Quite some time ago I had the privilege of writing a testimonial for a book being written by my blog friend Marion Shaw of Affection for Fitness. Marion is a lawyer, writer, blogger and most importantly a mom of four. I have been reading Marion’s blog for many years. Marion is extremely passionate about sustainable weight loss and becoming fit at any age. On the blog she presents a no nonsense hard lined approach to diet and fitness. Marion tells it like it is and this can be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s truly what most people truly need to hear. Marion is an eloquent writer and her words are intelligent and compassionate.
Marion recently messaged me to let me know that she finally self-published her book and it was available for purchase on Amazon. When I read Marion’s book A-Moms: How to Raise Competitive Award Winning Students, I was turning the pages eagerly. I connected with so much of Marion’s outlook on education. I enjoyed learning about her own children’s accomplishments and successes. I was encouraged to know that I was already employing some of the same advice Marion imparts in the book. Marion presents a gentle balance between well researched data and personal anecdotes which makes the book enjoyable to read. I highly recommend it for parents looking for proven strategies to assist their children in reaching their greatest potential.
I have always loved learning and hoped to instill the same in my child. Carlos is an excellent student. He is a voracious reader and he is curious about so many different things. However, when not prompted or motivated Carlos will take the easy road. Carlos expressed his boredom and frustration less than halfway through first grade. He was polite and respectful in class, but made it clear as soon as he would get in the car at pick up time that he was not being challenged or even encouraged to learn more. That’s when I began researching other schools and strongly considered home schooling.
Carlos’ transfer to a Montessori school in second grade proved to be precisely the right learning environment for him. His reading ability soared, he quickly picked up on the unique methodology for learning mathematics and he has really benefitted from the limitless possibilities Montessori allows its students. Although Carlos will be in third grade this year he will continue to participate in the fourth grade novel studies. He is excited to learn and knows that we are supportive of any educational endeavors.
It’s summer vacation and my son has been enjoying his time away from school since June 10th. I love summer vacation. I think it’s a magical time for children…sleepovers, staying up late, swimming, summer camps, outings to the beach, fireworks, corn on the cob, juicy watermelon and all the popsicles you can eat. What’s not to love?
Carlos is 8 and like many of his friends loves Legos, Star Wars, Minecraft, Zombies and running around outdoors. Eight is a great age. There is a little more freedom and less hand holding. There is a more interest in being with friends often, but Carlos is still very happy to spend time with his mom once in a while (at least think so).
My son enjoys a mostly traditional summer except I’m the mom that makes my child study too. This summer the emphasis is on learning math facts, spelling, reading and learning as much history as he’ll soak up from the amazing Khan Academy. He’s on board with most of it and does it with little prompting especially the history lessons, but like any kid complains a bit too.
Believe me it would be really easy for me to let Carlos hunker down in his room with Orlando’s iPad chock full of games and entertainment while I get my own work done. It’s much more difficult to make sure Carlos is engaged in activities other than electronics. So whether it’s playing or doing something educational it is my responsibility to ensure that Carlos has a balance between enjoying the summer the way all kids should and learning throughout the vacation to continue to challenge his body and mind.
I think my mom once heard something about kids losing something like 2 months of school over the summer, so she was always getting summer homework from teachers and making us do all kinds of school stuff, but it was still a good balance I think. Fortunately, I also loved reading. It sounds like this new school has been such a good fit for Carlos.