Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The summer starts now

When the boys were little, as we pulled into the driveway coming home from the last day of school, I'd always say "The summer starts...NOW!"  I'll say that to Janey as she gets off the bus this afternoon.  Her summer is starting.

Marshall Point Light, in the town I grew up in
in Maine.  Even with surroundings like this,
I still hated summer and I still do.
It's going to be a different summer than usual.  I'm not sending her to summer school this one year.  Last year, summer school was basically a disaster.  Her teacher was not a good match for Janey.  The bus was horrible, showing up whenever it felt like it, leaving us sometimes waiting outside in the hot sun for long, long periods of time.  The program itself seemed to consist of far too many kids crowded in one indoor room, being taught academics by a too small staff.  It infuriates me that in a city with hundreds of summer programs of all types, taking advantage of all Boston has to offer, that the best they can do for those with some of the greatest needs is to stuff them in a room.  I'll go back to trying summer school next year, as Janey will be in a different program then, the pre-high school program, but this summer, we're taking a break.

Of course, I'm a little panicked about how summer is going to go.  In the best of times, summer is my least favorite season.  I don't like heat at all, I don't like the lack of routine, I don't like much of anything about it.

I had all kinds of notions about setting up very detailed schedules to get through each day, but then I did a reality check and knew that would not work.  So I am trying something simpler.  Each day, in the morning, we will go someplace.  It doesn't matter where really.  It might be out to a fast food breakfast, or for a walk in a park, or to some store like Target, or to a pond to swim.  Once a week, I'm going to aim to take the train into the city, just to hang out.  Freddy is home this summer and is wonderfully willing to help out, or I would not really be able to attempt many of those things, but with his help, I think it will work.

I'm also going to pick one academic area a day to work on a bit with Janey.  I'm talking very basic stuff here, like picking a letter and working on learning to identify it, or talking with her about concepts like bigger or smaller, more or less, over or under, things like that.  I'll decide in the morning what that day's target will be, and then I can work it into the day---things like saying "Look, that flower is bigger than the other one!" or "I see a B on that sign!"

Aside from those two goals, I'm going to allow myself not to feel guilty about what gets us through the day.  If we get out in the morning, I'll relax if the afternoons are all videos and sitting around.  My energy level by afternoon is usually extremely low.  I can do things in the mornings, but afternoons---not so much.  Often, I get upset with myself over this, but I'm trying harder to be realistic.  Quite frankly, Janey probably wouldn't care if all day were just hanging out, as long as we took her now and then to the ice cream store and as long as Daddy gave her a ride at night, but I don't want to go that route.  So---I'll compromise with myself.

I'm still dreading the summer.  But that's not a new thing.  I can't think of a summer ever I didn't dread.  I'll be happy when it's September again.  Janey will have the same teachers next year as she did this year, and I dare say it was her best school year ever this year.  I can look toward that, and I think we'll make it through the next two and a half months.  Hopefully.

No comments: