Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Coussoule Curriculum

Summer is here!! No more school, no more books, no more learning... well, unless you're a kid in the Coussoule household. If that's your lot in life, then your Fayetteville Public School year may be over, but the Twelve Weeks of Summer Coussoule Curriculum has just begun.

Justin and I both have very high expectations when it comes to our children and their education. We think the local school district does a great job, but there's always an opportunity to enhance what they learn from their teachers. Given that both kids already read above grade level, and John's math skills tested off the charts for a kindergartner, we decided that this summer, it isn't enough to ensure simply that minimally they didn't lose their skills. This summer is an opportunity to give them something to really challenge them (not to mention keep them from getting on each other's last nerve before the end of the first week of break).

I spent most of last Sunday putting together a by-subject, by-week curriculum to keep them academically engaged during the summer. This summer, we're going to read; write; color; create; and discover some new wonders of science. We're also going to take piano lessons, memorize Bible verses, and do our daily and weekly chores. (You can access the spreadsheet by clicking the image below.)

And of course, the Fayetteville Public Library's summer reading program will ensure we make our way through hours of good books - one of the raffle prizes this year is an iPad Mini. John is off-the-charts motivated to get as many entries as possible in for that one!

On Monday, Justin took them to the local teacher supply store and picked out a stack of workbooks. Math; Science; Handwriting; Social Studies. Just think of the possibilities.

I think what I'm most excited about is the journaling. I had a ton of fun brainstorming three prompts per week for twelve weeks. Some of them are seasonal, some of them require critical thinking, and some of them are just fun. Based on the results from the first one this week, there will be plenty of Friday Feature material throughout the summer.

With all of this structure, I figure I'm well on my way to solidifying Meanest Mom on the Block status. Never fear - there will be plenty of free time for the kiddos this summer. Next week is Camp Invention; Gramma and Papa arrive on the 18th; we're signed up for Catholic Kidz Camp; and we'll definitely fit in a trip to Houston. Caroline has big plans to participate in a Kids Triathlon, and of course, it isn't summer if there isn't lazy time to play with the neighborhood kids, dig in the sandbox, or chase your sister around the backyard.

I have my own curriculum this summer - I've committed to making at least one new recipe per week all summer. It's a little bit self serving - making every recipe in a cookbook is an item on my life list, and there's no time like the present to get working on it - but it's also a great way to see if we can find some new ideas for the meal rotation. I also plan to read aloud to the kiddos as many children's classics as we can get through. We're starting with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and so far, it's a hit. I can't wait for James and the Giant Peach; Wind in the Willows; Charlotte's Web; or whatever classics we check out from the library.

So, Summer - we're so glad you're here. We can't wait for all of the fun we're going to have, and the things we're going to learn.

Sara Lawrence Lightfoot said: "There must be a profound recognition that parents are the first teachers and that education begins before formal schooling and is deeply rooted in the values, traditions, and norms of family and culture."

Justin and I are taking that to heart this summer.


  1. "(You can access the spreadsheet by clicking the image below.)" <----- Made me LAUGH. OUT. LOUD.

    1. Just because I talk like I'm at work ALL THE TIME... I don't get it. bwahahaha

  2. What a great post. Very inspiring. I'm going to implement some things in our schedule. Have a great summer. Beth

  3. i thought i was the meanest mom on the block for buying workbooks! i printed your spreadsheet and definitely plan to use some of it! Thank you for sharing!

  4. Love your spreadsheet. I hope you don't mind if I use some of your ideas for Kennedy's annual Mom School!

    1. Monica, I'm flattered!! I love that you can use them, too!