SCHOOL’S OUT! Oh no, now what?

School’s out! Hooray! It’s SUMMER! (Gwinnett County gets out today, but the rest of Georgia will soon follow.)

There are very few sentiments that parents feel as excited about as kids but I think summer is one of them. (Christmas and Disney World are others.)

We love our teachers and we love our school, but I am so thrilled to have three months off from our regimented schedule. I am excited that the kids can sleep in. I am happy they can go back outside to play after dinner. And it’s such a relief not to have to say “Ok, it’s time to do your homework!” (Not to mention no more extra-curricular activities to drag three kids to.)

So I’m looking forward to having all this special unstructured time with them, but then the reality sets in. I have three children, 8,6 and 2, at home with now 24 hours a day for three months. What in the heck am I going to do with them?

My boss recently asked me this very question and I told her: “I plan to wear them out. Tired children are good children.”

We are mainly going to go the YMCA in the morning. They will play while I work out. (The older kids have basically like a camp program – play outside games, and then have indoor time with ping pong and other games. The baby gets to play on the little playground and with toys inside.) Then we’ll swim with our friends and have a picnic. And then we’ll come home, and they will be exhausted. The baby can nap. The big kids can play in the basement, and I will have some quiet work time.

We are going to have a couple of more structured weeks – art camp for Walsh and math camp for Rose (both at their request), and VBS for the whole family. All of those activities will be in the morning so they should be tired by the afternoon.  Throw in a visit from friends from out town, a short Disney trip and longer beach trip and bada bing that’s a summer!

So my questions for you are:

Are you just as thrilled as your kids about the impending summer?

What’s your big plan for the summer? Structured time at home? Day camps? Spend the night camps? Academic camps? How much academics do you try to cover during the summer?

Also I want you to think back about what are your favorite summer memories? Which ones have stayed with you through the years? Maybe that will help you plan activities for your kids.

85 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

May 20th, 2009
6:43 am

MY LAST day to get up at 5:45 a.m. HOORAH. Actually my daughter gets up and I join her right after 6;00. The bus is here at 6:25. My perfect day is to get up at 7:30 with no alarm LOL.

Honestly, I do not have many fun summer memories myself ( not a lot of fun memories as a child period and my sisters and I discuss how sad and ridiculous this ) BUT I love having my kids home.
I am lucky that I can work double time 30 plus weeks per year and kick back in the summer…not everyone can do this.

We have a pool in our neighborhood and it is great to catch up with everyone. We also have cookouts and ice cream parties in our back yard. We have a few trips to the beach and usually one to see family. We read a lot and now can read books together, that we both enjoy.

One elementary school tradition, that my daughter reminded me of and I think I mentioned it before, the moms on the block would meet the kids at the bus after the last day of school and spray them with silly string and then pass out popsicles. She is 17 but said, “Mom we knew you would do it each year but we acted surprised and loved it.”
If you live in metro Atlanta, be sure to check out the parks and recreation….Gwinnett has some good ones and we have nice parks. Pnut sports camp is offered at night and pretty low key and usually 2 days per week. The library usually has fun programs too!

Eat some ice cream and enjoy your kids…they grow up way too fast!

motherjanegoose

May 20th, 2009
6:45 am

Theresa…I tried to start this off and it is already acting up….this is getting old…I know it is not your fault but not worth the time of those who try to comment. Perhaps my comment will show up later. Too bad.

motherjanegoose

May 20th, 2009
7:05 am

YIPPEE…my comment did show up…maybe this will be a lucky day for everyone….

