As a working mother of two kids, one of whom is school age (he's going into second grade this fall, which makes me want to weep because WHERE IS MY BABY), planning out our summer activities is one of the most stressful things I do. Since I am at work until the afternoon, both kids are enrolled in back-to-back weeks of camp. There's soccer camp, and ocean camp, and golf camp, and camp camp camp all the livelong day. I know they have fun and stay busy, but I really stress out about having them so overscheduled. I read Swistle's post about summer regimens and it really got me thinking.
I remember as a kid, having whole afternoons to run through the sprinklers in our bathing suits, and getting the privilege of helping my dad wash his car. (Yes, we were brainwashed to think this was a plus. Point: my parents!). We swam in the neighbors' pool, spent lazy afternoons at the beach and just generally had a fine time. Now, my mom was a piano teacher who worked at home, and my dad had his own business at the house, so they were always around and available. I don't have this to offer my kids, so here's what I'll be doing.
I usually pick them up from camp in the late afternoon. Then, once we get home, I have them go to their rooms to play or read for a little while, to encourage some quiet downtime after the camp hustle and bustle. Then I send them outside to play or walk them to the park. If it's particularly hot, we might go get frozen yogurt or go to our community pool. If I hear "I'm bored," well, that's when the chores will get doled out. Yeah, that's right kids, saying you're bored will NOT WORK IN YOUR FAVOR.
Now, I'm also enforcing my son to do a little bit of work. He has to read part of a chapter book each day, and I'm going to have him keep a weekly journal so he works on his penmanship. This is somewhat of a summer regimen, I guess. I'm really interested to hear how other families handle their summers.
If you've got school age kids, how do you manage summer activities?