Saturday, August 29, 2015

End of Summer - Back to School TIme

 Author: Jose G. Barr

 It is hard to believe that we are at the end of the summer and, at least for Joseph, school is about to start.  Where has the time gone?  It seems like just yesterday he was cleaning up his desk in 1st grade and getting ready to begin his vacation.

Over the past 3 months we have done some fun stuff together as a family and as part of the cub scouts.  We have tried to make the summer as fun as possible for Joseph, letting him have fun while still learning something new. While he was not in school, he still had his math and reading program (Kumon) that kept his skills sharp for the coming year.  The scouting activities included the Rain Gutter Regatta, where they learned about how wind moves a vessel across a body of water, and attending the Boy Scouts of America NOVA program.  We also went bowling several times, improving our skills with each game we played. Overall I believe that it was a great summer for my little buddy.

Kumon was started by Toru Kumon who, in 1954, designed math worksheets to allow his son to improve his math skills.  It was a fathers love for his son that gave birth to the program that Joseph attends today. The basic principle is to allow students to work at their own level, allowing them to grow their abilities at their own pace. Not only do they grow their abilities in mathematics and reading, they are also growing their confidence, knowing that they can learn and solve problems on their own.  For Ruby and me it was an easy decision to enroll Joseph in Kumon. We want him to succeed in all he does, and this is providing the foundation for his future endeavors.
Universal Studios - Summer 2015

The Boy Scouts of America Nova Awards program was started to foster the love of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in scouts.  There are 3 different programs, for cub scouts, boy scouts and Venture scouts.  The complexity of the program increases with the age of the children. For the cub scouts its all about simple, fun science experiments that foster their love of learning.  During the Saturday class the boys performed an experiment on candy. They used different liquids to see the effects they had on candy. Imagine my surprise when nail polish remover did nothing what so ever to an M&M.  It was a truly fun day for Joseph and Nicholas, learning and having fun together.

Bowling has been one of my favorite sports since I was in high school. At first it seems like such a simple thing to do, roll the ball and knock down some pins at the end of the lane. Simple right? Well, anyone who has ever bowled knows that its not that simple.  The ball seems to take on a life of its own once you release it, never quite going where you want it to go.  The more you play, the more you begin to learn how best to release the ball to get it to do what you want. Bowling alleys today include automated bumpers that rise into place for the younger players. This allows them a better opportunity to score while developing their bowling skills. Joseph enjoyed having his cousins Alyssa and Aileen as well as his Aunt and Uncle Ricardo and Sandra with him for the fun.

From Kumon to bowling and scouting, this summer has been one to remember. Joseph had a full, fun filled learning adventure with family and friends. The memories that we made will last a lifetime. We have loved and laughed, we have made the most of each and every day together because time is precious.  As a father I sometimes despair at the thought that my little boy is growing up.  He is so much more independent now and becoming more so with each day.  Next summer will present all new adventures four our little family. Ones that will be different from this past summer, but still a part of the fabric of who we are.
With his Cousin - Summer 2015
Aboard the USS Iowa, Summer 2015

Making Senior Green Belt (with Master John Park), Summer 2015
4th of July - Summer 2015
4th of July Fun - Summer 2015

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