Tuesday, June 29, 2010
No, I have not adopted any more children. My son's summer school is still at the University studying Calculus 3... I had problems teaching math once we hit multiplying fractions. However, the gorgeous weather we are (finally) enjoying is reminding me of past summers of "doing school" all year long.
We had to do a little work each day on math during the summer or the student in the house would forget an entire previous year. I know, I have said this a thousand times but... how did the boy who took two years to get through Saxon 1/2 end up taking the most complicated math courses at the University? For my fellow parents of children who are not math prodigies... there is hope.
One nice thing about summer in the Northern Hemisphere... all children are homeschooled. Even kids who attend public and private classrooms often have the freedom to explore, to find delight in all that is available to touch and observe and smell and sometimes even taste (especially toddlers... ugh).
Anyhoo, summers were mostly all about science and nature studies. How could a mom and a boy stay out of their favorite trails when the weather was beautiful, the humidity low, and there were rocks and bugs waiting to be discovered. I still feel a tinge of sadness when I pass the wooded park where we spent many an afternoon exploring. There are also fond memories of Lake Michigan, zoos of various sizes, creeks, gardens, and back yards, and walks along the water in our favorite artsy town with a little girl.
I have always been a big believer of hands on nature studies. Some of my earliest memories of Stephanie as a little child included picking up pretty rocks on the road and chatting about God's remarkable creativity. How He could have made everything in black and white but instead God created... sparkle (have you picked up quartz lately?). Not to mention the duck billed platypus.
Of course, life is not perfect and there were summers of too much TV during seasons of illness and adolescent girls who preferred reading to nature hikes (although years later, Stephanie told me about the summer she read tucked on the branches of a tree). These included a few summers when Mom had to work and Saturdays became all important. We had our share of reruns on TV and Mario Brothers when we lived in a city but over all the years of childhood... summer memories were made.
That is why we take the opportunities in summer when they happen... and why this Mom kept a vintage picnic basket packed with everything needed except the food for last minute dashes to a favorite place of exploration (a picnic just makes it more festive even if only peanut butter sandwiches or cheese and bread).
Summer is the time to grow veggies (or at least herbs in a container) and drawing a child into the wonder of seeds planted and the miracle of growth. Summer brought about the joy of just picked corn dripping with butter or messy watermelon for dessert both eaten outside on a hot day.
Summer can be about catching a fish and cooking it... which did not happen in this home but I have memories from my own childhood. No, for this family summers were Dad teaching tennis techniques, the proper way to toss the basketball into a hoop, or how to drive when one turned a certain age.
As I look back on many summers as a Mom, I sense what was really taking place during those summers was developing a love for learning and exploring, flowers, duck ponds, picnics next to the small zoo or near the trail or on the sand by the lake, rocks and arrowheads, getting one's hands dirty in the soil, and taking into their adult years a sense of wonder. Truly a legacy which makes summer special.
Picture: Building Memories; allposters.com
Posted by Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks at 9:55 AM