A big part of their education and growth here is focused on improving yourself. They take several assessments over the course of the year to show where they are improving. Since we started late, the kids were bombarded with assessments over the last couple of months. Their strengths and weaknesses in plain sight for them to see. They have also noticed ways that they are different from the other kids in their class. They have all asked for help and they want to improve on their weaknesses.
So...I started researching how to get help. There is tutoring and centers and activities and so much that you can find but it felt so overwhelming. They are also young and I don't want them to spend so much time on learning that they sacrifice play time. Is there a way that I can help them and make sure they are still having fun too? I talked to my sister and friends who are teachers, I talked to the kids teachers, and started compiling suggestions and activities that I could do with the kids to help them. We now spend 30 minutes a day in what the kids call Cannavale school. We spend 10 minutes on writing, 10 minutes on reading, and 10 minutes on math. They have notebooks that tell them what they are going to do for those 30 minutes. We play games, we write about our days, we write silly poems, we use flashcards, and play on the computer. We laugh and we learn for 30 minutes a day. All 4 of us sit at the table so that I give the kids my undivided attention and work through any of their questions or struggles.
I thought the kids were going to hate it but instead they have embraced it. They even ask for it and want to be prepared for class. They have named it Cannavale school and call me Miss Mommy for those 30 minutes. Yesterday, after our "class" time, Taryn hugged me and said that it is really helping her. Sebastian was so proud of how much his writing improved that he said he was going to start writing better at school, all said with a huge smile on his face. I am so happy that one of my crazy ideas has taken off and is helping the kids while we spend quality time together. I know this isn't going to last forever but I'm going to take pride in helping them improve themselves and cherish the 30 minutes a day of "class" time.