Monday, May 30, 2011

Planning a fabulous summer on a budget!!

First of all, let me begin by saying that I just found the collage below and FELL IN LOVE!!!
Isn't this the MOST adorable??
Click on it to be taken to the author's website where you can print it out for FREE.
It's an 8x10 print, and I'm putting mine in a frame to keep it handy for when we get bored!!!

We're almost finished with our homeschooling for the summer, and no one is more thrilled with this than.....
the TEACHER!!!
Let me just say, it's been a rough year for me!!
Several weeks ago, I began thinking toward our summer!!
Summertime is the BEST time to fill in some of the educational gaps that may have sprung open somewhere between the days filled with "SQUIRREL" moments {my description of the attention spans of my ADHD-er's taken from the movie UP}, mountains of laundry to fold, made-from-scratch meals to prepare, and wintertime sickness!!

So I'm always on the lookout for things to do that are not only fun, but will nurture my children in 4 areas:

The scriptures tell us in Luke 2:52:

"And Jesus increased in
{1} Wisdom,
{2} and Stature,
{3} and in Favor with God 
{4} and man."

When I was working as a summer camp counselor at a Christian Camp many years ago, I heard it put this way:

"Here we have a description of the Lord Jesus as a child,
and goals we can develop for our own children.

Jesus grew:
{1} Intellectually
{2} Physically
{3} Spiritually
{4} Socially

These have become "guideposts" for me as I think about the goals I want to set for each of my children to achieve this summer.  I don't want them to JUST have fun, but also to grow in each of these 4 areas as well.

So grab a calendar....I like to print off these calendars from Jan Brett!

Here are these that I automatically start filling in my June-August calendars with:

{1}  Vacation Bible School
Last summer there were no less than EIGHT {8} separate weeks of VBS available in my area
at neighboring churches of like faith.
I absolutely do not feel bad about using these opportunities for my children because it accomplishes all
of the goals listed above that I have for my children.
Also, when my husband and I were directing the VBS program at our own church, we welcomed children
from within the community.
It gave us chance to get to know others in our area, plus the more children, 
the better the gametimes, classtimes, assembly times, etc!!
I was very impressed with how several churches ran their programs and the safety/security they offer the parents.  I also never had a problem with leaving my Type 1 Diabetic child either.
We always found that their friends were all going at the same time too, 
and many of them are aware of her needs.
Then, of course, I always use the plethora of crafts they make as Christmas presents for grandparents!

{2}  Check out your local library!!
For the last 8 years or so, our local children's librarian has had a summer packed FULL of great activities that are free and open to the public.
Tuesday evenings we had puppet shows, music programs, magic shows, etc.

There were different craft times throughout the week,
Read 25 books and earn great prizes.
In the past, we have gotten free tickets for roller skating, the circus, ice cream and more.
I always save those and use them for empty days.

{3}  Look around and see what specialty camps are available in your area.
Last year, my artistic, ADHD daughter did a week of art camp at a local art school,
and a few of our other children participated in a soccer camp.

I've also seen, in my area, horse camps and theatre camps!!

{4}  Summer church camp!!
My husband and I believe that this is one of THE MOST important weeks in the whole summer for our children.

They are away from all outside media, their neighborhood friends, siblings, routine of home,
and it enables them to totally focus on some spiritual decisions and paths they should be taking!
We don't usually have the {roughly} $500 available in our budget for sending three children to summer camp,
so we start in the spring raising funds for this together as a family!!
Our favorite way is to pick up a few boxes of candy at Costco, and set them up in the breakrooms of the places my husband is employed.
We ask $1 a bar and have found folks to be very generous with us!
This year, we're also having a garage sale with grandma,
and plan on selling candy bars and cans of soda there, as well.
All proceeds go to offset the cost of camp.

{5} Special lessons or classes
Is there a specialized skill that you would like your child to achieve this summer?
How about swimming lessons?
Check-out your craft/hobby store for crafting classes during the summer.

{6}  Participate in your local county or state fair!!
Last year my crafty daughter was inspired to enter our state fair, and we had to get these items prepared and turned in during the month of July.
This year, I plan on encouraging my ADHD lego enthusiast to enter a lego creation in the fair.
That will take some time and preparation.
Our artist is also interested and will need to be preparing her entries as well!!

{7}  Other miscellaneous fun things to do:
Get a summer job {dog walking, car washing, babysitting, etc.}

Sonic has 1/2 price drinks and slushies from 2-4 pm every. day!!

Our local school district offers FREE breakfast and lunch every. day. {except weekends}.
I pick-up our children from the local VBS and we head on over for a free lunch at the public high school!!
Lots of our friends are there too!

Does your school district offer something like this that you can take advantage of?

Check this out:

Or this:

Visit your local zoo {we have a membership that offers free admission}
or any museum that has free summer programming.

Check out your local park and see if they have any free outdoor concerts during the summer.

Find one of these:

{8}  Don't forget the holidays!!
Fill in that calendar with the holiday parades and cook-outs too!!
Plan a special party with the neighborhood children this year to celebrate the 4th of July!!

{9} Remember to schedule in some time together in specialized teaching time
One goal I have for my older girls this summer is to learn how to plan, budget, purchase, and prepare a meal for their family.
I would also like them to learn how to be skilled in managing our laundry.
If I get sick, which I often do in the winter, the household needs to carry on.
My girls are old enough now to be able to handle these skills, so each week they will have 
"Domestic Skills Class with Mom."

I also want them to memorize some scriptures this summer as well.
I haven't gotten that completely planned yet, but I'm thinking on a passage per month.

{10}  Finally,  here are even more resources from those
 more creative than I!!


Anonymous said...

Love your "guideposts"! Thank you for reminding me of those goals!

Laura said...

Sounds like a fun-filled summer, though it makes me tired thinking about all of it. I want to relax, not be busy all the time. We have made our own list for the summer, though I may add a few things after reading here and a few other places online. I hope you and your family have a fabulous summer!