Shifting into Summer Mode

Yesterday at 10:30 AM, Honeybee and Dimples’ summer break began.  I could have used another two weeks for my homeschoolers, but when summer begins for one person, it is hard for the rest to press on. Rusty is the only one who still has classes — poor Rusty.

Last Saturday we made an unexpected trip to Seattle for an appointment with Dimples’ therapist. I am so thankful she was able to get her in on short notice; we needed some help.  I took Eby and Little Man along to lighten the load for the big kids and made some quick plans for Honeybee and Sunshine.  It all worked pretty well.  Mimi made one emergency visit to take one little girl with her for a couple of hours, but overall, everyone was fine.

Dimples had a good appointment, but I was discouraged when she slipped back into some old patterns before we were halfway to the car.  I wanted to go back, knock on the therapist’s door, and tell her we needed a “do-over”, but she was on her way out and our time was up.  The drive home continued to be challenging, but eventually, we settled into the miles and by 9:00 we were driving up our driveway.

I’m working on a summer routine that will include a nice balance of structure and fun.  I want everyone to have lots of time to play outside, be creative, swim (when it gets warm someday), and be active.  I also know that it is an opportunity to make some strides academically, but with low pressure. Honeybee and Dimples both need to work on reading this summer, particularly reading aloud to gain more fluency.  Sunshine needs to master her multiplication facts, and I would like Eby and Little Man to continue making progress on reading.

I just ordered a FlashMaster for the kids to use for practicing math facts.  I know I could print out loads of practice sheets, but I think this will be easier for me.  I have a decent computer program too, but with one computer and lots of kids, it isn’t always easy for everyone to get their turn.  Overall, I hope the FlashMaster will make it easier for me to keep the kids moving along on their math facts.  Eby can even use it to practice addition. It is expensive, but with so many kids still memorizing their facts, I think I’ll get my money’s worth out of it.

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Have a great day everyone!


This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Heidi
    May 26, 2011

    It's always good to hear from you and I wanted to let you know that I've used a lot of your advice in my work with the girls in our group home…it's going great! Your compassionate, patient, godly heart has made an imprint on how I work with these young ladies from, "the hard places."

    Praying you all get settled into your summer routine! 🙂

  2. Emily
    May 26, 2011

    I've heard great things about Learning Wrap-ups, too:
    Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

  3. Elizabeth
    May 26, 2011

    I have a question that's only slight related to the shifting to summer topic: if I remember correctly, your family has a bunch of animals, right? Do you have the kids work with the animals as therapy that they don't know is therapy? Are you going to make animal projects part of your summer? Just wondering if you have any good ideas in that area.

    1. One Thankful Mom
      May 27, 2011

      Hi Elizabeth, We actually only have cows and two barn cats right now. We had a wonderful dog, but he died awhile ago and we haven't gotten another one. I think a dog would be great for our kids and very therapeutic, but we don't want to add anything more to our lives right now. My friend, Coffeemom, wrote a great guest post for me about her daughter's dog – it almost made me get one! You can read it here:

  4. Cat
    May 27, 2011

    I always look forward to summer and yet.. once it's "here" there is that moment of panic knowing the unease that can so easily settle in. And making enough time to get everyone the read aloud time they need is another area we seem to struggle with…

    We have been using this free online game "Timez Attack" this year and it has been really helpful for the girls to better memorize their multiplication facts! 🙂


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