Tuesday, May 29, 2012

School is in session: For the summer!

I admit it!  I am getting excited about working on academic centered activities with my boys this summer!  I'm looking forward to a somewhat structured day with room for fun!

I have had a blast this year working at JHW elementary and working with a great kindergarten team [not to mention just a great JHW team in general!].  And now I get to do more of the "fun stuff" this summer.  I guess it's true.  What my mom has told me all along:  teaching is in my blood :) 

I've been working on summer lesson plans to keep us busy for 10 weeks and to continue opening up a wonderful world for my sons.  Listed below is what I have so far.  Not complete and always open for suggestions and input :)

Here we go!

Language Arts:
[Aaron]: Letter recognition [which he's pretty well got down], writing all letters, writing his name with out tracing, proper use of a book, proper terminology, beginning phonics

[David]: Easy reader books, vocabulary, writing, sight words, phonics

Each theme/unit will last one week: the human body, animal kingdom, ocean life, weather, bugs, earth science, space, physical science, kitchen science.

Social Studies:
Each week we will do a different country, doing various crafts, information learning and cooking a dish from each country.  The countries are: Mexico, Australia, France, America [put over the 4th of July week], United Kingdom [in honor of my mother and sister :)], China, Italy, Austria, Egypt and Iceland.

[Aaron]: Number recognition to 20.  Patterns, shapes
[David]: Addition, subtraction, patterns, terminology [on top of, under, beside, etc].

10 different themes ranging from learning about an artist and doing art to support that to specific projects:
Learning about colors/shapes to make pictures/Rainbow colors, Van Gogh, Monet, Leonardo Da Vince, Pottery/ceramics, Picasso, Michelangelo,  sculptures, Art using nature, art & craft time for "new teacher 2012-2013 welcome gift."

I don't have much here yet.  But I know for 3 weeks I want to concentrate on classical music and some composers and hopefully find a orchestral show to take them too.  Orchestral instruments, drums/drum circles.

Schedule for the day:

8:30-9:10: Math
9:10-9:30: Centers
9:30-10:00: Language Arts
10:00-10:30: Outside play/snack
10:30-11:00: Science
11:00-11:30: Music
11:30-12:00: Social Studies
12:00-1:00: Centers/Free time & Lunch
1:00-2:30: Naptime for Aaron/Quiet reading rest time for David

2:30-3:30-Outside play time
3:30-4:30: Art

And that's what I have so far!  It's going to be a fun summer!  And thank goodness for Pinterest!  So many good ideas too!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

What I did not know.....What I've come to learn.

What I did not know before I had children.

I did not realize that there was a whole big beautiful world filled with the most wondrous creations, all in my own back yard.   
I never knew that a child's tears could drive me to tears of my own.
I did not realize that I would switch places with someone  until my own infant laid helpless while paramedics worked with him. 
I never knew that my own living room could really be a magnificent castle filled with laughter and magic.
I did not realize that the words "I love you" would mean the world to me when I feel like I failed as a parent.
I never knew the capacity to forgive until my own child wrapped his arms around me and I could never imagine much that he could do for me to send him away.
I did not realize how I was seeing the world, people, even love through jaded judgmental eyes.

What I came to learn when I became a mother.

I came to learn that a blade of grass was so intriguing and could be used as anything from a sword to a magic wand!
I knew instantly that when my child hurt whether physically or emotionally my heart seems to stop and I want to make everything perfect so they never hurt again.
I came to learn that there is nothing more frightening than seeing your child struggle with his health.

I loved that my imagination is being reawakened as my sons worlds are full of mystery, magic, fun...whatever they want it to be.
I have come to learn that even when I feel like, or even when I do fail at being the parent I want to be, my boys still wrap their arms around me at the end of the day and want to love on me like the greatest person alive.

But the biggest thing that I have come to learn?  The thing that changed everything?  Was my capacity to love endlessly and unconditionally.  Before I had children, I had this notion that some people needed "changed".  They needed to fit into the mold that I thought they should be in.  How very eye opening that it took my own children to teach me that true love doesn't seek to change what one feels in their heart. 

I was taken back by thought, as I gazed at my newborns and at them now, that there is nothing they could do for me to ever stop loving them. 

Amid the cards this year, and years past, filled with crayola colors, and kisses and shouts of "Happy Mother's Day!!".... the greatest mother's day gift that I have ever received is that of my two sons and life lessons that they awakened within me. 

Though it will be years before they understand the depth of it all, most likely when they are holding children of their own....I will cherish each moment, each hug, each kiss, each lesson, each "I love you", because all of these are priceless gifts.  And more valuable than any treasure that this earth holds.

Happy Mother's Day to all mother's everywhere!