Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Fun : With Challenges

It's been a week since my last post.  We're into the first week of summer vacation, and preparations for everybody's activities are on.  Now, with a crew the size of ours, that's a lot of preparations.  Sons 4, 5, & 6 won't be in baseball this year, as they missed the deadline to sign up (absent the day the registrations slips went home) and I don't have an extra $80 for late fees.  Sometimes, life sucks.  BUT, that doesn't mean we're doing nothing.  Okay, the first week I let them OD on videogames (while requiring one hour a day outdoors), but then we're into really living.

We will be running our own daycamp, with fishing, hiking, swimming, and campfires on the agenda.  Of course, tie-dye t-shirts and crafty things also await.  (Burnt matchstick sculpture, anyone?)  We do various sculptures, paintings, sand candles, etc.  The kids all look forward to "Camp Hotvedt".  Even the 20 year old.

But also, they need to keep their skills up.  Especially my reluctant readers, sons 5 & 6.  Honestly, the rest of my kids are reading zombies.  They tune into their books as much and as readily as to tv or videogames.  The reluctant readers, not so much.  These two just lack patience, though son 5 this year had a great teacher who encouraged him and introduced him to "The Secrets of Droon" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid".  It really increased his motivation.  He has AD/HD, so sitting still to read was an issue, but the rocking chair helps.  

Son 6, though, with his "PDD-NOS" spent much of the school year spinning in the corner in front of the mirror on his carpet square.  I think his teacher tried, but I also think he has a long way to go to be completely prepared for 1st grade.  Before we moved to Dinkytown, we lived on the North Dakota border in a significantly larger (10 times larger) community where summer activities were in abundance, including reading classes that were phonics rather than sight-word oriented, and computer classes.  Here, not so much.  So I'll be trying to find something that sounds like and is fun and phonics based, as well as affordable.  There are kidblogs we may look at to see if that will help encourage reading and writing, though you can't be sure all participants are posting at any given reading level. 

Son 2, our graduate and new collegeman, is employed as son 3's PCA, a situation that serves everyone well, as son 2 gets money, work experience, and deadline meeting skills in a sheltered environment.  We have discussed that interacting with mom as employer is different from mom as mother, in that, when he's on the clock, sass is wildly inappropriate and intolerable no matter how justified he thinks it is.  That stating an objection respectfully the first time is required, and if that takes five minutes thought and re-visiting a topic, then it does.  Hopefully, we will see growth in him and his responses that will prepare him for the world he will enter in the fall.  If not, he'll have to seek employment in the public sector, which will likely not be nearly as forgiving. 

Son 3 will be working on his Compass Learning online and gaining new skills and continuing to grow, as well as blogging here, to encourage literacy activities in a real world application. 

We have a great garden this year, so we'll be taking time weeding, hoeing, harvesting, and (come fall) canning.  As always, life is an adventure and a challenge to be met.

We're all in this together,



  1. I continually think its just scarey how much alike our lives happen to be. Collegeman can't find a regular job so is now doing chores for money around the house. However, I am insising he take a course or else it will be 5 months with no school, so in July he takes history class. In the meantime,we are building life skills. I still remember when he started and I had him redo the laundry because it was doneincorreclty, he threatned to quit. I told him he couldn't quit. After much discussion about his rights as an mployee I told him, that he could do it and get paid or do it and not get paid his choice. At that moment the mouth and eyes grew wide, and he just walked out of the room. Needless to say we are never without clean clothes and the hamper is perpetually empty. HSB just asked if he could have a raise in allowance as a gesture of finishing this year in highschool(but considering the call i just received from the chem teacher and his lack of work product in the last few weeks,he is seriously going to have to get to work to pass that final). I told him yes, but that he was going to have to do chores in order to earn that extra money. He did not like that as he is thinking that for the next two months he is going to be doing nothing but computer and video games...mwahaha...

  2. LOL! Yes, sounds eerily familiar. The great part of the PCA job is that it's highly marketable in the outside world. Whereas I think on some levels he can handle it, on some levels, I know he's light years away. Also, his wages don't come out of my (empty) pockets. But I'm his supervisor, and if he quits, he doesn't get paid anymore, but still has to help around the house. More likely than not in less pleasant chores that he has despised (like picking up the yard after the puppy)in the past. Like yours, he also doesn't want to drive, saying, "I can ride in to town with Dad when he goes to work" - to which the response is, "Yes, but the day your classes start at 10:30 and you still have to get up at 5am to go with Dad, you will want your license."