What we learned in “summer school”

Early last month, I shared how I was shaking up our summer vacation by introducing some more structure (YES, PLEASE! STRUCTURE IS MY BAE!) in the form of light summer school.

There was the morning reading, which was important because I was plagued with irrational fears that D would forget how to read over the summer.

He has not forgotten (whew) and we all enjoyed the daily Berenstain Bears readings.

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C, my dad, and D reading “Berenstain Bears and the Bad Dream.”

And then there’s been the daily worksheet(s) and/or spelling tests.

The spelling tests are my personal favourite, as I get to whip out my best Grown-up Teacher Voice.

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After they’re finished their work for the morning, they get to choose two stickers from this coolio book, Stick it To ‘Em: Playful Stickers to Color & Create.* 

(It was sent to me for review, and it’s really cute. Even when I had to choke back laughter when D chose a sticker that says “Son of a beach” and kept repeating “Son of a beach! Son of a beach! Mom, what’s that mean?”)

(Thanks to Education.com for providing this free downloadable worksheet — a kayaking maze — for Heather’s Handmade Life readers. It’s perfect for little ones in Primary.)

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(DOWNLOAD THE MAZE) Beat the summer heat as you paddle through this maze created by Education.com! Get tons of other Kindergarten activities here.

But I’m the first to admit we didn’t do the worksheets and spelling tests EVERY day.

I’d also enrolled them in an advanced, highly individualized program called Having Fun Being a Kid 101.

Here’s a look at their course load over the last two months … 

CHEMISTRY

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This course was completed without the assistance of an instruction. The instructor woke up and discovered the student had started (and finished) the How To Build a Bouncy Ball lesson* independently.

ENGINEERING

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We built what just may be the most INTENSELY COMPLICATED hydraulic robot arm ever made. The box specified 10+ but I’m 33 34 and found it hella challenging. It took us five hours of solid concentration (and greasing teeny tiny plastic tubes with a teeny tiny plastic wand) and I’m still not over it.

VOCATIONAL-TECHNICAL TRAINING

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I mean, really. The deck wasn’t going to stain itself!

CULINARY ARTS

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Is this not the yummiest-looking French Toast on hamburger buns you’ve ever seen? Ignore the fact that it looks like peanut-buttered English muffins. It isn’t.

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

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I may have gotten mediocre marks in gym class as a kid, but these kids? They’re too cool for school.

 

BIOLOGY

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Babysitting a friend’s chickens = best afternoon ever.

Trying to keep the chickens from escaping = terrifying.

SOCIAL SCIENCES

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Proudly supporting what matters during our town’s Pride celebrations.

OCEANOGRAPHY

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Navigating the murky waters with a small group of classmates.

CONSUMER STUDIES

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Is Anne of Green Gables’ Rasberry Cordial just Sprite with some red food colouring? Is an evil soda conglomerate over-commercializing our beloved redheaded orphan by marketing overpriced sugary drinks to children? Discuss in a 1,000 word essay.

GEOGRAPHY

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The students were awarded bonus points for not getting too close to the waves. And not falling in, of course.

ECONOMICS

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The four-way partnership resulted in individual profits of more than $3. They parted amicably after liquidating their inventory.

PHYSICS

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Newton’s laws of motion were compared and contrasted with the percentage of deliciousness in cotton candy.

CARTOGRAPHY

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Students were tasked with exploring new worlds and plotting a complex route. The instructors were tasked with remaining patient during a very long expedition with many stops.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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Was existed before the Wii, the WiiU, and the DS? What is that strange, crumbling artifact with origins in the early 1990s? Why is the screen not colour, and what does it mean to adjust contrast with a slider? All of these questions (and more) answered in this eight-week course.

 

***

It’s been an intensely educational summer, and surely Primary and Grade 2 will seem like a vacation compared to that course load.

As for the instructor?

Well, she’s looking forward to a sabbatical.

*Affiliate links used

What our kids learned in summer school {Heather's Handmade Life}

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