Today was the first day of Lucy’s first ever summer vacation and I’m feeling both hopeful and overwhelmed. This was her first year in public school instead of preschool, which used to be year-round. In the past she’s at least gone to preschool in the mornings in the summer, but before I had tenure she went full time year round. I am teaching this summer, but only at night, so don’t need full time coverage. Plus, now there’s Clara who needs care. So we’re trying something totally new, and I’m scared shitless. The nanny who has cared for Clara very PT all semester will watch both girls about 15 hrs a week. The rest is all me. The things I’m most worried about involve Lucy, structure, and discipline. She’d happily watch TV or play with the iPad for 5 hours a day, but then she’d be cranky and misbehave. She has high social needs, and she gets bored very easily. And when she’s bored, she’s no fun to be around. Usually we have flare ups of misbehavior during school breaks of 4 days, so 3 months is looking daunting. I don’t know how to be home with kids so much without many breaks, and she doesn’t know how to live without going to school. I need some advice from wise mamas who’ve been there and done summer vacation with young and energetic kids. We’re going to sign up for a few weeks of camps here and there, and swimming lessons, but we can’t afford to keep her in programs all summer long AND have the nanny.
Do you provide a consistent structure for the days? (outdoor time every day after breakfast, or reading time after lunch, or go to the park for a standing playdate every monday, or whatever)
How much tv/screen time do you allow?
How much structured learning time do you require?
How many big outings (the zoo, the children’s museum) do you do a week?
How do you structure discipline and chores so that the nanny and I can both enforce them?
I have a hunch that there needs to be a general framework, with plenty of flexibility. So what are your tips for creating this?
Help a poor clueless soul out, please!