Well we made it! Today was our 15th lesson and our FINAL day of summer school. I’m always a little bit excited for the last day and the prospect of nights and mornings free from planning and prep, BUT I’m always more sad than anything else that our fun is up! There has been an unbelievable amount of online chatter this year about “simple summers” and play that is parent free. I think it’s important for readers to know that I agree wholeheartedly that kids should be free to make up their fun, deal with their boredom, create adventures, and annoy one another. However, I also feel that time spent having fun WITH parents AND without is what is most healthy for children. Creating memories together full of educational fun and creativity is something my family cherishes doing and perhaps it is is not for everyone, but it works for us. When summer school ends, we spend the remainder of our summer traveling back East to visit with family and friends. The boys enjoy lazy, unscheduled days of exploration and just hanging out. I truly believe that just like anything else, BALANCE is the key to a healthy and happy life.
We started our final morning just like every other, with circle time and a final shape recognition quiz for them all with the flash cards. We read Zoo-Ach-oooooo!
We finished up our last few pages in our workbooks!
We did step 1 of our Zoo Animal Handprints before we headed downstairs for snack so it would be dry by the time we came back up. Before we placed our paint laden hands on the canvas, we laid out where each of my three boys would put their animal and the other details so we made sure to save enough space for each of them. They decided on a snow leopard, an elephant and a monkey. We completed the black sharpie details and vines, sky, and grass after snack. These came out SO cute and I’m thrilled they’re on one canvas (and not three!) and will be hung proudly in their game room!
Our create-your-own-animal snack just goes to show how much their skills and patience have developed since our first summer school three years ago. They spent a surprising amount of time designing and creating their creatures and were only given various bowls of random fruit. I love all three but the elephant and crocodile were amazing!
After finishing up snack and our hand print paintings, we headed to the kitchen to bake our very own doggie treats. We wanted to give a small token to all those who helped us with summer school and pretty much every person who did, has a dog or two-lol! The boys followed a very simple 3 ingredient recipe (turkey baby food, beef broth, and wheat flour) and I can honestly say, for the first time ever, that I didn’t crave what I was baking as I smelled it cook. This was a particularly stinky and meaty smelling experience. I will say though, that 2 of the 3 boys DID eat a treat just to see what it tasted like. And in case you’re wondering, they said it tasted pretty plain :) All the dogs who received the baggies LOVED them so that’s what’s important!
After a lunch out at Chipotle (their choosing) to celebrate our last day, we headed to a friend of ours’ veterinarian office for a private behind the scenes tour! The kids had such a blast touring the office and were even able to assist in a mock check up, investigate some x-rays, see a surgical suite, visit with some recuperating patients, and weigh themselves as an entity on a HUGE animal scale. They just thought the whole place was so cool! Once again, three cheers for awesome neighbors and friends!
Have you ever baked doggie treats?