Monday, August 17, 2009

T-minus-seven: Back to School countdown!

So, is anyone else thoroughly sick of summer "break" yet? We've had our fair share of fun, but twelve weeks off from school is a real momentum killer for work-from-home parents, an expensive childcare challenge for work-outside-the-home parents, and possibly a special kind of craziness for fulltime caregivers.

My daughter even says she's ready for school to start. We've been to see see family...we've visited a lake...she joined swim team...she did camp...we've just about exhausted the library...we've played with friends who we could find at home.

We thrive on the school schedule and we're now floundering without that structure! And her mind is so active, such a wonderful sponge, that I have a real challenge helping her keep her time filled all by myself. Mentally and physically, if I have to run her around all day until she's tired, I will collapse first! I am in awe of the fact that I basically did this for her first three years as a stay-at-home Mom, something I was clearly not cut out for in the super-long run.

I know it's not my job to keep Mojo Girl entertained 24/7, but she would sure like me to try! Only once did I manage to guide her to "boredom Nirvana," when she decided to stop asking to watch TV in order to make a diorama to show how people live in Japan. That was pretty cool for one evening.

If I worked in an office, I would have had to arrange firmer childcare plans. We tried an experiment of having no summer camp in August, after the comedy camp that my daughter was signed up for was cancelled.

Big mistake. As much as we love each other, we are getting on each others' nerves and starting to drive each other nuts. As a college town, Chapel Hill is a particularly boring place to be in August.

The good news is that school starts next week--ridiculously early by some people's standards, but it works for me. And, thankfully, this week I managed to sign her up for clay camp in the afternoons, which provides structure to our day and guarantees that she'll spend time with other kids and one of her favorite teachers each day.

Do you love or hate summer vacation, and how are you keeping busy if your kids are home?



Blogger Lori LeVar Pierce said...

I'm with ya! My kids started school almost 2 weeks ago now and I'm loving it. My biggest challenge, though, is keeping my three kids from fighting with each other all summer.

We do a lot of fun stuff - and travel A LOT - but all the togetherness is a too much after awhile.

Our school district proposed an 11-month calendar for this year, which only 2 schools chose to adopt (not ours). I would really like this idea better. Shorter, more frequent breaks would really work much better, in my opinion.

5:50 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

Hi Lori, you Free-Range Mama! I am thinking of you as my girl bikes off to go enjoy a fizzy drink by herself at a local store! Little steps....

6:04 PM  
Blogger Lori LeVar Pierce said...

Hi Mojomom! Good for you! And, I took a long weekend to attend a conference just for my personal enrichment and left the kids at home with Dad. I flew home last night after almost 4 days away. It was really wonderful! Maybe as I find my mojo, you will be more free-range :-).

11:43 PM  

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