Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Fun Club 1 and 2

We've survived, pretty successfully, our first week of summer break.  Here's how we're spending our time.

Most mornings, we have swim lessons for Ginger and Hazel at a nearby club that we don't belong to.  We're on the waiting list, but that means we have to leave after lessons.  Bummer.  But that, my friends, is the nature of the Arlington pool club rat race.  And that's another post.

Then we do some activity or errand - Costco, playdate, park, library, etc. before coming home for lunch.  After lunch, Poppy goes down for a nap and we all have an hour of "down time."  This means I go in my room and close the door.  I read or rest, and that's how, to everyone's benefit, I don't burn out before bed time.  Hazel and Ginger are on their own in the house to play, read, draw, write, etc.

But not watch TV.  TV and computer games have gone largely unregulated around here the last few years, and especially since Poppy was born.  This summer I'm taking it back.  I made Ginger and Hazel big binders of age-appropriate worksheets, mostly from, and there's also a pocket folder with a slim journal/reading log for each.  They can do them any time, and hand in six worksheets, or four and a reading log, for 30 minutes of screen time.  Monday, they each did a dutiful six and received 30 minutes, which they each carefully split - Ginger had 15 TV/ 15 iPhone; Hazel 15 computer/ 15 iPhone (they like the More Donuts! app.)  Tuesday, they didn't even think about it (I don't know if they were too busy or just don't want to do the worksheets.  I like to think it's that they don't miss TV.)

After down time, around 2 o'clock, we have Summer Fun Club.  As I mentioned before, this was a genius invention-of-desperation of my mom's, that had a lasting impression on me, and is one of my oldest and strongest summer memories.  It's not really about what you do.  It's about having time set aside, for something planned, which gives us all something to look forward to.  Having a plan is the key.  Hazel likes to know what it is ahead of time; Ginger likes it to be a surprise.  Either way, each is happy.

1 - Monday, we had our first meeting.  We discussed how SFC will work and took suggestions for activities (Ginger wants an "inside field trip" - to another room.  Hazel wants, of course, to cook.)  Then we made our membership cards - cutting, gluing, coloring, stickers - and slipped them in badge holders.  We will wear them for every meeting.

  We also cleaned up the office - the most neglected room in our house (and that is saying something) - so we can have a nice place to work and meet this summer.

2 - Tuesday we wrote cards to Aunt Natalee, Ed's sister on a mission in Romania.  I brought out my stationary drawer, full of nice note cards they could choose from.  They each wrote a note and drew a picture.  Then we placed them, and some photos I'd collected, in a large manilla envelope and addressed it.  We will be mailing it Friday as part of our Summer Fun Club field trip that day.

After SFC we have a snack, and have "free time."  Hazel must practice guitar but they are otherwise free to play, do worksheets, redeem for screen time, play outside, etc.  Then we have dinner - alas!  this is the last week of Dinner Swap!!! - followed by chores/dishes, baths, and bed.

It's SOOO nice to have a break from homework and other impositions.  We can do baths every night if we want (they love baths.)  We can read a couple extra chapters at bedtime and it's no big whoop if they turn in at 8:45 instead of 8:15.  And that hour in the middle of the day when I get a "required" break is like magical manna from heaven - Ed is quite sage for suggesting it.

Stay tuned for the next couple meetings of SFC!

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