I win this coveted award because school ended last Friday- and I started requiring the children to read for half an hour and do math for half an hour before they can go and play with friends, watch TV or get on the computer on Tuesday. Last year, I had all kinds of plans– wonderfully structured and interesting summer lessons in language arts and math. Complete with mini-field trips. It was a wonderful plan- and it worked- for about a week. Summer school classes that I was teaching, camp, and visits soon ended our formal summer learning.
One of the things that frustrates me to no end is that I LOVE teaching- I love devising activities for kids to engage in the material, I love making kids think, and I fancy that I’m pretty good explaining things- and my son (and daughter to a lesser extent) will have none of it. “NO!” is the feedback I get when I suggest “What if we try it this way?” “That’s not the way Ms.-So -Much -Smarter -Than -Mommy -Because -She’s -A -REAL -3/4th -Grade -Teacher does it” is the other favorite retort. My reply of “You know, I used to teach 3rd/4th grade” gives me a little credibility, but not much. But when I try to create an experience, take them beyond, or even explain, I get resistance. A LOT of resistance.
So, our plans this summer are much simpler- much less dependent on Mommy and more dependent on the workbook. I hate it, but at least the workbook is on Singapore Math and at least I can drop in small amounts of instruction.
And- it turns out, Abel- Ray’s new best buddy’s- Mom is doing something quite similar. So, we got our heads together, and Ray and Abel are going to be reading the 39 Clues series together. The boy in the series, Dan, is active, anxious, and good at math. The series is written by a group of male authors (Rick Riordan is one of them!) who wrote a continuing series. I read the first one and got completely hooked. If the boys were in my class, I would totally have them start writing their own continuing story, starting with their own adventures.
But of course, I can’t- I’m only Mommy. And the Worst Mommy in the World, at that. It’s an award I treasure this summer, as I watch my son learn that friends can share even adventure stories together.