Summer School Madness

Quick Educational Note: “ADD” and “ADHD” can actually be one and the same. The official diagnostic term is Attention Deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder. Within the AD/HD diagnosis, there are three types: hyperactive, inattentive (formerly known as ADD), and combined type. As a child and teenager I was a combined type but I most often have the inattentive type. So when I say “ADHD” just keep in mind this can also mean what you may know as “ADD.” In life, I often use the invented phrase “I ADD’ed it” to mean I forget/got distracted/or just found it too difficult to accomplish. Just fyi.

On (another) side note: a common misconception of ADHD is that people have the inability to focus. This is not true. People who suffer from ADHD most often suffer from an inability to focus on boring things; paying bills, doing laundry (ha!), and even maintaining a regular job can prove difficult. However, given a job they love or a project they are excited about, and they can excel–provided of course, it doesn’t get too boring/hard/repetitive near the end. 

The flip side of this is that someone with ADHD can also hyperfocus, meaning that they extend too much focus in one particular area. This is particularly damaging when it prevents them from doing things they should otherwise be doing, but are mentally less exciting. For instance, I can get really excited about a sewing project. Six hours later it will dawn on me that my kids have eaten nothing but total crap all day, I haven’t done any of the housework I planned on doing, and I have virtually nothing planned for dinner.
Somehow, all of that makes my husband less than impressed with the totally cute quilt I just made.

What have I been hyperfocusing on this week?Summer school!

I love torturing my kids (who doesn’t?), so I’ve set up a homeschool for them. I’ve been busy preparing activities, figuring out a schedule, and setting up a room in our home. This was going to be converted into a room for my oldest girls, but the baby can sleep in their closet for a few more months, right?

Not everything is done yet–which drives me nuts. But it’s looking really good. I thought I’d give you a “tour.” I also have a few printables ready to give you but I’m trying to figure out the copyright of a few things, and I want to keep everything all clean and good and (my) mom approved. :)

Forgive me–the room is windowless so the pictures are dark. And I wasn’t wearing my glasses so I didn’t realize that some of them were blurry. Oops!

I need to hang up some school-related vinyl phrases!

Here’s the table where they’ll do their work. I have other chairs, but Gary needs to adjust the table height before I can set those up. I’ll talk about the file sorting boxes in a minute. The table, by the way: $3 at the Granite School District surplus sale! 
Not pictured: the pull-down wall map ($1 at the surplus sale!) that I plan to hang above this.

My favorite part of the room. It looks so “schooly!” The calendar items on the bulletin board I got from Lakeshore Learning. I laminated the blue dates (you can move them around) so I could write on them with a dry erase marker. I love love love the globe! I found it at the surplus sale, but some guy snatched it before me. He bought it, then knowing I wanted it, offered to sell it to me for $5. I took the deal, even though I’m certain he didn’t pay over $2 for it. I was just happy to have it. It’s in great condition, though it needs a few minor fixes (more so after Josh through the globe on the grass today.) 

The bulletin board was attached to the white board seen below. It used to look something like this:

147 A-Frame Mobile Markerboard

(which retails for $1400 online.) Mine isn’t quite as nice, nor is it magnetic like the one in the picture. But it was $3 at the surplus sale, and it’s huge and totally perfect once Gary dismantled it.

Here’s the other half of the whiteboard. It has some dings and a sticker or two, but the permanent marker came off just fine. The school desk in front of the whiteboard I also got at the surplus sale: $1 each! I picked up four, knowing I could re-sell them easily enough if I decided not to use the other ones. The yellow shelf Gary found someplace. It houses most of our school stuff. Tons of summer worksheet books for the older kids, games, painting supplies, and so on. Keep in mind, I plan on continuing to homeschool Nicole, so this isn’t quite the overkill it probably seems!

Our other bookshelf. The bottom holds less-used school books, plus lots of craft supplies. On the right are my schedule cards. Those go with this system… 

which is very loosely based off the Workbox System by Sue Patrick. I haven’t read her book, but knowing that I was homeschooling a preschooler and summer schooling two older children, I didn’t feel the need to use as extensive of a system as hers. In a nut shell she recommends using a wire bookshelf like this 

Honey Can Do SHO-01172 4-Tier Wire Shoe & Accessory Shelves, White

and putting 12 clear shoe boxes on them. You label the boxes one through twelve with Velcro numbers. Your children work through each box at a time, and remove the boxes and the Velcro numbers when finished. 

My adaptation is that each of them have a set of file sorters with folders containing their work. I will put velcro numbers on each shelf (not currently finished), and when they are done working with that “box,” 

they will put that number on the schedule card (above). I can easily see who has what to finish, and they have a clear sight of the “end” of the day. This is clear as mud, isn’t it? I’ll do another post when I get the system finished, how about that?
Hey look, I’m writing this blog post!

Okay, last but not least: this is the computer corner. I don’t love having the computer in a relatively low-trafficked room, so this is probably semi-temporary. However, often times the kids will have a sticky note in their folder asking them to look up something, or use a certain educational site (I plan on signing up at Speeke to keep Spanish fresh on Rebecca’s mind). This way they are in the room where I can keep an eye on them while still helping the other kids. 

Even though I joke about torturing the kids, they are really excited. They know I have lots of fun things planned, and they also know we’ll be reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory the first few weeks. And of course, you can’t read about chocolate and not eat learn about chocolate, right?

I just hope I don’t ADD it all. I think all of us would be disappointed in me if I did that. So wish me luck. As I said, I’ll be posting some fun printables soon, such as your own workbox cards, schedule card, chore charts, and more. I’m also working on LDS-based preschool printables. I’m hoping to get permission from the publisher of the clip-art to share those with you!

Let’s make this summer the Least Miserable Ever!!

(That’s my motto. In case you were wondering.)


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15 Responses to Summer School Madness

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