Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Excited for Summer

I cannot wait for summer!

I think that's pretty typical this time of year for kids and parents alike.
Summer conjures up images of running through the sprinkler, family reunions, travel, and WARMTH. (Something that seems to be missing for a while now around here!) :)

But more than any of that, I long to be a stay-at-home parent once again.

Being a teacher affords me that time during the summer and I relish it!

This summer I'm especially excited for we're going to try something new.
Usually I get the kids some type of workbook to spend a little time on each day during the summer. (The teacher in me I guess!) And this summer is no exception.

For Liam I'm very excited about his summer learning! He's (finally) at a point of learning. Of wanting to learn. Of understanding letters and sounds. And since he starts kindergarten next fall, I was thrilled with the Brain Quest Workbook I found on Ama*zon that seemed perfect (and is!)

These came in the mail yesterday and this workbook is so much more substantial than what I thought it would be! It looks so great! I think Liam will love it and I look forward to spending time with him on it!

Braeden and Olivia, however, needed a different approach for this year.

Braeden is such a smart smart kid. He reads almost anything and everything, sometimes is a detriment. :) He does fairly well with Math concepts as well. But overall, mostly because of his ADHD/behavior issues I believe, he struggles with school in general. I didn't want to fight to have him work in a workbook over the summer.

And Olivia, schoolwork has become an area of control for her. An area of battling with mom because it's not always easy for her, and it's something I was insisting was important. So earlier this year I stepped back from my role in that area. I had a feeling I knew what was going to happen, and it did. Instead of my "making" her do homework and checking it for her to "fix", etc. I talked to her, I explained why (not that this was a new concept or discussion!), and I stopped. She was no longer "made" to do homework and I would no longer check it unless SHE asked. If she did ask, she could not get in an argument with me. Often what would happen is that I would try explaining something she was working on and it became a battle. She would get furious, wouldn't listen, and would go back and not do what I suggested. Even with her wonderful teacher's help this was not getting better. I had a feeling that if I stepped "out" of the role, she would continue DOING the homework. She wanted too much to please her teacher and herself and the natural consequences of missing recess would win out. And it did. She still has occasion to argue with me even when she asks for help but then I discontinue the help. And her teacher has a way, I guess as an "outsider" to show her what she is doing and how she doesn't do that with her teacher, to where Olivia can then turn it around for a few days or more and stop the arguing to actually listen to what I say. I know most of this may seem unbelievable, but it did and does happen. Her other teachers didn't really believe me or see it but I am SO grateful for her teacher this year (a friend of mine to boot!) understanding and seeing herself some of the manipulation and issues and being able to come in with that understanding and explain it to Olivia so that she can also see what she is doing. Things have been so much better in this realm since Christmas.

And the more I processed what I DID want for them for this summer and more than that, for the long term, and the more blogs I see lately focusing on just that very thing: of growing children's hearts and not worrying so much about their heads, I realized that is exactly "it." I want to impact my children in lasting, adult-growing, heart-growing, ways.

So I decided instead of the typical workbooks, I wanted to do Bible studies with Braeden and Olivia. I asked them if they wanted to do one together, the three of us, or individually, and they went the individual route. I chose a few studies for each at their level and asked them to pick one, hoping that that too would help Braeden feel a sense of ownership and more desire to continue the study.

And here's what they chose (I am SO very excited!!!)...

Braeden, who is also going to a "Superhero Camp" this summer, chose Joseph- God's Superhero...

And Olivia, who is such a dardevil herself! chose Extreme Adventures with God...

The books look STUPENDOUS! The kids were SO excited to see them yesterday and I can't wait to begin!!!

And it certainly didn't hurt that I had a few five dollar codes to use at Ama*zon to make this deal even better!!! Want your own codes? If you haven't heard of or used Swagbucks, now is the time to start! You use it as a search engine, I use it daily as I would Go*ogle, and then occasionally are awarded "bucks" to redeem for anything in their store, I use them for Ama*zon cards!
Search & Win


Kathy C. said...

If you send me your address, I'll send Olivia a copy of my book The Christian Girl's Guide to the Bible. You can see it at my blog for girls along the side.

We do a lot of enrichment stuff during the summer. This year Jasmine will be gone 7 weeks on a mission trip to AZ though.

... said...

Lisa, I did one of those Kay Arthur studies last was on the book of James. Really good studies!

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About Me

I am a single mom to four amazing kids; each of whom just happen to have been adopted. The first three were adopted through foster care, and we just completed an international adoption from Haiti. Our family has grown through adoption and I am all the more blessed to know each of my children. I worship a mighty God, teach Special Ed, love bargains, and am inspired by Pinterest... come along with us for the ride!

Olivia - 14

Olivia - 14

Braeden - 11

Braeden - 11

Liam - 9

Liam - 9

Macy - 5

Macy - 5

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