Fred

May 20th, 2009
7:24 am

I still have a few more weeks of school left, We get out June 13th. I am not going to work this summer, I am going to take it off and enjoy the time with my wife (who is also a teacher) and our daughters. We will also go to the Y every day. The girls have just graduated from the little kid child care into the more adult oriented “teen room” and boy are they excited. we will also spend a lot of time on the new and larger bicycles as well as plenty of time at the pool. The girls decided that they wanted to be a poart of the neighborhood swim team, so lots of practice there. Other than that a whole lot of whatever, local museums, Busch gardens, camping. Summer with the family is my favorite time of year. We have nothing big planned and that is OK by me.

momtoAlex&Max

May 20th, 2009
7:31 am

If you had asked me that lasy year, I would have said OH NO, now what am I going to do. Money was terribly tight and could not afford a dang thing.

This year though, I am MORE than ready for school to be out. This year was the first time I had two kids in regular school and the schedules, homework, extra curriculars, classroom activities, etc wore me OUT! I am ready for lazier mornings and care free days. Plus, I have lined up quite a few camps and out of town trips.

When they do not have camps, we will do some PTA summer enrichment activities in the mornings and play outside. Then we will have lunch, have reading hour and then we will head to the pool most afternoons! YAY!

I cannot wait.

PHR

May 20th, 2009
8:01 am

My husband is a teacher and is off with our son during the summer. Last year we didn’t plan anything structured for our son. My husband got tired of trying to entertain him a couple weeks in. This year I planned a few different camps, but still left some down time. My son gets to go to soccer camp, Cub Scout camp, and Y-Camp this year. I think he will love all of them.

JJ

May 20th, 2009
8:11 am

I asked my daughter last nigh, for the last time EVER, do you have any homework? She laughed…..I told her I had to say that for the last time. I won’t be asking her next year when she is a college girl.

Summer fun, she is babysitting for my friend this summer, so she will be enjoying a 7 year old. They will play Wii, they will go fishing at the neighborhood pond, and go to their neighborhood pool, and we bought a Slip & Slide for their backyard, so they will be busy. They both get brown as little berries in the summer…….outside all the time. This boy adores my daughter, and she loves him too, they get along great and have so much fun…….

The only drawback is, I have to get her over there in the mornings, 6:45, so we still have to get up early three days a week……

As for summer fun, we have a HUGE “family” picnic (about 5 families) planned for Stone Mountain, a trip to PCB, and lots of local activities, not to mention Lake Lanier is in my backyard, and we like to take the doggies up there and have picnics……I’ll stop and get a rotissiere chicken and fixens at Publix, and go grab the kid and the dogs, and head up to the lake for a picnic dinner…..

No more pencils, no more books, no more teachers dirty looks……..

JustMy2Cents

May 20th, 2009
8:17 am

Well I have the pleasure of working ten hour days during the summer, so the kids get to spend about 11 hours with the babysitter. Luckily, she has kids about their ages, and she does take them on field trips. They go out for ice cream, go to the bouncy places, six flags, the park, etc. I will have 3 day weekends and we will go to pick your own fruit places, 6 flags, the lake, bike rides- inexpensive stuff.

The things I remember from my summers as a kid: hanging out with my grandparents doing arts and crafts, girl scout camp (man I HATED that), and just playing with the neighborhood kids til we were hungry and it was time to eat, or the street lights came on! We would “explore” the woods behind our house, roller skate in the basements or on our street, walk to the penny candy store and stop at the park…ahh back in the days when you could play outside and not worry about getting mugged/kidnapped/raped/shot etc.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 20th, 2009
8:17 am

JJ — I was thinking about that song all last night and even thought about starting with it – but I tell you I think teachers are so much nicer now!! – I think it’s the regimented schedules that are what stinks about school now — I don’t think families used to be under this much stress to do so many things during the school year — I am very cautious and only let them do one activity each (other than church) during a quarter so I don’t think we’re overscheduled and it still feels very stressful and tight. My friend in Augusta has three kids and they do 10!!! activities a quarter among the three kids — How on earth could you get to that many things and still get homework done — I hate the nights we have to be some place!! makes me nuts –

motherjanegoose

May 20th, 2009
8:32 am

JJ my husband sang this song on Monday and we laughed at him. He went to parochial school and those nuns were not all warm and fuzzy in the sixties..still used rulers to rap knuckles.

