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.