Summer is the only time I will ever home school my kids. I can not stress that enough. The. Only. Time. . . . Ever.
If one of Tim’s video games or movies come true and Zombies take over the earth and we have to move out to the cabin and live in seclusion with parents and eat 3-year-old home-made pickles to survive, Tim can do the homeschooling. I will not.
But since it is summer and the only thing teachers ask of us parents over the summer is to try to not let the kids regress too much from the progress they made over the previous school year, I have been setting aside a little bit of time every day to try to get the kids to do some homework. This little bit of time every day has been great for giving me a realistic of view of what life would be like if I went back to school to get a teaching degree so I could teach theatre. Yeah. Not going to happen. Teaching is not for me.
Teaching is not for me, but I know if I don’t keep the kids working on their handwriting and reading over the summer, school will be a nightmare in the fall. It is very much like going back to the gym after a few weeks off. You know it is easier just to go every day so you just keep dragging yourself to the gym as often as possible because if you take a long break it the first day back at the gym always sucks.
This is what we try to do every day.
First, they write their names. Challenging, right? You would think that I asked Patrick to find a cure for cancer or solve world hunger by the look of despair he gives me every time I set his name page in front of him. I use this website to make their name pages and then I put them in Gimp so I can fit two per page. This saves paper and I can print a bunch out at once and have them for the week. All three get one. Elise just scribbles on hers but I figure it is good for her to start recognizing her name and she wants to do what ever big brothers do so why not?!
It will take me withholding his video game privileges for Patrick to finish what he started. It took him just over an hour to get this far.
This is what Michael is
bribed encouraged forced to work on every day.
I use the same website to make up a handwriting worksheet for the day. Usually it is on the topic of whatever they are into at the moment. It has been Minecraft Creepers and Skylanders Giants so far. Michael’s job is to trace the word and then he has to write it again on his own 4 more times. After that he has to write a sentence about the topic and then draw a picture about the sentence.
When he is done with that I try to get him to do half of his 30 minutes of daily reading. Sometimes this happens, sometimes not. Some days he knocks out all his homework and reading in no time so he can have screen time. Some days he drags his feet and is frustrated and it all takes forever.
With Patrick it almost always is a struggle. Let me remind you that this is the kid who asked to be called PJ at school because it was fewer letters to write when he signed his name. If Michael has to write Minecraft Creeper, Patrick’s job is to write Minecraft or Creeper. He is a year younger and hates it so much more. BUT if I keep it on a fun topic I can usually get him to get the work done.
He does the same thing as Michael where he traces the word and then writes it 4 times on his own and draw a picture about the word. At the bottom though he only needs to write his name one more time instead of a sentence.
I would share a photo of this but he still hasn’t finished his work which means he still hasn’t gotten to play Minecraft which means Patrick is crabby (and Mommy is on her last nerve).
To go with the h handwriting I also print out a coloring page for each of the kids. They can work on this throughout the day. It is usually when they are waiting for snack to come to the table in the afternoon. This is where I really must express my love for the internet. When I was young I LOVED getting a new coloring book. Now I don’t have to go to the store and buy a coloring book. I can just Google search “free (fill in the blank) coloring page” and have dozens (if not more) options to choose from. There was even a Minecraft coloring page with a creeper for the boys and a Minecraft pig for Elise.
Today they colored Eye Brawl from Skylanders Giants.
My goal is to do this every day but so far we have only been getting it done about 3-4 times a week. I would like to say it will be better when the contractors are out of the house but now that we have set up the pool, I think one distraction has been replaced with another. Oh well. 3 times a week is better than none at all. Look at me shooting for the stars. Every teacher I ever had just sighed and said, that’s the Meg we know. Big plans, markers and poster board bought, but no follow through. And thus my barely 3.0 high school GPA. I pray our kids have Tim’s work ethic. Michael does. Elise might. Patrick well… lets just say I relate to him most out of the three.
Michael had all his work done before Patrick had written his name once.
Get this… Michael even asked for more homework and requested a certain character for tomorrow’s homework.
Our reward for getting this done is that I get to go to the gym and work out my frustration of trying to get them to “just write your NAME!” and they get to blow off steam and play at Kids Stuff for an hour. Win win for all of us.
Check out these links for coloring pages:
Pinterest is a great way to find color pages. Just search “coloring pages” But if you are not into Pinterest here are a few links I frequent.
SKYLANDERS GIANTS colorpages
Crayloa Coloring pages is categorized and even sub categorized for easy searching