School is about to begin and the long summer vacation is officially over. Did you survive the lengthy days with your kids at home? Parents face the dilemma every year of how to make the most of the summer… Do you enjoy their time off? Or do you count down the days until school starts again? We asked some of our favorite bloggers to share their preference… kids in school or out for the summer?
“One o’clock, two o’clock…eleven o’clock, midnight! Ghost in the Graveyard!” My son yells these words with glee, as loud as his 7-year old lungs will allow. On his call, kids race around our yard in the dark, screaming with joy. Away from the action, we relax by the firepit with friends. We listen to the kids’ laughter, we enjoy our drinks, we splurge on a toasted marshmallow. It’s a perfect summer night.
During the school year, my kids’ days are a merry-go-round of homework, sports, piano, and school events. We go and we go and we go, and eventually, I dream of the warm temperatures and slower-pace to come. Before long, we’ll swim at the beach, play tennis, read books in the hammock, and have time for all of the board games our little hearts’ desire. We’ll relax. I look forward to it with a vengeance.
Do I also look forward to raising a glass this fall, with my girlfriends, when all of our kids are in school for the first time ever? You bet I do. I’ll lift my mimosa in a toast and savor the taste of freedom—no kids for hours!—that I haven’t had, on a regular basis, for almost thirteen years. But as the months pass, and the winter thaws to spring, I’ll start longing again for summer: for the days of kids sleeping in and playing at the beach; of nights filled with bonfires and s’mores. I’ll start the countdown. I pick summer every time.
-Kirsetin, Hip Mom’s Guide
As the approaching days of summer draw near, a sense of burden start to weigh on the shoulders of moms everywhere. An overwhelming feeling begins to creep up your spine, & the underlining question finally erupts, “How in the WORLD am I to fill 75 days?!” As the survivor of 11 summers as a mom, I’ve discovered tried & true summer boredom busters! In fact, if you follow these tips, you’ll have more angst sending your kiddos to school then you did the last week of school!
First, designate one day per week as “Field Trip Day”. Gather your family together and make a Top Ten list… be sure to include your favorite destinations, but also include places you have yet to experience. Once your Top Ten list is complete, calendar your list.
Second, Plant a Garden! Nothing says “fun” like playing in dirt. Whether you plant a few herbs in a pot or nurture a vegetable garden, you’re creating an environment where children become more appreciative of the natural world while learning responsibility and patience. Best of all, they reap the benefits of their efforts at the end of the season!
Third, put together a “Tool Box Art Kit” full of craft items. This provides a creative outlet for your children & is the perfect at-home alternative to media outlets. Shop at recycling/second hand stores to fill your box with items such as stickers, pom pom balls, material scraps, lead-free paint, and art brushes.
Finally, remember that childhood is but a brief moment. Children live for summers, & we as their mothers should follow their lead! We are given this seasonal opportunity to create memories to last a lifetime. As busy as our summers are, unavoidably, my heart sinks each time I think about sending my little ones off to school once again. Sure, by the end of the first week I remember how much I love the structure of a school day (& quiet moments)… but I DO miss the carefree days of summer!
-Julianne R., SeattleMama.com
I will not be shy! Do I prefer MY kids in school or out? For now, out. Here's why... I am a stay at home mom (thanks hubby for supporting this), and I love my kids. No, I ADORE them. Yes, often they bug me and get on my nerves, VERY often. But I bug them too. Yes, often they do naughty things that make me want to send them off to school. But I just can't. Not because I fear for their lives. Not because I'm scared to throw them into the big, bad world. I mean they will be thrown out or want to leave home sooner or later anyway, right? And not because schools are careless or corrupt. I just want to teach them around home (notice I did not say at home), library, zoo, hospitals, museums, mountains - the possibilities are endless. Really I want to teach them because I know them best. I know how they learn, I know their desires.
I want to help my kids explore and discover their world with more freedom. I want them to meet people of all ages and in all settings, I want them to serve continually. I want learning to bring joy to their souls. I want it to be more hands-on, more active, and more one-on-one than most schools can offer. I want it to be what they want to make it, with a little help and supervision from me and hubby. For us it isn't so much about home schooling as it is about life schooling or life learning. I want them to love to learn and as their mom I would love to be part of their journey.
-Brandy H. - blogger, Luvs and Life
As a father of eight, whose primary business over the last 18 years has been focused on swim lessons and summer sports camps, I love the summer. We have been lucky to have many of our children grow up in our business, working as swim instructors, kitchen helpers, camp counselors and coaches. It has been both rewarding and challenging to have them work with us. Sometimes, we find we held them to a higher standard than a normal teenager. Sorry guys, ahhh, the price of being a family member.
I love the fact that during the summer, on the days we work late, the kids are free to join us for a late evening hike, dinner or to just hang out. Most days they come home tired from their jobs or summer school or sports team workouts. But amazingly, if mom and dad are buying dinner, the energy level picks up and a few join us.
By the nature of our business, we get home a bit late and eat out frequently. But now with only teenagers in the house or older married kids in the neighborhood, dinner at 8 or 8:30 or even 9pm is fun. If we go out, often times we miss the rush at popular places and can just kick back and enjoy the stories of the day.
I believe the summer is a time to let your brain rest and explore new avenues of learning. A teenager can learn as much about life and their own talents in 90 days of hard summer work than they will from 9 months of schoolwork. Work hard during the day and be a bit irresponsible in the evening. Stay up late watching movies, but then everyone has to get up and rock ‘n roll to work in the morning. Great times and great lessons.
-Bob H., blogger -- Swim School Bob