Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer School: Revisted

As we were approaching the end of the school year I knew...we would be doing summer school.  We had a lot of little life interruptions this year.  Those used to bother me (ok - they still do). But I've grown up and finally accepted the fact that kids get sick, get hurt, need doctor visits, etc. during the school year *gasp* during the school day!  And while our kids really are generally quite healthy, the sheer number of them means that the interruptions listed above still occur rather frequently.

The kids have always tested well on their standardized tests and the results are never a surprise to me.  I know which subjects they will likely score way beyond grade level in, and I know which subjects they will likely score about average in. 

But this year we simply did not cover as much material as I would like to have covered in both math and spelling.  I had originally planned to have my 3rd and 5th graders finish they math books with little help from me, and I planned to get some "fun" spelling books for them as well as their 2nd grade sister. 

[My 3rd grader is in 4th grade math.....just for the record....I am not pushing him ahead beyond his understanding.  This kid gets math.  Even though he's working a year ahead he can finish a lesson in 15 minutes.  This is my child who, after working on averaging numbers, got to the bottom of the page and said, "Now what, should I average all the answers now?" ]

Anyway, I was helping both my 3rd and 5th graders with their math and realized they were learning basically the same thing (they are using 2 different programs).  While one was learning how to multiply 3 digit numbers, the other was learning to multiply 2 digit numbers.  Really, if you really understand how it works then there isn't much difference (Joan Cotter, author of the RightStart Math series, once said that if a young child could add 2 digits - then why not 4...if they can't do 4, then they really don't understand what they are doing with 2).  So, I pulled out both their books and made a list of all topics to be covered between where they were at and the end of their books.  Rather than hand them their books I plan to devise a way of tutoring the two of them together.    I think I will focus mainly on my older son's work since I don't want him to fall behind, but the younger son's work will be very similar. 

As for spelling.....we will get back to our All About Spelling.  As I was recently reminded, it really does take about 15 minutes per day.  It's the best spelling program we have ever used. 

Let's not forget summer reading lessons for my 2nd grader.  She has improved about 1.5 grades since she received her glasses a year ago.  She has a little more work to do.  I know some people would tell me to just wait until the fall, and I have with some kids.  But, my gut tells me with her we had better keep moving.  Besides, learning can become so much more once a child knows how to read.

1 comment:

Suzie said...

not surprised by the great reading jump. Glass really make a big difference, being able to see and all :) I used to summer school a bit, some math, and other gaps I think our school has... like history! Because in real life- you still learn every day anyway. The summer doesn't need to be brainless to be fun.