I never sang this song as I am a teacher and the few dirty looks I gave were well deserved.

JJ…6;45? Can she drive herself? Mine still has no license ( she will just be 17) and is not in a hurry. Her brother had his the week he turned 16 LOL.

Yes, I do have memories of walking to the penny candy store at my Grandma’s in Chicago…I loved non pariels ( sp?) those chocolate circles with the white sprinkles…still do!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 20th, 2009
8:36 am

PHR — We need to add into out list a little play date action for our little guys!! Let’s figure out when you guys can come and play!! The kids would love to see you and so would I!

JJ

May 20th, 2009
8:41 am

Mother – she could drive herself, but we only have one car and I have to get to work. Sometimes I let her have the car and I ride with my friends. I work with the father of the kids she babysits, and he and his wife carpool, so it’s no big deal, I can ride with them. But then I don’t get home until after 6:00. I usually get home around 4:30. Small sacrifices huh?

JustMy2Cents

May 20th, 2009
8:43 am

Oops…forgot to add the “edjumacational” stuff. The girls have their Summer Bridge books and are required to do a few pages daily in addition to reading for at least twenty minutes a day.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 20th, 2009
8:44 am

2cents – what time of day do you do the school work?? I’m trying to figure that out –

JustMy2Cents

May 20th, 2009
8:50 am

Theresa- regarding all those activities…we stick to 1 kid gets to do an activity at a time. My oldest was up first with karate. We have about a month left on her 30 month contract, so it is time to find something for the 6 year old. Even doing 1 activity it was hard to juggle everything. By the time I got home from work, made dinner, she would have to woof it down and go change. About an hour and a half later, come home, chores time, shower time, homework time, reading time- about 5 minutes of tv time before the dreaded words “go brush your teeth and go potty and get in bed”.

JustMy2Cents

May 20th, 2009
8:56 am

I either send the book along to the babysitter and they do their work there and I check it when I get home, or we do it after dinner before they read.

I do feel bad for the girls though. They have to get up at 5:45 all summer long except for Fri-Sun.

RJ

May 20th, 2009
9:09 am

Having 2 months off to be with my kids is such a joy! I can’t wait to begin my summer break. Last day for me is next week, but the kids are out as of Friday. We plan on using our community pool quite a bit. The kids will spend a couple of weeks in camp, but not the entire summer. As they get older I truly cherish the moments that we spend together. My husband loves having me at home because dinner will be served on time every day!

Becky

May 20th, 2009
9:16 am

I am so looking forward to summer vacation time..Our two enjoy going up to the north Georgia mountains hiking..Ok maybe just walking..They both have boots, backpacks and love going walking thru the mountains and parks..We are going to FL. for a week at some point.

There is a cabin up near Blairsville that they want to go stay at, so that will be one weekend..They have paid fishing, but the boy only wants to catch and release..A long weekend to Tenn. to do all of the tourist stuff..

We are going to do a lot of stuff local also..Atlanta History Museum, Botonical(sp) Garden, movies at the Fox Theatre, Calloway Gardens..

The boy loves to ride the motorcycle with his Poppy, so they will be riding that a lot this summer..Leaves me and the girl to go have our nails done at the mall..She’s only six and they know here there already..

Then the biggie of the summer vacation, they will be seven in June and we are having a big party for them..I took them last year for their birthday to DC and even though they loved that, they want a party this year with all of the family..

JJ

May 20th, 2009
9:37 am

My 50th birthday is this weekend!!!! AND I have a three day weekend. WOO HOO!!!!

