When life throws you lemons, thank it for the snack

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Time

I know just about everyone relishes the idea of summer. I do not particularly enjoy the increased temperature, but the time is very gratitude inducing. And for the record, I don't enjoy the cold, either. I'm more of an 80 degree type of person with low humidity and partial cloud cover with no threat of rain. Yeah, I know it's not often I get this ideal weather. Perhaps that's part of the reason I enjoy it so much.

But I'm writing about summer. At the moment (and for the last 4 years) I teach college courses part-time at a local high school. I'm basically on loan (lease?) during the school year. This means that I am pretty much free during the summer. Well, I would be completely free--and completely insane--if I didn't have at least one summer class to teach. This year I happen to have just one class (a blow to the old bank account, but better than being completely unemployed) during the day when my daughter is in summer day camp. We decided to try a different summer camp [Note: these are all day camps that begin at 9am and end at 12pm, 2pm, or 4pm, depending on the particular camp] each week. My class begins after her camp starts and ends before she gets out of camp each day. And, the college is central to just about every camp location. This means that my daughter and I get to spend more time together than we do during the regular school year.

No, I don't spend every free moment with her. As an extreme introvert this would drive me nuts, no matter how much I love my daughter. I need some me time each day or I would completely lose it. But, I've managed to find time to work on filling in some gaps in her education--going into 5th grade, she was never taught phonics in school!--and keep her mind sharp in fun ways without turning it into homeschooling. We work on math a little--compete worksheets found online and play Yahtzee! together. We emphasize reading each day--she reads for close to an hour then writes a blog about what she read. Once a week is "science" day--biology/botany in the form of planting and caring for a garden, chemistry in the kitchen, etc. We will also play games like Operation or Lego building games to emphasize other sciences. I haven't quite figured out the "history" day yet, though I'm sure it will include ancient cultures--reading more Percy Jackson for Greek culture, Egypt stories, etc.--and American history (I love the History Channel's educational shows). Plus, we'll probably play something like Risk or some other historical based game that my husband tends to collect. As an avid crafter, we are throwing in an arts & crafts day each week as well. This will be an opportunity for both of us to stretch our creativity (and work on our Dragon*Con costumes!) at least once a week. I am not forgetting physical education. That will be covered with swimming or shopping. Yes, shopping is exercise, especially the way I do it--wandering around the store for an hour or two before finally settling on a purchase.

All-in-all my daughter is and will be learning quite a bit this summer, and I will be "teaching" her much. We have the first opportunity this year to actually spend some real quality time together without worrying about sending her away to visit the grandparents or anything like that. Believe it or not, this will be the first summer that I get to spend with my daughter, minus the week she's going to Disney World without me--I don't have the luxury of taking vacation until after my class is over because the time frame is so condensed. I feel confident in my plan and so far it seems to be working out well enough.

Overview of her camps:
Week 1: VBS camp at our church
Week 2: world cultures at the college
Week 3: dance camp
Week 4: Disney World with her dad
Week 5: camp at zoo
Week 6: science/engineering camp
Week 7: performing arts camp at the college

It's very likely that the next series of posts to this blog will be an overview of each of the camps as they conclude. No, I will not forget the squirrel of the month on the 28th, either.

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