Monday, September 3, 2012

Our first break from real school is ending.

The summer is winding down.

School starts up again on Wednesday and Nathaniel will be a first grader. Aaron will still be in preschool and Benjamin will still be loving the attention which is showered on him by his caregiver (I could call her a nanny, but that sounds pretentious, but she is so much more than just day care. I could write a whole post on how blessed we are to have a person who genuinely loves Benjamin who watches him when I'm at work.).

So, we have survived our first summer vacation, and it was good.

Granted, I still worked as much as I normally do (if not more if you count the back packing trip with the high school students, beach nights and the week of summer camp), but I did get Mondays and Friday with all of the kiddos to do what we pleased.

It was a good summer. We had enough adventures to make it interesting, and enough down time to get bored a few times (but not bored enough to wish school was starting up again).

I had lofty goals for the summer.

I wanted Nathaniel to learn how to tie his shoes. He's still working on it but is going through a stage (oh please, oh please only be a stage) where he doesn't want me to SHOW him how to do things, he just wants to do it. Like fractions.  This summer he did a little bit of summer school through day camp and they were doing simple fractions. That was the week we were at Hume so he had to do that work on his own. When he asked me about the fractions I was trying to think of a way to explain it without going over his head, before I said a word he shooed me away because he figured it out. So, the other night when I sat down with my shoes (I remember learning how to tie my shoes on my mom's shoes. It's easier with bigger laces), Nathaniel tried to tie on his own without looking at what I was doing. He was SO frustrated when he couldn't get it, but he wouldn't let me show him. We'll try again tomorrow.

I also wanted Nathaniel to run a mile. That did not happen. But, he did run a race on the Fourth of July, and he ran the whole thing which was about a half mile so...he's making progress. And, he's definitely more willing to be active, so that was progress.

I also wanted Nathaniel to practice his violin more and learn a new song this summer. HA! He took one fiddle lesson (well, one and a half, but the half one he threw a fit for so that doesn't really count...). He played his violin maybe 10 times. But, when he got it out a few days ago, he really hadn't lost much skill wise. He even played an old song from memory without any mistakes (including the dynamics). So, whatever.

Here's what we DID do this summer.

We ate a lot of frozen yogurt.
We played in the sprinklers a lot, and had a few impromptu water fights with the hose.
We planted a garden and actually ate some tomatoes, corn and peppers from that garden.
We swam.
We played with friends.
We went to the beach.
We went to the Aquarium.
We went to Disneyland.
We went to Sea World.
We went to the San Diego Zoo.
We read lots of books.
We painted and play doughed, and used our imaginations.
We went camping.
We sat on the lawn at church and watched movies.

Overall, it was a great summer.

And here's the kicker. Back in July, Nathaniel lost T.V. privileges. So, for the past month and a half the t.v. has been off in our house. I honestly think that's what made the summer better. I know, some people are shocked that we can have a good summer without at least some t.v. (and I thought that my sanity was going to be lost as well, especially when Sam was gone, T.V. in the afternoon is usually my saving grace). But, I think having the T.V. off really helped the boys' imaginations and their ability to play together grow.

So, Wednesday morning I will pack everyone up in the van like usual. Only this time, I will be dropping my first grader off at his classroom. I wonder if the little boy who wanted me to walk him into his classroom every day in kindergarten (I was torn. I wanted him to have some independence, but I also love that he still likes my company) will want me to walk him to first grade, too?

For my friends who read this blog, how was your summers? Are you looking forward to routines and school again?

No comments: