Sunday, April 29, 2012

Looking Forward to Summer

You need to know two things before you read this post:
1.  I am a teacher.
2.  I do not think I am better than you. 
(To prove that statement, read many of my earlier posts)

I cannot wait for summer.  Most people think that, as a teacher, I spend my summers and afternoons relaxing, and enjoying "vacation".  This is not entirely true.  I have worked EVERY summer, except one.  Incidentally, that was the summer when, after much trying and crying about not being able to get pregnant,  B was conceived.  I think it was possibly lack of stress. 

Last summer, I cut back my working during the summer workschedule to one day/week.  This gave me time to take between 2 and 6 kids somewhere once or twice a week (the "extras" were Cassie's).

Here's my philosophy.  As a teacher, I know about the "Summer Slide"--the tendency of students to lose some ground in what they've learned.  It's why kids have to review when they first get back to school.  Also as a teacher, I do not have a lot of money.  I have high hopes of raising some smart, moneymaking sons, nephews and niece who will both be able to afford extravagent vacations AND be unable to dream of a summer without fun-loving me. 

So, my basic rule last summer was to go to Storytime/Library once a week and to visit a museum or park once a week.  This did not always happen, and honestly, at the end of the summer, Storytime/Library WAS the "field trip".  Still, it was a good goal.  We collected a stamp through the Virginia Time Travelers Program.  We'd VISITED other places, but forgot our "Passport".  We also attended a lot of the free programs through the local library like making beach hats, visiting an aquarium-mobile.

Then last night I came across a Summertime Fun Bucket List via Pinterest.  I started a modified version using one of the Thirty-One Carry-All bags I have.  I cut down purple and green slips and put them and a washable marker in the outside pocket.  I then began filling out green slips for places we could GO on a whim, and purple slips for things to do at home for the day.  So far I've listed local playgrounds and free museums on the green slips.  On purples, I've listed Popsicle Sticks,Tent Day,Bake something, Make Popsicles, Train Set,Hopscotch, Board games, ABC Scavenger Hunt,Megablocks,Make jewelry, Paint.  Basically, these are things I'll drag out for a day, but don't want to clutter up the house all the time.  Some are things that are already in their playroom,but that I know they don't play with for extended periods of time (trains, megablocks).  All are things I already have (Did I mention a tight budget?).

Once all the free events at local stores, libraries, and museums are up for summertime events, I'll plug them all into a google calendar that I'll reference in making plans.  I'll copy over what I know I'll do to my personal google calendar which syncs with my phone.  I'll keep the other one separate in case plans fall through.  When the calendar is done, I'll link it on this blog so you can enjoy some freebies, too--and help beat that summer slide!

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