beautifully put together with an amazing crew of teachers and a variety of other school types as a part of the team.  So neat.  They have a whole curriculum put together where M Bug will do Math and Reading almost every day.  He told me yesterday that they did Math "but fun Math NOT boring Math like they did during the school year!"  The classrooms all have individual themes (for instance the spiders have an indoor WEB in their room... flippin' neat) and the camp is adventure themed so the whole camp (K through 6) are adventurers with a morning Pow Wow!  They provide breakfast and lunch plus snack which M Bug wanted to do so we do not even have to pack a lunch.  They even have sunscreen and water bottles and t-shirts OH MY. 

Apparently this is all funded by a grant.  The best part that we had no idea about are the field trips.  Two days of the week they walk to the local pool to swim.  Two other days, they have other "adventures".  This week they are going to a local state park (one of my favs!) and the FREAKING ZOO.  Another week, for instance, they will going to the climbing wall and the Feline Rescue Center.  Things like that which make this camp so cool.  

The only down side thus far as been the pick up was a bit of mess but I think once they all get into the groove of things it will be all good.   M Bug cried on the open house night because he wants to do ALL of the adventure camps and skip the Y camps.  We promised him next year he could do that but this year we are going to stay the course of every other week he will do one or the other.  Y camp offers him the chance to further learn how to swim!  :)  I am thrilled that he is learning and adventuring and I feel lucky to be a part of this program!
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