Tuesday, June 03, 2014

School's Out for the Summer...

Well for some of us.

My daughter's last day of school was this past Friday and I know that many of our friends are also rounding out the school year in the next couple of days.  This begs the question, what to do with your kids this summer so that the break is just that and not a prison sentence for you or them.

Scheduling camps and structured activities are an important part of the summer experience. It gives kids something to look forward to and gives parents a bit of break from the inevitable "I'm bored" mantra.  Camps can be expensive but don't have to be and our area offers several reasonable options for all budgets.  It may be that some are full or on a wait list but keep searching and something will present itself.  If  not, work with other local parents to make up your own camps. Each of you take a day or two to plan and organize activities and field trips.  Listed below are links to some area camps that I have had wonderful personal experiences with and some that my daughter has also enjoyed.

Camp DonLee
NC 4-H Camps
Camp HanesYMCA
Old Salem Summer Camps
Sawtooth Summer Art Camps
Children's Theatre Greensboro
Children's Theatre Winston-Salem

With all of those opportunities available, it's tempting to schedule every minute and every day.  However, you don't want to take away the beauty that is truly summer.  Those lazy days of sleeping in, late breakfasts in front of the t.v watching the Price is Right or lounging by the neighborhood pool.  These unstructured days are what summer is all about!  Again, it's tempting to allow the kids this freedom to lounge and relax, but make sure that the iPhone isn't the focal point of this time.  Having specific times for phone usage is more critical than ever, especially in an age where kids are "hiding" in their phones as a way not to have to interact with other kids and adults.  I could write on this topic forever, but let's save it for another day--maybe a good winter post!

Apps to Monitor Phone Usage

It's also a great time for kids to catch up on reading, take a class in an area that interests them or get some additional tutoring for a subject that is challenging for them.  Preparation for upcoming courses, as painful as it can be, is a great gift to bestow on your child. The Duke TIP program, some local school boards and organizations such as Sylvan offer new course study and tutoring.

Duke TIP
Sylvan Learning Centers

Earning money, as my daughter gets older, has become more and more important to her.  She is interested in having her own "stash" for shopping and sports.  This time of year presents itself to establish additional chores, allowing the kids to organize areas of the home that you've been putting off all winter or putting together photo albums that have been stored on memory sticks and in phones.  Giving them the opportunity to earn a little of their own cash is a great way to start an understanding of money, its value and a healthy appreciation of how quickly it goes. :)

Money Saving Tips for Teens

Have a wonderful summer break and I would love to hear from you as to what you and your family plan to do with your free time this summer!