Friday, August 5, 2011

Where did the summer go??

Well, I can't believe it but summer is already coming to a close.  In a few weeks, Zoe will start school again (as a "Roadrunner" this year), this time for 3 mornings a week and before we know it Owen will be turning 1!  Time is f-l-y-i-n-g by and as usual, that brings about a mix of relief and utter panic as I see the end of this hot, humid weather on the horizon while at the same time flying ahead in my imagination 15 or so years when Zoe will leave for college (have I told you about that terrible habit of mine?). 

Anyway, we have had a great summer in part because of our participation in the Smart Summer Challenge, which we just finished up this week.  I admit I had a hard time coming up with stuff  for last week's "Out of This World" theme, but I did enjoy introducing all of the planets to Zoe.  I've always been really fascinated by all things space and have really fond memories of laying in the field next to our house with my big brother Ivan (smarty pants) as he patiently answered all the questions that popped into my head about stars and the moon such.  I wonder if Zoe will find it as mysterious and beautiful as I always have and I was excited to get her thinking about it all...funny (and a little frustrating) that I couldn't really come up with anything terribly original or exciting but maybe it was because unlike the other themes, space is so....well, it's not exactly very accessible is it?  Especially when you can't even look at the stars with your kids because they go to bed before it gets dark.  So we ended up doing a lot of coloring and looking up stuff on the internet.  The first day, we found a picture of the planets and sun and then drew them on our chalkboard together...I discovered that, despite the recent scientific developments regarding Pluto, I just couldn't leave the poor little guy out....I did my best to explain it to her and let her decide if we should leave it in our pictures or not...she agreed to leave it in...or rather, she reassuringly told me we could "Leave it in, Mommy" after witnessing me hem and haw about it for a few minutes:

Then for a bigger project that lasted a few days, we put together "Zoe's Planet Book".  We printed out a bunch of pictures so we had 3 pages per planet (and the sun) page with the first letter of the planet, one "coloring page" for her to express her interpretation of each planet, and one photo.  She's been loving working on it and has been showing it off all over town.  One day she brought it to the playground so that her friends could help her color it if they wanted to (did they ever!) and today she brought it into the Family Housing Office and was sure to show it to every single person in there...we have a couple of planets to work on still but she's been pretty persistent about it!

You get the, I guess we didn't do so badly this week...after all, this time last week she didn't really have much of a concept of our solar system and now she's walking around telling people that her favorite planets are Saturn and Earth!

So thanks to Candace at Naturally Educational,  MaryLea at Pink and Green Mama, and Amy at Teach Mama for the motivation and inspiration over these past 6 weeks--you gave me and Zoe another layer to explore this summer and I can't believe it flew by so fast!

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