Saturday, May 08, 2010

Summer Plans

I love this time of year. The weather is great - warm, sometimes hot, but no humidity yet. We can spend lots of time outside (both my family and my preschool class). We're winding down in school and I'm thinking of ways to celebrate the fun we had this year. My thoughts are also turning to next year and how I want to do things differently, better. And the summer hasn't even started yet, so it's completely ahead of us, endless possibilities, fun in the making.

We opted not to do camp this summer, except for a theater camp DH and I both teach that the kids attend for free. That meets at night (6 - 8) twice a week, so it's fun, but not a major time commitment. The boys both qualified for ESY (extended school year) for the first time, which I was excited about, thinking they would be getting much needed services that will keep them both from regressing over the summer. Then I spoke with the people who run and found out that B would only be getting a 1/2 hour of Speech and a 1/2 hour of OT once a week, which would come to one hour once a week. A qualifies for more, one hour of Speech, one hour of OT, and a 1/2 hour of PT. I don't know what I was envisioning when I got the paperwork and it said Tuesday through Thursday, 9-12. I guess it was that they would be attending school Tuesday through Thursday, 9-12! No, what it actually means is that B will be attending one hour on one of those days, some time between 9 and 12 and A would be attending for one hour on Tuesday, one hour on Wednesday, and for half an hour on Thursday, any time between 9 and 12. I should be thrilled that the qualify for school-sponsored services, but it sounds like it will cut into anything we plan to do with the kids. And we STILL don't know when they would be going, and I can't stand waiting for someone else to schedule us for me to be able to schedule the rest of the summer. I know, I'm a control freak, but I've accepted that.

The biggest thing the boys need over the summer (and it wouldn't be a bad thing for the little girl either) is to have structure. They can't have unlimited electronic time, they can't stay up late every night, they can't just "hang out" day after day. With that in mind, we have come up with a loose structure for our summer days:

Museum Monday - Every Monday we will venture to a different museum. We live outside of Philadelphia, so there are tons to choose from. Let's see, we have:
  1. The Franklin Institute
  2. Please Touch Museum
  3. Garden State Discovery Museum
  4. Art Museum
  5. Acadamy of Natural Sciences
  6. The Zoo (not technically a museum, but I think it counts)
  7. Brandywine River Museum
  8. Delaware Children's Museum
  9. Morris Arboretum (I've never been there but I've heard good things)
  10. The Helicopter Museum
  11. Crayola Factory
  12. The Elmwood Park Zoo (another that I've not been to but have heard good things)
  13. Independence Seaport Museum
  14. Philadelphia Insectarium (can't say I've ever been here either but I think the kids would love it)

Hmm, that's a pretty good list, especially considering that there are only about ten weeks in the summer!

Totally Terrific Movie Tuesday - Free family movies at Regal Cinemas. Can't beat free!

Wacky Wednesday - This will be our day to try out silly stuff. I'm not sure exactly what those things will be yet, but I have a hunch if we were to have, say, a water balloon fight, it will take place on a Wednesday.

Theater Thursday -We have a fabulous children's theater program nearby, where teenagers work to put together a different, high-quality, children's theater production each week. We all (kids and grown ups) have loved every show we have seen. When I was in high school I did the program for a year or two, and I would not be surprised if our kids end up doing it when they get older. Here's a link to last year's shows. I can't wait to see what shows they'll be doing this summer!

Fun with Friends Friday - As the name implies, every Friday we will attempt to set up playdates for the kids either at our house, at some neutral location (like a park), or at a friends' house.

Sleepy Saturday - Don't know if this one will work every week, but this will be our day to stay in our PJs and make some kind of more labor-intensive breakfast (together) and watch some extra tv.

Super Slide Sunday - Sunday will be our day to seek out different parks in the area. Maybe we'll even create our own playground guide, so we'll first decide how to rate each park and then I'll let them work on the computer to publish something (A is an expert on computers so he can be in charge of this).

And there we have it. We will be creating our Rainy Day alternatives for days when needed, which I will work on later. With the exception of Mondays, and possibly some Fridays, most planned activities will be for the mornings. That will leave the afternoons for the kids to each have their alloted electronic time (normally 15 minutes/kid, may increase somewhat for the summer) and a little down time before heading outside to play with the neighbors, in the sprinkler, riding bikes - basically some regular, unstructured, freeplay time. I'll probably work in some OT activities and Math games designed to have each kid practice their basic facts, but I'll figure out ways to do that where it doesn't seem like work (at least that's my plan).

Do you have plans for the summer yet? What are you doing with YOUR kids?


MemeGRL said...

Not to comment on your summer plans twice but hello, I'm mentally totally there too. In our district, there is something called "Summer Panthers" for the wraparound kids (or at least some of them). You should check to see if maybe your district has something like that. It's a camp ESY experience and our nephew love love loved it.
Also, email me offline about the theater camp! We might be interested in attending. (And by "we" I mean my kids, of course. I gotta get out more.)

Juliet said...

That sounds wonderful - what a great idea to have that structure in the holidays - it will be great family time too. It is coming into winter in New Zealand so your summer break sure sounds fun