DB

May 20th, 2009
9:40 am

My daughter is graduating this Saturday. She finished her AP and senior exams last week, and her class is now on their senior trip out west — she is skiing, hiking, horseback riding, rappelling, and whitewater rafting, and will be back tomorrow. Baccalaureate on Friday, graduation on Saturday, lunch for 35 people Saturday afternoon, family reunion on Sunday, and I NEVER EVER EVER have to wake up at 6:15 am and walk in her room chirping, “Good morning!” again. And I will so miss it! (but not the 6:15 part!)

We’re going on a cruise in June, she has college orientation at the end of June, she’ll be working to earn spending money for college, and at the beginning of August, we’ll be in New York again for a few days. We’ll spend the summer getting her ready for the next exciting phase of her life — college! My son is home for the summer and is helping out around the house until he starts his job next week. Both of them have to be at school early in August.

Everyone keeps asking me what I am going to do with everyone gone next fall, and I just laugh — I can do anything I want!! It’s exciting — my daughter isn’t the only one looking at new horizons!

DB

May 20th, 2009
9:41 am

Happy birthday, JJ!

JJ

May 20th, 2009
9:51 am

DB I didn’t know they still did Baccalaureate. I have not heard one word about that at all. Is is just for the private schools? My brother graduated down here, and he did Baccalaureate (1980), but I haven’t heard much about it lately. We didn’t do that in Colorado.

And thank you for the birthday wishes. I’m thinking about getting a tattoo……

Becky

May 20th, 2009
9:53 am

Happy Birthday JJ..To all the parents that have kids graduating this year, congratulations for you and them making it through 12 long ears of school..May they go on to be very happy and sucessful as adults..

Becky

May 20th, 2009
9:59 am

JJ, a tattoo?? You go girl..That is one thing that I have never done..I’m not far behind you for 50, but I still don’t think that I will get one..My nephew tattoos for a living and he has been trying to get me to get one for the last 5-6 years..So if(when) you get one, I hope it turns out to be exactly what you wanted..

JJ

May 20th, 2009
10:09 am

Thanks Becky, I’m thinking of a guardian angel on the front part of my shoulder, somewhere where I can see it……I figured I’ve made it this far, there must be an angel watching over me……or something to honor my father, who passed away 17 years ago, or my daughter’s zodiac sign on my ankle. So many choices…….

But knowning me, I’ll chicken out at the last minute. I’m not one for pain……VERY low threshold for pain……I’m a whimp…..

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 20th, 2009
10:11 am

Happy Birthday JJ!!

Becky — I have big news for you and all our moms – It looks like we’re going to be doing a bunch of giveaways this summer — like movie passes, and passes to places like Six Flags — I’m still working out all the details but we do have a big, big giveaway that is starting on Monday!! So even though it’s the holiday be sure to log in!!!! Big stuff!!

stevecode

May 20th, 2009
10:13 am

Hooray! In Atlanta school’s out means “lock all your crap up” because the city (and worthless “parents”)won’t do anything about the out of control teens! If you have great kids, that follow the rules and abide by the laws, then please forgive this statement, but if you take offense to this-then you are that parent, so start some kind of punishment program for your kids, although it is probably too late.

LM

May 20th, 2009
10:14 am

Happy Birthday JJ, go party like a rock star!!!

We are out of school next Friday and then AB/DC starts work at the Boy Scout Camp again this year. With my new hubby gone, and her heading off to camp, I will get some much needed ME time. She will get to come home for some weekends, and hubby will get leave in June, she will come home to see him so we will get one last night together. AB/DC & I are planning a vacation for the week following July 4th, was looking at PCB, but think we will head to Myrtle Beach. It has been a long time since I have been there and it would be nice to see where I used to live and what they have done with the AFB.

motherjanegoose

May 20th, 2009
10:16 am

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JJ! My sister thinks I should get a tattoo when I turn 50 but not me. I may get a makeover to see if there is anyway I can look beautiful…LOL!

Yes, they do have baccalaureate in Gwinnett County…at least at our school.

My daughter and I are off to a meeting in Florida….have a great weekend all!

CONGRATS TO ALL GRADUATES AND THEIR PARENTS TOO!

