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A Summer Routine for Second Graders

Thus begins the summer.  My mostly companions (I’ve Eloised them) are doing their work while I am doing mine.  I wake up and write for two hours.  They wake up and eat breakfast slowly, having a conversation that definitely does not sound as if it’s conducted in English.  Then they do the Summer Daily, our school routine that I put together for the summer months.  It consists of a bunch of educational activities:

  • One lesson in their Summer Bridge books.
  • Self-checking their Summer Bridge books and circling what they got wrong so we can go over those things later.
  • Checking Wonderopolis (we have it as an app) and writing about the Wonder of the Day in their wonder notebook.
  • Read alone for 30 minutes.
  • Work on any writing group work.*
  • Wolvog: 20 minutes of guitar practice; ChickieNob: 20 minutes of drawing exercises.

Then, we all call ourselves productive and mentally write off the rest of the day.

By which I mean that we reach the pool-frappuccino-Candy Crush part of our day.

A few weeks ago, we put together a list of trips and activities that we’d like to do this summer.  The trips are mostly day trips; maybe one or two overnights.  We went on one of those Let’s Visit Maryland sites and then spent an hour going, “holy crap, I didn’t know there was a guitar factory around here!” or “holy crap, I didn’t know you could go looking for sharks’ teeth there!”  We’re thinking of doing one day trip per week.

Our activities range from thing we do often — visit the Science Center — to things we’ve never done — white water rafting, with a lot of house-bound activities thrown in for good measure because I’m not driving every day: a physics set we got as a birthday gift, Lego challenges, and Minecraft.  We’ll go swimming in the Potomac River or the Shenandoah.  We’ll visit the farm and pick fruit and vegetables and then turn them into dinner. (Who am I kidding?  The Wolvog is certainly happy to pick and he’s certainly happy to cook, but there is NO chance that the fruits are going into his mouth unless aliens abduct him and replace his personality with an entirely new one.)  We’ll go to the movies and the playground; geocache; rock climb; work on our family tree project; and go on a chocolate factory tour.  We’ll do art activities and read aloud books at Starbucks.  We’ll paint pottery and go to a Children’s Museum.  We will bike and go to the beach and freak ourselves out with a ghost tour.  They will have a shitload of playdates.  We will watch a lot of baseball.  We will eat a lot of ice cream and have cake nights with our friends.

We will hang out.

While doing shit.

I can’t call them my best friends because friend connotes a level of intimacy of thought that flows both ways.  And ours doesn’t in the truest sense of the word.  I expect them to share their inner most being with me.  But I do not ruin their 8-year-old minds with my Chekhovian view of the world.

But they ARE my mostly companions, and the people I most love spending time with.

* The twins are also in a peer writing group that meets weekly where they learn everything from fiction to essay writing.  So there is sometimes leftover work that doesn’t get accomplished there that they work on at home.


1 Tiara { 06.17.13 at 8:37 am }

Sounds like an awesome summer ahead for you all!

2 gwinne { 06.17.13 at 9:14 am }

Wow. There’s part of me that thinks that kind of summer with kids would be amazing. But there’s a reason my kids are in full time daycare/summer camp for a good bulk of it. This week it’s a combo of Hebrew language class and gymnastics.

But should we ever move to Maryland, I think LG would get along most splendidly with the twins!

3 Gail { 06.17.13 at 9:14 am }

Wow, you are organized, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a former teacher. Enjoy the day trips!

P.S. If you are planning a trip to Martin Guitar factory outside of Allentown, PA it is well worth it. My husband and I went a few months ago and it is awesome!

4 a { 06.17.13 at 10:10 am }

My girl is learning cursive. We’re currently on our annual trip to Chicago, so we will be at the pool and the beach, checking out museums and/or the zoo, and just hanging out with the cousins. She’s hoping for some Minecraft in there too.

The rest of the summer, she will be hanging at home with her father. Learning cursive. Throwing the football. Going to the summer program at the library. I think we’ll go to the amusement park, since she has a free ticket. But I will mostly be at work, so her father gets to set the schedule.

5 Pepper { 06.17.13 at 1:22 pm }

I love everything about this. This is how I imagine summers in the future and I can’t wait. Enjoy!!

6 Kacey { 06.17.13 at 8:51 pm }

Sounds a lot like our Summer plans (although, as homeschoolers, our Summer plans are basically the same as our school year plans). Have fun!

7 Justine { 06.17.13 at 10:28 pm }

I’m sort of torn that I’m going back to work just as my son will be reaching the point in his life when I could do this with him … of course, it would be impossible to do this with N, so maybe it’s a moot point. And so I will get in my car to commute, the boy will go to camp, and N. just started transitioning in to her school this week.

But on the weekends, we will do shit. And there are lots of geocaches here. 😉

8 Claire { 06.17.13 at 11:59 pm }

I may have to borrow this in a few years. How fun and amazing and I would love to have a summer like this! I think it’s going to be fab. I hope you post updates:)

9 Liz { 06.18.13 at 12:13 am }

You rock!! I’m in awe.

10 Aerotropolitan Comitissa { 06.18.13 at 8:58 am }

This sounds great. Also quite in theme for something I wrote earlier today. I realise every so often that when I dreamed about having kids I mostly dreamed about having primary-school-aged kids. We’re getting so much closer and you make it sound as good as I imagine. Can’t possibly be, but it keeps the dream alive for those long days 🙂

11 Alicia { 06.19.13 at 4:51 pm }

This is inspirational Mel! You are one hell of a mama! Those kiddies will be churning out their own books in no time!

12 Amy Elaine { 06.19.13 at 7:17 pm }

Wow. Not going to lie, but I kind of want you to adopt me. Even though we’re the same age. 🙂

13 Paula Keller (PJ) { 06.20.13 at 4:48 am }

As a 2nd grade teacher, WOW!!! You’ve nailed it! Lots of fun AND education! Those Summer Bridge books are awesome. I’ll bet at least 60% of my students won’t do much reading or educational activities this summer!

As mom of 3 year old twins ( and yay! Stay at home mom for the summer!), I’m on the same thought process… Working in s great routine for the summer, and a bucket list. Yours sounds FANTASTIC, by the way!

14 jjiraffe { 06.20.13 at 11:30 pm }

That sounds like a great summer. Work and fun and frappacinos. Win, win, win.

I also am panting for ice cream now….

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