So, this month’s article is going to be about two entirely different things, but with the way the year has gone so far, one or both may be explicable. Traveling and tutoring—depending on how your summer has gone so far, you may have an interest in this column, or neither may apply to your current situation. My daughter gave me the idea on traveling, as we have discussed family travel plans when we are able to “move around the country” as the commercial used to say. The other came about from all the homeschooling that took place during the last three months of the school year, and may continue this fall.
I enjoy planning trips. My husband, before the pandemic hit, frequently asked me where we were going next, or told me someplace he would like to visit for a short break. I then get busy researching several different travel sites until I find the place and price I like. Depending on where our destination is, I look for round-trip airfare, a highly rated hotel in a well-situated locale that includes breakfast, and a rental car. I also look at what is offered as extras for an additional cost, to see if these are things we would be interested in taking part in for the price. We are not fans of tours, as we like to be able to go and do as we please. It is fun to see what I can do with a budget I set. I love when I find deals that come in much lower than I thought possible.
Our eldest daughter has found a travel agent that she swears by and, I admit, has planned excellent vacations for her family. Since they are taking their children, who have varied interests and have six years between the oldest and youngest, I am amazed at the incredible, not only fun, but learning experiences she finds that they all enjoy. Either way you prefer planning a trip, it gives you something to look forward to during this unfortunate time.
With very little to keep some of us occupied during this time, it is fun to find places to travel when it is finally safe once more to be on the go. Right now, it is just research and future possibilities, but I can dream! A Disney World trip planned for October has been canceled and our bi-annual family trip for January has been postponed until Autumn 2021. Bummer, but surely this too shall pass, and I will look forward to planning our next escapade.
Now, about tutoring. If you are a grandparent that is helping with your grands’ schooling and are a little concerned with their reading skills, I have some suggestions. As my children were basically grown, I wanted to find a volunteer opportunity, and a friend pointed me to the Augustine Literary Project, which is now called, “Read WS. Read, Write, Spell,” trains tutors using Wilson materials. After several hours of intensive classes, volunteers go into one of several different schools where they are assigned to work one-on-one with a child who is struggling with their reading, writing, and spelling skills. Not only is it incredibly rewarding to see a child blossom from a non-reader to one who is so proud to be able to read, it is also an incredible experience that gives back more than you can imagine. You can find more information on-line at readws.org.
If the training class isn’t an option for you, there are other tools to help improve your grands reading, writing, and spelling skills. When my girls were very young, each summer I would buy several workbooks to help them learn a new skill or review what they had been taught throughout the school year. No matter what the subject, you can purchase books through online sources or a number of local retail stores. I recently found excellent ones at Costco for my daughter to use with her children. They enjoy doing a few pages every day. My daughter likes it that they have something to do that keeps them entertained while they learn, but also that their eyes aren’t locked in on a screen.
Hopefully, schools will be back open this fall, the virus will have abated, and life will return to some semblance of normalcy. Whatever this month brings, I hope it finds you and your loved ones in good health and humor and looking forward to what the future holds. May August be the start of good news that we all need!