In case you haven’t figured it out, I live in Florida. I am technically a native (born here, but I lived up north for the first 12 years of my life), and my husband is second generation Floridian (a rare breed). For all it’s misgivings, it is not that bad of a place to live… sure it is hot and sticky for 9 months out of the year, but we have Disney and miles of awesome beaches. So, I decided that today we would continue discussing our state’s history and talk about our European Founder, Ponce DeLeon. The boys have heard his name on several occasions, in fact we use to go swimming at Deleon Springs State Park (if you ever get a chance to go, do it! You won’t regret it!) We watched a Biography special on him that was located on the Biography Channel’s website. You can watch the full episode here (it is rated TV14 because some of the art work shows nudity, slavery is discussed, and rape and cannibalism is briefly mentioned), and I would watch it before showing it to young children. The only issue that I had was the mention of rape, so I made sure that I fast forwarded through that particular part.
Afterwards, we finished up day 16 in our work books and then wrote a journal entry regarding the interesting things that we discovered on our trip to the Polk Museum of Art.
Summer break has arrived, and I am doing my best to keep myself contained. I am going into this stay at home mom thing with a positive head. I had created a schedule to keep the kids busy, and more importantly, quiet while Daddy is sleeping (he works the night shift). Both of my boys are very bright and very active, so I have to constantly keep them engaged to keep them out of trouble.
First of all, I bought them both Summer Bridge Books. We have been doing these from the summer that A went from preschool to Kindergarten, and I absolutely love them. There are several different brands, but I prefer these. I was especially happy to learn that they now meet the Common Core Standard that our state has just adopted and is in the process of implementing. Since A is set to take Florida Writes! test this coming year, I also picked composition books for each of the boys to make into summer writing journals.
We talked about different goals that we all have for summer. Mine was completing college (graduation is scheduled for August), A was to become a better swimmer, and K just wanted to have fun. Then both boys wrote down their ideas in their journals. Since K is entering 1st grade, I am only asking him to write down three sentences, A on the other hand has to give me at least 5 complete sentences (for now).
After journals we moved on to the Summer Bridge books and completed Day 1. The books are set up for a 60 day summer, but our school district is not that generous, so some days we have to double up on the work in order to complete them on time. It took the boys about 5 minutes each to complete front and back and then I allowed them to play some educational games on the computer and some apps that I had downloaded for them on the iPad. While they were playing it allowed me a small window of time to do some much needed folding of laundry (I swear it never ends in this house!).
The journals and the worksheets took about 20 minutes of time. So, I loaded the boys into the car and headed off to the local Library to grab some reading for the two of them. Our library had reading lists for each of the boy’ grade levels, and were able to help me find several challenging reads for them to keep them busy for a few days. A also was able to enter in a reading incentive program that was offered by the local pro baseball team. They offer prizes for reading such as autographed posters, baseball team souvenirs, and even a free ticket to one of the games. After a stopover at the park, it was time to head home and wake up Daddy. The first day went much better than planned!