JJ

May 20th, 2009
10:21 am

Mother, where does your child go in Gwinnett County. Mine’s graduating from North Gwinnett….I moved up there specifically to get her into that school, and I haven’t been disappointed at all!!!!

JJ

May 20th, 2009
10:22 am

Hey Stevecode, do you have any ideas about what those “out of control” kids can do???????

Joe

May 20th, 2009
10:22 am

“We love our teachers and we love our school, but I am so thrilled to have three months off from our regimented schedule.”

Yeah, and I bet the teachers are thrilled to send them back to you!

Cherie Hammond

May 20th, 2009
10:23 am

I’m very fortunate. I am the Director of a YMCA Sleepaway Camp. My daughter actually moves out of her bedroom and goes to camp (1/2 mile down the road from our house). Even though we live at Camp year round, I’m always amazed at the maturity and self esteem she gains from Camp. AND she is active and happy – outdoors having fun with other kids under the guidance of really positive role models who serve as the Camp Staff. As a YMCA Camp Director and more importantly as a parent – I say “unplug your kids this summer and send them to Camp” – please know, many camps, espeically those run by non-profits including YMCAs offer financial assistance! Happy Summer!

Becky

May 20th, 2009
10:24 am

stevecode, you are right on the mark..As much as I hate to admit it, those parents are all in my family..So no offense taken here..

GeorgiaSpoons

May 20th, 2009
10:26 am

Theresa, you actually have 3 months off in Gwinnett County??? We (Coweta County) dont get out till May 29 and go back Aug. 7, so basically only 2 months. Lucky you!! Enjoy your summer with your kids. Mine still have to get up early as I work and they go to sitter. Count your blessings!

momtoAlex&Max

May 20th, 2009
10:28 am

@Cherie: I am actually sending my oldest (9 year old) to sleepaway camp for the very first time this summer. I’m excited and scared at the same time. I don’t mean scared because I think anything will happen to him, but I am so worried that he’ll get lonely or homesick! Of course, he sees none of this, I am always upbeat about it. And I am sure he will be fine, he’s a social kid, but he will not know anyone when he arrives.

I’m sure I’ll be posting here when the time arrives and all of you will be reassuring me that he is having the time of his life. right??????

momtoAlex&Max

May 20th, 2009
10:30 am

Cheri: not the YMCA one. I mean he’s going away for the week to a camp in NE GA.

JATL

May 20th, 2009
10:30 am

Even though we’re not in “regular” school yet, my son’s preschool program ends this week as well. For the month of June he is going to VBS, then we go to the beach for a week (CANNOT WAIT!!!!!) and then his preschool has half day “camp” for the rest of the month. When he’s not there and for the rest of the summer, we’ll be hitting Grant Park Pool and their fabulous gradual entry kiddie pool and splash area, the Botanical Gardens (another splash place), EARLY trips to the zoo, and story time at the library and Wren’s Nest (which I highly recommend -Joel Chandler Harris’s house and home of the Brer Rabbit stories). I also plan to spend at least one day a week at my parent’s house about an hour south of here because they have a pool (and of course they love to see their grandchildren)!

motherjanegoose

May 20th, 2009
10:31 am

JJ… Collins Hill we also moved here for the schools…that was 20 years ago and things have changed.

Gwinnett Schools are out from tomorrow until August 17 ( I think this correct) …I believe that is 12 weeks, if I can still count.

GaNative

May 20th, 2009
10:37 am

I can’t wait till August comes again. I hate it when school’s out and the kids are home. They eat up everything, drink up everything, stay up all night, run the air conditioning till they get cold, then turn on the heat to warm up.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 20th, 2009
10:43 am

I just double checked it’s 11 weeks and four days before we have to go back — so pretty darn close to 3 months — wait 4 weeks in a month — 12 divided by 4 — yup about 3 months (I am bad a math so actually not bad to question me!)

