While summer hasn’t actually yet started for us, I’m ready. The kids have 7 more days of school, which means I have 7 more days to finish getting things ready.
While I hear the recommendations of having a “70’s summer”, filled with Kool-Aid, playing outside all day, and a general lack of parental involvement (what will you mommas do with your time?! I am a bit jealous….), we live squarely in 2015 up here.
Day and Sports Camps
For June and July, Asante and Ada will each be doing a couple hours of camp each day right here in the neighborhood. Lots of kids, running around outside, playing games, a little swimming, maybe a field trip here and there. Aly decided to forego the camp (she highly dislikes activities that include competition and if she suspects any amount of competition, she is so out of there) and instead will be doing a couple summer school enrichment classes in subjects she LOVES: art and science. A couple evenings a week, Asante will be doing a basketball camp and a flag football camp. We aren’t able to manage a busy sports schedule during the school year (he only does soccer in both the fall and spring), so we’re using this summer to let him try out some other sports.
The schedules are all different, but everyone is within walking distance, so Anaya and I will spend a lot of time walking to and fro, eating picnic lunches, and playing on playgrounds.
When the older kids aren’t in their camps/classes, we’ll have a general schedule that we create together each weekend. I asked the kids if they wanted me to schedule blocks of time to do various things, or if they just wanted to fill their days how they wanted, and everyone, hands-down, wanted the schedule.
So, everyday we’ll have a devotional time in the mornings, and then when the kids aren’t in their daily camp, they will have some reading time, some artsy/crafty time for the girls (I think Asante will probably do chess during this time), a patch of screen time, a chunk of free time, and, a few times a week, some type of special project. The kids each have some things they’ve been wanting to learn or work on, so hopefully I can manage to learn some of those things along with them or at least get them the resources they need to teach themselves.
Summer Reading Programs
We’re doing a ton of different reading programs this summer. The kids are huge readers, and are typically finished with one reading program after a couple weeks :). So, this year we’ll be doing 3 different library’s reading programs, the Barnes and Nobles summer reading program, and also the one at Half Price Books. Two we’ll be doing simultaneously, but most will just be back to back. Really, the kids will read no matter what; they need no incentive, but they think it’s super fun to earn free books and tickets to baseball games, butterfly gardens, local farms and stuff like that. Of course Jake and I like them to do that too– because going anywhere with a family of 6 gets expensive fast!
Family Field Trips
Each week I have a family field trip planned. They are all places that we’ve wanted to go, but just don’t have the margin to do during the school year (do you see a theme? basically we’re really lame during the school year. The zoo is about as crazy as we get). Hopefully we’ll be headed to a small kid-oriented amusement park, a local cave, the butterfly gardens, a few splash pads, a pool, some beaches, the movies and a few outdoor hiking areas. Because the kids will be passing each other during the day, it’ll be fun to have some family time too.
August will feel more like summer vacation for us. We’ll go see the grandparents, have a week of vacation Bible school (3 of the 4 get to go this year!), a trip to the Dells, and a week to get our self organized for everyone to start the school year!
This summer really is going to fly by. I think we’re all looking forward to these 3 months off, and while we still have things going on, it’ll be so nice to have the kids around more often. Sure, they fight a lot more and that’s stressful to me, but really, I know these summers are numbered. When the kids are all in school (which will be in just a few short years), I’ll probably be going back to work outside the home and won’t have summers like this with them. I’m excited to spend it having fun and making memories!