Planning my Summer

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Summer madness starts now! Well, kind of. I noticed that last week, my email was overflowing with camp ads with that hurry up “spots fill up quickly” friendly warning.

I love summer camps and all things kids activities. I also have mixed feelings about the long-term effectiveness of them all.

Growing up, we went to a few camps. Americans are more into camping than Brazilians just to be fair. Also, my parents have 5 children and we were not gazillionaires.

I know that in 2019, if I register all my kids to camps I think are interesting, I would spend a solid $20,000. If you are a person who spends $20,000 per summer on kids activities, you have my love, respect, and encouragement.

If like me, you have to make choices and work within a budget, you too have my love, respec, and encouragement.

Here are some ideas on how to think about the upcoming summer and the activities you may want to involve your kids.

• Think about the summer as a whole. What is the priority for your family? Paying someone to keep your kids busy is different than investing in them from a long-term perspective. Another thing to consider is the following: when your kids are your age, what would you like them to remember? I sure hope my kids remember family time and not the curriculum of the uncredited STEM camp they attended.

• Once you have your list of priorities, look at the calendar and plan your weeks. Family vacation and vacation Bible school (VBS) are on top of my list. If I see an interesting camp we may add that to our calendar as well. The key is not to feel desperate about how you are planning on investing your time. My favorite thing to do is to decide ahead of time how I want to feel. I sure don't want to be frazzled next summer.

• Summer Day Camp Coop is also a great option for all moms. Every mommy friend of yours has a talent or a skill. Imagine if you all got together to share those talents with your kids? I’m a firm believer that moms can help one another. I've been blogging about this for years. I may need to take a different direction with this one.

• The public library has special events during the summer. The events are always exciting, educational and they offer a break from the heat.

Friend, if you do not plan your summer, someone else might plan it for you. If you are that mom that over plans it, decide to include downtime in your schedule.

Don’t let the summer catch you off guard. Plan for what you know is coming and enjoy this wonderful season in your family's life.