14 July 2007

Kids learn, work, and have fun at "Camp Mom"

Look what veteran Parenthacker Jill and her kids are up to this summer:

We've implemented "Camp Mom" here and I'm putting them thru the paces every morning. After breakfast they both do a work paper at the table (if I can get my 3yo to color for a few minutes I'm happy), then we have science experiments, magic trick practice or cooking, then "gym" when I do my physical therapy for my back using an exercise ball and they pull out their "workout balls" and try to copy me. We have reading time aloud, then "silent reading" for long enough for me to relax a few minutes. After lunch, one naps and the other helps me fold laundry or works on his own projects and art. Our "field trips" are varied and can sometimes be called errands instead, but I'm trying to make them all interesting. I figure that if I can keep them occupied I've won half the battle already.

You're an inspiration, Jill.

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Jill, I think Club Mom sounds great. We're doing a similar type of summer camp at home this summer. We call it school though because my 3.5yo loves doing school. I've written about our daily activities here: http://inneedofchocolate.blogspot.com/2007/07/summer-structure.html

My mom does this for us, both over the summer this summer, and in week-long stints when school is out (she does 'sleep-away' camp once or twice a year, too).

They have their summber bridge workbooks to work on, and they also have other activities they do at various times - last week, they had a massage therapist in for an hour a day to do 'massage camp' (complete with drawing their muscles and bones on their bodies with washable marker... remember the tattoo parlor hack?). This week they're doing cooking camp (started off well by going to see Ratateue... gah, can't spell that. The movie about the rat chef in Paris.)... Thursday, they'll be making dinner for the parents (me, DH, my brother, SIL). Then shifting to Egyptology... it is easy to tie projects to what's at local museums, too.

So now we get some genetic evidence of hedra's Parenthacker smarts!

That's wonderful. Spending more time with the kids by playing with them and letting them help with the chores is a great way of strengthening the family bond.

Great activities for the family to enjoy the company of each other. This is indeed very helpful, especially during summer time where families can have a quality time together.

I hate to be the voice of dissent here - but what about unscheduled time for free play? Time to be kids and explore the wonders of summer, like a bug crawling up your arm or the way grass tastes or skipping rope? I am, I must say, a big proponent of letting kids learn to entertain themselves and just explore.

Not that they never need stimulation - but I'd build in probably a couple hours a day of time for them to just do stuff. By themselves.

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