Planning for Summer

Planning for Summer

You may wonder why I am writing about summer in March. Summer vacation is a long way off.  However, now is the time to begin making plans for your children for the summer. It can be very stressful to suddenly realize in May that in a few short weeks, the children will be out of school. Just recently, my newspaper had an insert titled ‘Super Summer Camp Guide.’ Yes, it is time to start planning!

Some points to consider: Keep in mind that some child care facilities change their programming to a less structured summer camp plan. Some children do well with these less structured situations but some do better with more structure and less ‘free play.’ Think about what is best for your child. Some camps fill up as early as February or March.  If your child has special needs, these camps seem to fill up especially quickly. If you are hoping for a scholarship or financial aid to help pay for summer programs, this money is often ‘gone’ (allocated to the early birds) by mid-spring. So the sooner you begin to plan, the more options you will have.

Some common summer solutions:  Some public schools provide extensive summer camps that are several hours a day for much of the summer. Other schools offer week by week camps with themes such as Space, Robotics, or Nature.

Some families ask relatives or friends to watch their children. Another family may have an adult who stays home and would be willing to watch your children in addition to their own. Perhaps retired grandparents are available, at least some of the time. Families might hire a summer ‘nanny,’ often a high school or college student, who may know the children from previous babysitting. 

If you have older children, they will benefit from staying busy. It is not healthy to spend the entire summer watching TV or playing video games. Some families ask high school age children to work part time. For children who are not old enough to work, some camps will take ‘counselors in training,’ sometimes as young as 14 years. Vacation Bible schools will often allow children who are too old to attend to come and be helpers.

You can find out about summer options by talking to other parents or consulting with your child’s school guidance counselor or teachers. Check with schools, libraries, nature centers, or museums in your area.

Bottom line, start planning now and ask around for ideas.

Blog Disclaimer:  Please be aware that this blog contains general information. It is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as treatment or a recommendation or prescription for a particular child. If you have questions about your child, please talk to your pediatrician or seek other professional services.