Sunday, September 1, 2013

summer goals recap.

Following the examples of my aunt and sister, we started our own family tradition of "summer goals." Each child (and Rick and I should have, but we forgot!) picked four goals to work on over the summer based on the scripture that says, "and Jesus grew in wisdom, and in stature, and in favor with God and man." So, four goals in four categories to grow mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. Ideally each child picks a reward that they'll earn at the end of the summer, but we ended up having a little dollar store prize box, and they got one immediately upon completing a goal. (Then we did have a celebratory dinner at the end.)

Carson's goals: read 50 books, swim across the pool touching his feet two times, memorize all 13 articles of faith, and do some service for his teachers at church. His first two goals were actually too easy; he reads 50 books in a week, probably, if you count picture books. He is a pretty strong swimmer, but he can't yet figure out how to breathe and keep going. Memorizing those articles of faith was his most challenging goal, and I had to encourage him a lot to work on it. The last week or so of summer, I would write the article up on the chalkboard side of the fridge, and he would erase the words he knew til he got it. He finally got through number 13 right before we left for the celebratory meal! Carson helped make a treat and delivered it to his teacher at church to complete his last goal.
Everett's goals: write ten letters/cards, read a book all by himself, service for Primary teachers, and make grilled cheese. We had to change a few goals mid-summer for this kid. Originally he wanted to complete his whole Brain Quest workbook, but after doing all the "fun" pages he wasn't down with writing all the letters over and over again. He randomly started writing notes to people. I wish I had a picture of one, because they are so cute! For example, to write to Aunt Dana and thank her for taking him to Dairy Queen, he wrote something like, "thancuforthedarecwen," in big letters all over the paper. He really did spell queen "cwen." Makes total sense to him! Anyway, after seeing how long he would spend writing these notes, we changed his goal to writing ten notes instead of just writing letters over and over again on worksheets. He did it! Everett practiced his reading and, after much encouraging, finally read a simple book to me without any help. He was really excited about his goal to make grilled cheese and now makes it for lunch frequently. (I slice the cheese, of course, and help with the occasional sandwich that just won't flip.) He wasn't quite ready to swim across the pool or ride the bike with pedals, but then we realized he had set five goals instead of just four, so we let him just cross that one out. Everett also took a treat to his church teacher.
Poor Faye's poster got water damage, which erased all the cute pictures! Ha! She learned all her letters, with the help of a Nerd candy being placed on each one that she could eat when she identified the letter. She learned to ride Everett's balance bike. (We were going to bump Everett up to Carson's little two wheeler, but he's not quite ready.) Faye memorized the first Article of Faith, and she made a card and gave it to her frenemy, Cami.
Isla didn't really have goals, but every time she would do something new like walk or say "da da," the kids would declare that a summer goal she'd just accomplished. She failed at her goals of growing teeth and hair.

For a lot of the summer I felt discouraged that the kids weren't interested in working on their goals, but in the end I think it went well. They are still little, so I guess it's expected that there would be some hand-holding going on.

They also recorded a list of books they read to earn a certificate and book from the library's summer reading program.
Had to include three pictures because a different kid looks good in each one!
So, to celebrate the last day of summer and the completion of ALL their goals, we had a day of fun with lunch at Cici's pizza, swimming, and an evening trip to Yogurt Zone. At Cici's we we even let them have two quarters each to do a game at the arcade. As a mother who's terrified of her children being brain damaged by screen time, I hate those places!! Everett chose to ride a little car; good boy. (But you know he's looking at a screen right now, which makes me panic just looking at him!)
Carson chose some game where you shoot animals. Lovely. And he let Rick shoot one round. You know I was glad to get out of this place!

It also drives me nuts that at an all-you-can-eat place like this, my boys eat one little slice of pizza and declare themselves full! Thankfully we had coupons that made their meal free, but still! They wore crowns that said the goals they had accomplished, and they wore them proudly.

And I could not complain about their choice of Cici's, because I actually LOVE their cinnamon rolls! I will admit to eating more cinnamon rolls than pizza that day. :)

Overall I think summer goals was a positive thing. Next year we'll choose them a little differently, but I'm glad we set the stage to keep doing it each summer. Very proud of the kids for sticking to it and accomplishing all their goals this summer. Just look at these big guys, ready to take on the world!

1 comment:

Melissa S. said...

You are so make me laugh when you said you thought they'd be more motivated and finish them themselves w/o help. I've thought that too in the past and learned it's so different w/ each child too. But I've always loved that scripture about the Savior's pre-ministry life. It shows such balance in life.
And we loooooooooove Cici's!!! I bet your kids loved it too. My kids like their Alfredo cheese pizza best. (Oddly enough, it can get pricey though....which stinks)
Everett's face is hilarious as he is in la-la land watching the screen somewhere.