Friday, June 11, 2010


This year we have gotten involved in a new free activity for kids--building workshops. Lowe's has Kids' Building workshops every few weeks, and provides a free building kit and a place to build it, along with an apron and badges for each project. We've had so much fun with these!

We've built baseball games.
We've built bird feeders (and purchased bird seed from the store to use in the feeders...that one didn't turn out to be as "free" as the others ☺).
We built a little school house for teachers' appreciation week that could also hold a business card. HoneyBear even built one of those for me!
We planned to build a catapult--the project Tyler was most excited about--but wound up getting there too late. We were able to get the kits, though, so we'll build them at home this summer.

This weekend we changed it up a bit and went to Home Depot. Home Depot does their kid clinics once a month, on the first Saturday of each month. It makes it easier to remember, but of course is less frequent. This month's project was a mini soccer game in honor of the World Cup. The boys were excited that Home Depot's project used wood glue as well as tools. They also use pins on the aprons rather than sew-on patches, so the pins could be added immediately, as opposed to patches, which are still waiting to be attached.
We'll continue these fun, free outings as long as the boys enjoy them, especially since they wind up with a fee toy after the building is complete!

Friday, June 4, 2010

School's Out for Summer!

Snow days never look as good in June as they do during the winter, and this year our area certainly looked askance at them after Memorial Day. Our district only had 5 days out of school, which was actually fewer than many of our neighboring districts. Unfortunately, no snow days were built into the schedule this year, meaning that all five had to be made up at the end of the year. Rather than finishing the year the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, we went the Tuesday through Friday of the week of Memorial Day, and an additional Monday of the next week. June 7 felt like it would never arrive for many of our students--and teachers!

Our family made a decision this year that still seems a little surprising--the boys missed the last day of school. Hear me out before you gasp too deeply, please. Though I work in the district, I am on a longer contract than teachers in order to ensure technology in the building is ready for summer. This also gives our team the chance to offer some early summer professional development that counts toward the following year. This means that a week after school is out for students and teachers I am still on contract. This is not a problem, but it does require child care for the boys. The week is the perfect week for the boys to stay in Little Rock with Nana and Papa!

Going to school on Monday and then getting to Little Rock with Mommy and Daddy working the next morning was more of a challenge than we wanted to face, however. With the boys still in elementary school, and teachers assuring me that there would be little but movie time and cleanup missed on the last Monday, we opted to take the boys to Little Rock over the weekend.

Friday, June 4, was the last day of 4th grade and kindergarten for the boys. I forgot the 'real' camera, but did get a quick cell phone camera photo of them as they were going in the back door.
They've grown up so much this year! Of course, they have grown physically. Here they are on the first day of school, excited about a new school year in a newly remodeled building, with Shawn just starting 'big school.'
They also learned a lot this year. The both brought home wonderful report cards, and Tyler even got a certificate and a medal for getting all A's on the Honor Roll all year. He also showed a huge boost of confidence, between GT presentations and reports, getting a solo in the school musical, and having the lead in the church musical. It helped to make a great new best friend, too.

Shawn had an impressive year of learning, despite some challenges. He struggled with his sensory issues, continuing to chew on marker lids and bouncing a lot. He started his occupational therapy during the year, and also began taking medication for ADHD. Despite these challenges, his reading, writing, and math skills were wonderful, and he continued to surprise us with his new abilities and knowledge.

We're so excited about a fun summer with time at the library, at dollar kid's movies, camping at the lake, trips to Silver Dollar City, a day at Wild River Country in Little Rock, fireworks at Nana and Papa's house for the 4th of July, and just lots of fun. I expect them to have some video game time, too!

So our rising 5th grader, our rising 1st grader, and their Mommy are very glad to sing "school's out for summer!"