I can't believe that we are only three full school weeks away from the start of the summer vacation! It doesn't seem five minutes since the snow was on the ground and we were wishing some heat, now, it is upon us and planning has started.
We don't have the usual 6 week vacation like we would do in the UK, instead we have between 12 and 13 weeks break!!!! This takes a lot of planning to ensure that everyone is only partially bored lol, no one goes stir crazy (particularly me!), arguing is at a minimum, the beach is at a maximum and school work doesn't completely go by the wayside.
Each holiday the children pick a topic that they want to study. Last year they researched Arizona and The Grand Canyon and this year we are going to look at Mexico. I try to find activities that are related to that: music, games, arts and crafts as well as other more "schooly" activities such as math and language work. Fortunately, the kids tend to choose a project that comes from one of our jaunts, so we are able to do lots of "hands on" learning. In fact, Master Beehive the elder, will be our voice when we go to Mexico in the summer as he is the only one who can speak more than three tourist phrases of Spanish! Both the boys will keep a journal, as they always do when we go on a holiday and they will probably want to add to their scrap books over the summer too.
I find the best way to handle this huge amount of time, is to set a rhythm to each day, so we tend to start off leisurely, with some "lessons or crafts" around 10ish for an hour or maybe two, then we will do chores, laundry, gardening, baking or meal prep etc. Then the afternoons we like to go to the beach, visit a museum or two, go to the library, have playdates and generally hang out. The kids are also intermittently going to a variety of camps for an hour or two some days or, a whole day one week! They are going to be going on a nature camp, drama camp, Master Beehive the elder is going on a film making course for two weeks (mornings only) and tennis camp. Hopefully this won't over fill their days, but will put something in here and there that wears a different face to Mummy! I also hope to take them up to the Cape to stay with our good friends for a weekend and I may try to squeeze a weekend in the UK in August if things go ahead with our house buying back in the UK.
I hope that the weeks will be fun and energising with them, with plenty of time for relaxing, enjoying friends, celebrating a birthday or two and travelling. Trying to find a good balance isn't as easy as it seems with three of differing ages either!
Of course, I need to get my sweet dumb blonde head out of the cuckoo land clouds that I have them wedged in and remember that interspersed with all this is going to probably be lots of hot, sweaty beached-out three year old and thirty six year old tantrums, eight and nearly six year old spats and confrontations with mama about why they can't practise their tennis strokes against the lounge window or use their racquets as sibling swats, lots of room re-decoration and reorganization from LMB (and I am having a rather deluded thought about just letting her get on with it for the whole 12 weeks and then just do one clean up of her room at the end to save my knees- but I don't think I will be able to find her after week 2!) and probably one or two disagreements over my well thought out and regimented routine for the days, but through these rose tinted specs - I'd say our summer looks pretty lush right now.
So here's to a nice crisp Chardonnay on the terrace (ho ho!) Cheers!