Thursday, May 10, 2012

Summer Lovin' Series: Goals

(Tap tap tap) is this thing on?

A paper found in Kendall's backpack this week.

This blog post is not one the grandparents will pour over most likely. So in order to give them a little something I refrained from posting a funny story on Facebook today just so I could put it here. Kendall was reading birthday cards she received, one card was from our church and it read, "You are a precious gift from God." Kendall read it out loud then looked at me very wide eyed and said, "This is from God!?" I love that girl.

Summer break is coming so quickly, Kendall's last day is next Tuesday! The end of the year brings with it a flurry of field trips and activities. It also throws me into turbo planning mode to have things prepared here at home. I like to have the house all clean, the pantry stocked and plenty of activities planned for keeping busy. Plans of blog posts have been turning over in my mind so I decided to do a little series on how we prepare for the summer months at home. This may only be a two part series discussing (1) our summer goals (2) how I've put together our Mommy School for the next three months, and maybe some other tips for staying busy and organized while the kids are all home.
Planning mode on my desk.

About a month ago I started to think about what I wanted to accomplish this summer. The top of the list contained the obvious fun stuff....I wanted my kids to have the same great memories of summer vacation that I did: lots of outdoor playing, ice cream drips and dirty clothes. But I also wanted them to avoid the back slide that I know sometimes occurs when they're out of the school and learning routine. I dared to hope that they may end up a little bit farther ahead and smarter after this time, a mom can dream, right?! I started online searches for assessment tests. Kate will still be in preschool next year so I found some kindergarten assessment tests to see what we can do to put her ahead. You can find some great resources on the Teachers Pay Teachers website. I gave her a little quiz and from the results found what we need to work on. Kendall is currently in kindergarten and has been a little ahead of the game all year so I knew we didn't need to reinforce so much but instead work on some first grade lessons just to give her a leg up.
Today I made a big grocery trip to stock the pantry.

Perhaps more important to me than the book smarts were the life skills I was hoping to teach them this year. It has always been a goal of mine to give my kids increasingly more responsibility each year. Brian posted something a month or so ago that really has resonated with me. I can't remember the exact quote but it basically said, "The best way to give kids more confidence is to give them something they think they can't do then allow them to accomplish it on their own." I think too often we as parents just try to verbally build our kids up. "You're so smart, you're such a good soccer player...." I was tipped off that this wasn't the best way of accomplishing the goal of confidence when Kendall came home from her first day of kindergarten and told me, "I'm the cutest and smartest in the class....and I have the best clothes." Modesty was something we had definitely failed at, ha. Giving her a difficult task that she works out on her own, that's the way I want her to be built up.

Tangent: I do admit that I do still give lots of praise. As an adult my own mom still makes me feel like I'm the smartest and funniest person (and the best singer) and I want my kids to feel that I think the same way about them. I will say that learning that I'm not a great singer was a hard lesson for me, hee hee.

So a little list of brain smart goals and life smart goals for the gals in this house:

Kendall (finishing Kindergarten):

  • read read read: yes, this is books smarts but my big goal is to develop more of a love of books and reading.
  • Improve telling time, working with money and fractions
  • penmanship practice 
  • Kendall is GREAT about keeping her room (minus her desk) clean and bed made, I would like to help her gain more independence by showering on her own, start making some of her own meals and helping with chores that I do around the house.
Kate (Preschool):
  • Better learn her address and phone number (this move has thrown her off a bit)
  • identifying coins, months of year, days of week and some sight word reading
  • Read more together
  • This month Kate started to make her own bed, she has been picking out her own clothes and getting dressed for a while now.  The goal is to add on to the list of things that she can accomplish by herself.
Me (old enough to have three kids?!)
  • I have been KICKING butt at the gym lately and have really cleaned up my eating so the goal is to keep the momentum going. The working out I have no doubt about but honestly when the kids misbehave at all I run to the pantry (stress eater, much?). 
  • I hesitate to put this in writing because I feel like it is more of a dream than a goal, ha but I would like to give up diet soda (Diet Dr Pepper addict here). It's my major vice right now and although I've been so good about eating better and less I find that I grab another soda instead of a snack. Maybe I doubt my ability, sounds like a hard task to build up my own confidence, eh?
  • Blog. This is a big goal. I love this blog and the memories that it holds. I really do want to make the time to get on here more. I feel like the tiny status updates and photos on Facebook has made this thing obsolete. Just the same, I want to make it happen.
Working on my fitness.
Having some sort of plan will help keep boredom away and with the boredom the sister bickering...and with the bickering the trips to the pantry.

Am I the only one? Do you set goals for yourself or your kids?


  1. Hey Ashley!
    Cool post. Your ability and desire to plan is amazing to me. 8 years as a teacher and I had to force myself to make lesson plans. It will be a good discipline for me to learn, I think. Anyway, it is also awesome that you are setting goals. I haven't started doing that in a deliberate way yet, but I do have thoughts that run through my head like "MORE ART PROJECTS!" "MORE LIBRARY VISITS!" "MAKE A MEAL PLAN ON SUNDAY NIGHT, NOT MONDAY MORNING!" I'm sure these will solidify more as my kiddo ages. Awesome progress on the eating and gym, btw! That rocks. I am not a soda addict but I am a coffee addict and I battle the urge to make an afternoon pot of coffee daily. One thing I do that helps is to keep lemons/limes and fizzy water around. It feels like a treat and doesn't put too many extra sugars or weird chemicals into my body. Maybe even some vitamin C also? Not sure if that would help with the cravings or not. Anyway, can't wait to hear more about your summer!

  2. That's a good suggestion, Jenn! I try to buy lemons but I like the idea of getting fizzy water.

    If there was a job that would allow me to 1) organize classrooms or 2) create an overall plan I would be all over it. While I love the organizing and planning I'm not quite as good at implementing it all.

  3. Well, I would tell you all of my plans and goals, but since we are brain twins you know that they are pretty much the same as yours. Thanks for typing them all up for us, ha.

    Since I gave up the DDP (98% of the way anyway) I like either unsweetened tea with nothing in it, or a full glass of water with just a splash of juice.

    And doing a bit of school with the girls this summer is definitely going to help them next year. I know without a doubt that doing mommy school last summer helped Anna a ton this past year!