Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Learning Program!

Owen has been invited to the Summer Learning Program this year....AKA...he need to go to summer school. Don't you love the new name for it? The letter we got from school about it seriously was so well written and it made it seem like such a positive thing...which it is, but you know having some of your summer taken over by school isn't the first thing on every kids list. After I read the letter I called Michael and we decided that if the school thought he should go then we should take advantage of it. We told Owen that night and we used the same upbeat words that the letter used. Such as..."you've been invited to attend the summer learning program...they feel like it will benefit you and that you being there will benefit other will get to ride a bus to a different school and you'll get to eat both breakfast and lunch there." To top it off it was only being offered for 1st and 2nd graders and Jack didn't get invited. Oh my...this made Owen feel so special. Jack of course was super bummed. In fact just the other day he brought home a paper for his reading challenge through the library and it's title Summer Learning so Jack was telling Owen that he gets to do a Summer Learning Program too, but he gets to stay home! Stinker! Owen even asked the neighbor boy if he had been invited to the SLP and I said it was only for 1st and 2nd graders and he's a 3rd grader and the neighbor boy was really bummed he didn't get to go. It all just depends on how something is presented to you! 

The last day of school for the boys is on June 16th and then Owen gets 5 days of summer vacation before he starts the SLP. He will go Mon-Thurs from 7:45 - 12:15. The program goes from June 22nd to July 23rd. I really think it's going to be great for him. He gets so bored sometimes! Unlike Jackson who can entertain himself 'til the cows come home Owen struggles with this so much. He needs to be constantly entertained. He has gotten better over the years, but still some days are hard for him. I think having a half a day away from us and getting to learn and see other kids his own age will be really great for him. I did promise him that we won't go do anything like go to the beach or the sprinkler park until he gets home. Thankfully Ella and Zeke don't have to take naps anymore so this will actually work out.

Last week I did volunteer in Owen's class. I wanted to see how he behaved in school and also talk to his teacher and found out why he was chosen for the SLP. There were a few things I observed while in the classroom....first he very rarely participates. When Ms. Davidson asks a question he never raises his hand to be called on. I am so the opposite! I was always the first person to raise my hand. Also he was having trouble seeing the board. That's when I asked him where his glasses were. (Last year he wore glasses only at school and then during summer he didn't wear them at all. I figured that maybe his eyes weren't really that bad. Also the school does an eye exam at the beginning of the year so if he needed them again he'd come home with a note. He never did. Then earlier this year I decided the kids should have another check up. Ella had some troubles with her 5 year check up and they wanted her to see the Eye Dr. Why not have all the kids checked out! I was actually really hoping Ella needed glasses because we found the cutest pair at Costco and she fell in love with them. She didn't end up needing them though. Jackson's eyes aren't 20/20, but both his eyes are the same and they aren't bad so he doesn't need glasses. Owen's eyes are different. One eye is fine, but the other isn't. The Dr. wants him to wear glasses so his good eye won't get tired from working harder to compensate for the bad eye. So now he wearing glasses all the time and I think it's absolutely helping.) The third thing I observed is he will only do what is necessary. He won't do more than that. For example on the day I was there they were filling in information on what happened to the soil when they introduced water. There were a bunch of different scenarios and they have to explain what occurred. Ms Davidson told them they had to finish the first page, but if they went ahead and finished the second page then later in the day they would have iPad time. I would have been all over that, but not Owen. He just did what was required and then went over in the corner for his read to self time. 

After the kids left for recess I got to chat with Ms. Davidson and she said that she now uses reading as a reward for him since he loves it so much. As for why he was invited to the SLP...she said it was mainly due to his writing skills. He is an excellent reader! He will read books for hours....LOVES IT! But his writing is not that good and his spelling isn't either. She really wants Owen to be in a good spot heading into 3rd grade. It was so encouraging to talk with her and hear about it from her perspective. It's hard since Owen is my first I don't really have anything to gauge how he's doing on. I don't know what 2nd graders should be accomplishing since this is the first time I've had one!  

I'm truly excited for him and I hope he continues to be excited too. I'm sure after the first week the novelty of it will wear off a bit, but I'm hoping this extra time will really help boost his writing skills up to where they need to be to start 3rd grade!