We had a beautiful weekend here in Southern California, but instead of spending it outdoors, I spent a lot of it indoors, with this:
What is it? Well just a snapshot of how I have to plan our summer. For many, summer is about long, lazy days filled with sun, swimming, and NO SCHOOL. But for others, like myself, summer also means endless weeks that need to be filled with summer camps, summer school or childcare. With four kids and three separate households, this is no easy feat. To make matters worse, my summer strategizing has become increasingly complicated since my kids have grown older and they no longer want to spend the day crafting key chains and swimming. My teens would rather do something targeting their special interest, like sleeping, video gaming, sleeping, watching TV and sleeping. With the exception of 6 year-old Diego, this is the first summer when I will not be sending them to day camp, while Juan and I are at work.
After a lot planning, scheduling my summer in weekly increments, and coordinating with the other parents (Nico’s Dad and Olivia and Erica’s Mom) , we have decided that the older kids will take a summer school class or two and then spend the rest of their time at home. Now, my vision of “kids at home” is probably vastly different from what they think they will be doing. I plan on giving them a list of chores, including dinner preparations, requiring them to work on their summer homework packets and reading lists, and then when this is done, they’ll have some time to “chill.” I am sure this will go exactly as I am planning.
One thing I do know for sure, is that even though my summer planning requires a lot of coordination, this year is a bit simplified because I will have all three older kids going to one location. ONE LOCATION! This is huge. With one high schooler, two junior highers and a first grader, the regular school year means we have three different schools and three different drop offs and pick ups. This summer the older kids’ classes are at ONE campus. Yeah, this should be easy, right? Well, it is easier knowing that I will have one stop, but that would be too simple. It turns out that the classes for the kids are all at different times. One of them even the has a 2 hour break in the middle, and the others are done at different times. And unfortunately, the campus isn’t close enough to our house to make it easy for everyone to come and go according to their varied schedule. I spent a lot of time this weekend considering routes to school, planning how I could rearrange my work schedule options and strategizing about schedules and transportation. Bikes? Buses? Walking? Carpool? And what about those weeks when the kids are in the other parent’s house? Yeeesh. It’s enough to make me wish for year-round school or at least the good old days when they were content with making key chains and crafting lanyards. Maybe an afternoon of sleeping, video games, sleeping, TV and lazing around the house isn’t so bad after all?