After much consideration, we've decided to roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer for Bud. He won't be attending summer school.
He's eligible for the school district's summer session: a wonderful program for the month of July, four mornings a week in a small class with a low teacher-to-student ratio. Initially I jumped at the opportunity to enroll Bud in it. Then I watched Bud struggle through the last days of the school, and I started to consider the transition to the summer program from his perspective:
an unfamiliar (and long) commute
to an unfamiliar classroom
in an unfamiliar school building
with unfamiliar teachers
and unfamiliar routines
with unfamiliar children
for a month.
Then a farewell to everything and everybody involved in the summer program and a month off before making the transition to first grade and a new classroom in his old school with a new teacher and mostly new routines with some familiar kids and some unfamiliar ones.
He could do it; I know he could do it. It would be a difficult transition at first; he would be resistant, he'd cry a bit, he'd spend a good deal of time reciting scripts and pacing, but eventually he would settle in and make the best of it.
But to what end?
I'm not concerned that he'll "regress" during the summer. I'm not concerned that he'll be bored if he's not in school; Bud does not get bored easily. I'm not concerned that the lack of routine will be dysregulating for him.
In fact, on the contrary, I think Bud could use some down-time. I think that having a fun, lazy summer will recharge Bud's battery and help him to fully engage in making a successful transition to first grade in the fall.
So instead of going to school, Bud will spend four days a week with Nana, who says she's up for the adventure. We've arranged for two hours a week of private tutoring in reading with a teacher who knows and loves him, which will give him a chance to focus his energy on an area of strength and not just on areas of deficit. We'll continue to do RDI at home. We'll take advantage of programs at the library. We'll seek out opportunities to play with - or at least near - other children.
And other than that, Bud will spend his time splashing in the inflatable pool we set up in the backyard, making trips to the lake to float on his orange tube and catch minnows in his net, tending to the pumpkin seed he planted in the garden, exploring the woods around our house, visiting the children's science museum, going to the park to toss rocks into the stream, eating popsicles and ice cream, creating elaborate pretend-play scenarios that involve sending beach balls and soccer balls and basketballs up and down the slide at the playground, playing hard, getting dirty, and sleeping well.
This summer Bud's just going to be a kid.