Monday, August 4, 2014

Are you ready to go back to school? We have 2 weeks left in our summer and, while we continue to enjoy our summer fun, we are also taking steps to mentally prepare for a new school year ahead of us.
How to shift gears to prepare for a new school year

Looking Forward to a New School Year

Writing a Plan
Are your children excited about going back to school? Luckily, Smarty is really looking forward to it, more than she was last year. She is eager to know who her teacher will be and hoping that her two best friends will be in the same class as she is. She is also talking a lot about what she hopes she will learn this year – mostly she is both excited and apprehensive about having to learn cursive. We, as parents, are a little nervous – Smarty spent her last year with a teacher who was an efficient factory worker. She only focused on 50% of her class that could improve from her “middle of the road” instruction while ignoring the needs of the strongest and the weakest. Tomorrow I will be sharing what we learned about public schools and gifted students so far in Back to School post, and I hope that you will come back and read that post.

Letting Your Child Plan Their Days

Weekend Planning
Smarty is not the most organized child, but she loves making plans. I proposed to her to make a schedule for her time after school, and she immediately got very excited. It’s funny to see how much she plans and how little she actually ends up doing, but it’s instructive to see what she wants to do most. I didn’t make her to put anything on this list except cooking. Her preferences were:
  • Reading (by herself or together) – every day
  • Math (TT stands for “try to” do math) – every day
  • Science – she knows that science takes time, so she tried to be “reasonable” here. In reality we are lucky if we manage to do a real hands-on experiment even once a week
  • Board Games – I am actually surprised that they only appeared on the list twice
  • Programming – Smarty is interested to learn, but also a little reluctant after she ran into things that are too difficult for her to grasp (like loops)
In addition to this “optimistic schedule”, Smarty wants tp continue with her gymnastics classes, take another month of tennis lessons and, of course, play with friends and visit a library at least once a week. Perhaps she should just skip school itself?

Reading Books About School

In the past years we always used reading to get excited about the first day of school and prepare for the year ahead. This year we don’t do it, since Smarty is reading books that deal with school anyway (like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson series). Fantastic Fun and Learning shared a great roundup of books in After School Link Up next week – they should help soothe those first day jitters… at least for kids, not necessary for parents or teachers!

2014 After School Link Up Hosts

Share Your Summer Learning Week

School might be over, but lifelong learning never stops. We would love to have you link up your School-Age Post (Ages 5 and up) about your summer learning including Crafts, Activities, Playtime and Adventures that you are doing to enrich your children's lives. When linking up, please take a moment to comment on at least one post linked up before yours and grab our after school button to include a link on your post or site! By linking up you're giving permission for us to share on our After School Pinterest Board or feature on our After School Party in the upcoming weeks! Don't forget to follow along and join our After School Enrichment Community.


maryanne @ mama smiles said...

We also have two weeks of summer left, but they will be busy since we are cramming two road trips into that time!

Julie said...

We actually have three weeks left before school starts. C is spending this week learning to create 3D games using AgentCubes. M is at dance camp in the afternoons. It's been a busy summer, but they're winding down now and getting ready to head back to school.

shelah moss said...

Thanks for hosting. What a great idea to let your daughter take responsibility and plan her day.

Ticia said...

If my boys had their way, we'd do nothing but board games and run around. If Princess had her way it would only be crafts and dancing..... Maybe some singing.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I like Smarty's schedule. I think I'll see if I can get my youngest two to put together their idea of a good school year, too.