Summer's here. At least, it is schedule-wise. The weather has yet to prove itself, but it has given us a few nice days, anyway!
As for our summer schedule and activities, I decided to go a little easier on the kids this year. Which means no math workbooks--at least not daily. Or any others, for that matter.
My favorite thing about the chores bucket is that they are excited to go to work. My least favorite part is that they aren't so good at some of these jobs yet and often make a bigger mess out of them than helping. I'm trying not to get frustrated and remember that I am in the business of teaching my children, not having a perfectly clean house at all times.
The other thing I'm making them do this summer is read. Read, read, read. My mom had mentioned an article she read a while ago which said that if kids read 12 books over the summer, they will be more prepared for school the next fall. I don't know where the article is and I Googled to no avail, but I figured it can't hurt. Only I only chose 11 books for Bria and Chloe. Sophia can't read yet, so I bought her a few new books and we'll read things we already have, which, trust me, is plenty.
Joel won a nice gift card to Amazon, so I used it to buy 4 or 5 new books for each child. The rest we already had.
Bria's summer reading list:
Chloe's summer reading list:
Sophia's new books:
My favorite part of doing the summer reading is answering the vocabulary questions that inevitably come up. I love reading for expanding the vocabulary! And I find that explaining vocabulary isn't always the easiest thing...thank goodness for dictionaries! My second favorite part of the summer reading is all of the reading of my own I've been able to do while we're having reading time. And I don't have a least favorite part.
As for other things we've got going this summer...I'm in the opera again (and so is Chloe!). This time we're doing Rockland, which is a new opera and we are the US Premier. It's quite an interesting work about the mining town of Rockland, which is just about a half hour drive from my house. It's tough, though--part in Finnish and part in English and very difficult music. And rehearsals are starting in earnest this week. I was trying to teach less for this summer, but I still have quite a load. It's beginning to taper off, though, and by the end of the month I should have about 5 fewer students.
The Maestro is also involved with the music festival this summer: This time with his trumpeter hat on instead of the usual conductor hat. He is doing four performances around the Upper Peninsula with another trumpeter and an organist (see his bio here--scroll down) as well as playing in the pit orchestra for the opera. He is also teaching summer classes (hooray! If you remember last summer, you know why this is wonderful!) and still playing with his rock band.
We (mostly Joel, and a little bit me) have also been working hard on making our yard fun and presentable this summer. He's put in a patio, a flower garden and is working on building a play set. Pictures to come.
After I find time to breathe.
(And only 16. Shoot! I was hoping for over 20...oh well. You can't win them all.)