Under federal law, Extended School Year (ESY), better known as summer school, is offered to children with special learning needs. The primary purpose is to help students retain the knowledge they have. There is some research that indicates it takes all children a bit of time to re-collect the previous year’s teachings. For Rachel, this is especially true. One of the things I have learned with Rachel is that with most academics, she has to constantly be reminded. This year we decided we wanted to have a more typical summer so we opted not to go to summer school. Instead we are having “Mommy School.” We are working through two writing books, reading comprehension, and a Math U See unit. Rachel loves to read so she spends a lot of time reading for fun too.Today, in Mommy School we re-visiting the concept of greater than and less than. It is a hard concept for Rachel. She’ll know that 7 is bigger than 5 and than 21 is bigger than 20. I’ll think she’s getting it and she says 1 is bigger than 3 or 105 is bigger than 157. I struggle because I don’t know how to help her so we just keep on building towers, drawing cupcakes, comparing blocks. In time, I hope it sinks in.
It is good for me to do Mommy School with Rachel. One reason is because I see how hard she works. She really tries. She wants to do good work. She has done her work without complaint. It also reminds me a lot of my relationship with God. He keeps trying to get me to understand things and I keep missing the mark. I get to try it again and again. Unlike me, He doesn’t lose his patience.
Rachel is a fairly good writer. We have a book where you unscramble sentences and she is great at that. From my vantage point, the primary purpose of those lessons is that she needs to remember to start sentences with capital letters and end them with punctuation. She is pretty good on the punctuation, but we need a ton of prompts on those beginning letters. Here again, another good reason for me to do Mommy School for Mommy’s learning. Just as I tell her one of the rules of grammar (conventions), I have to break it. Really, I think back and wonder how any of us learned anything and how confusing it all is. Today’s example: She was to write a personal paragraph (shared below). She needed to come up with a title. Her title is “The Greatest Parents”. She started to write it and did her capital T, but the other words were lower case. So I tried to explain. I didn’t want to confuse her so I just told her we’d figure it out next time! I helped her choose some of her words, but this is the paragraph she came up with on her own.
The Greatest Parents
“My mom and dad are great parents. My dad takes me to the movies. I like my mom’s cooking. I love them very much. They will always be in my heart.” By Rachel Nicole Mast
The other day one of her good friends was over and wanted to know what Rachel had done that day. Rachel said, “I had Mommy School. Do you have Mommy School?” With a sigh her friend replied, “No, I have Mommy Chores.”