Andrea

May 20th, 2009
10:44 am

We do MomSchool several mornings a week. Math facts (square root, multiplication, division, etc.), reading, writing and social studies are normal rotating subjects but we expand on these. The girls (age 11 and 13) will be in charge of menu planning, shopping, cooking and serving dinner one night a week. We give them a budget, too, to make sure math is a part of it. They will continue to play their instruments (tuba and saxophone) each day, too. The standard agreement is that MomSchool and music practice have to be completed before they watch TV, play the Wii, go outside, etc. Mornings work best for all before malaise sets in and while everyone is fresh. They also work in our modest vegetable garden. Between this, playdates and vacation, no one loses their mind (until late July at least).

lwa

May 20th, 2009
10:45 am

I remember as a youth coming to GA for the summer and just sitting around being a kid at my grandparents. We slept until noon, ate lunch, watched t.v. and went outside and played all afternoon and evening. I played with my cousins and just explored the neighborhood. I loved it.

My mother passed away so I really don’t have anyone to send my kids to for an entire summer. We have a vacation planned and some weekend get-a-ways. My 9 year old is going to a sleep away camp for 1 week, hang out with her friend riding bikes, scooters, etc. I really want her to rest after an entire school of year of hearing “CRCT Test.” I need to deprogram her.

My 16 year old is going to work.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 20th, 2009
10:46 am

Andrea – love the plan — love momschool– love having them plan a meal and cook – mine couldn’t cook it but they could plan and prep –

Andrea

May 20th, 2009
10:59 am

When our kids were younger like yours, they picked out recipes and shopped for easy recipes–orange milkshakes was a favorite. They still talk about the fruit platter they put together–they did all the prep and arranged it very nicely on a platter. Kids can do lots in the kitchen with some supervision. Since I love to cook, it is a great way to spend time together without it seeming forced.

Becky

May 20th, 2009
11:00 am

Cherie, how old do the kids have to be for this camp? Also, theres not a YMCA in the county where I live, does this matter?

MomtoAlex&Max, of course we will be telling you that he is having the time of his life and he actually might be..BUT, that doesn’t mean that you will be..I know that I would be worried to death for my two to be at a camp overnight away from me..It’s not something that you can just not do..

Thersa, looking forward to the great giveaways..We haven’t braved Six Flags yet..Of course I only live about 5 minutes aways from there, so we might this year..At 7, they think they are old enough to enjoy it and be able to do all of the walking that we will have to do..

JATL, I hadn’t thought about Wren’s House thanks for mentioning that one..There are so many places that I want to take them, it’s tough to make time for all of them..

GaNative, if you are serious, I feel bad for you and your children..IF you are this negative about summer vacation, what is it like the rest of the time?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

May 20th, 2009
11:03 am

Cherie — tell us the name of the YMCA camp you are the director of!!

Becky

May 20th, 2009
11:24 am

I promise that I’m not trying to hi jack the blog..LOL..Has anyone ever taken their children berry picking? We are going this weekend to pick strawberries, then in June to pick blackberries, scuppernogs and muscadines(sp).. The kids are really looking forward to this..

non-stop

May 20th, 2009
12:05 pm

I am so excited about summer. My son is going to have a blast! As I work :( I know that my babies will be enjoying summer as much as possible. Field Trips almost everyday to parks, skating rinks, six flags, movies and so on.

Any of my memories of summer to pass on to my kids…no, not really. I was training for the 96 Olympics basically my whole life. So, I never really had summers. But if my kids are focused on a goal as I was…then yes, I would support them 100%!

Tammy

May 20th, 2009
12:12 pm

I’m excited that the kids are getting out Friday for the summer. I’m tired of the homework and projects. The kids are doing swim team in the morning , dtr is going to Girl Scout camp and my older son is involved in football practices most of the summer. So they will keep myself entertained. The only problem is to make sure they are learning over the summer since they have swimming in the morning.