Summer vacation. The two words that simultaneously strike fear in the hearts of parents and joy in the hearts of their children.
Last year, I eagerly awaited summer, looking forward to the time I would have my oldest home during the day. It would be like before he started school, when we got to spend lazy time together doing fun things instead of having to focus on fitting homework, play, dinner, bath and reading into the few hours between the end of the school day and bed.
And then he was home. All. The. Time. And he expected much more constant interaction than I was ready for or able to give him. I was totally unprepared for this. He wasn’t like this the last summer. What had happened? Then, it struck me. School had spoiled him. First grade, specifically. He, my social class clown, had grown accustom to almost constant interaction or stimulation. He wanted, nay, he needed, constant ATTENTION. I panicked and scheduled him for way too many summer camps. He was stimulated alright, but I missed out on time with him while he was gone.
This summer, I swore, would be different. I would learn from last year and plan better. We would spend time together, but he would also have to spend some time ‘bored’ with his brother, thus forcing him and my youngest to use their imagination to play. He would go to camps, but not too many, and for no more than two weeks in a row. We would review educational materials in the mornings during the camp-free weeks to prevent that 20% loss of school knowledge the teachers warned us would happen during the summer. We would have playdates and go to local attractions. And take a couple of weekend trips out of town.
Murphy’s Law has a way of enforcing itself the moment a plan is set. After an activity packed first summer weekend, I was seriously sick the first full week off from school. And the kids watched more tv than they should have. But, even in my ill state, I was able to stick to my ‘bored’ plan and have the kids turn off all electronics in the afternoon and DO SOMETHING. And they had fun. We didn’t do anything that would be considered ‘educational’ that week, but that’s not the most important part of summer.
Spending time together as a family, having fun, learning something, relaxing, and the kids having a break from the pressures of school. That’s what summer is about. We have two weeks of camps ahead, and then it’s on to educational mornings and activity afternoons, with some laziness and tv/video game time thrown in, unless Murphy has other plans.
Here is a breakdown of some of what we’ll be doing this summer, as well as other summer activity ideas.
- The Texas State Aquarium
- Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History
- Art Museum of South Texas
- Early Scholars Academy
- Surf Camps-Padre Island Surf Camp and Texas Surf Camps
- Swim Teams/Class (Too many to list. Google ‘Corpus Christi Swim Lessons’)
- The beach
- Hurricane Alley
- Treasure Island Putt Putt Golf
- Get Air
- San Antonio
- The Riverwalk (I know it’s cheesy, but Rainforest Cafe is my favorite restaurant there!)
- Six Flags Fiesta Texas
- Indoor Skydiving
- Bass Pro Shops (Ok, so this one is more for the husband, but my kids do like it, too!)
- Half Price Books FEED YOUR BRAIN Summer Reading Program
- Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Triathlon
- Corpus Christi Public Libraries