In our house, we're starting to think about summer. What kinds of activities are we planning? What camps are we going to choose? Will we take a vacation? And, if yes, when? What are we going to do to prepare for the new school year?
Some of these answers are easy. Big Brother is very competitive—that's how he learns. So, he's going to join the swim team. It will be his second year and the daily practices accomplish more than swimming lessons ever could! He has fun and learns a great life skill along the way. We are going to sign the twins up for lessons at this same pool. If it works the way it did last year, the swim team coaches will be the instructors for swimming lessons ... and they will decide if they feel either Music Man or Ballerina are ready to try the team. And we will follow their recommendations.
The twins are also easy when it comes to camps. They are attending ESY (Extended School Year) for the month of July. Children receiving special education often require more time in school than their typical peers to minimize "regression"—the loss of skils—during the summer. It's typical for a child to forget parts of what they learned during the school year if they don't practice over the summer. But they usually return to where they were at the end of the previous school year within two weeks or so. Ballerina and Music Man take closer to seven to eight weeks to get back to where they were, so they get this added month of school to help attenuate this situation a bit.
Big Brother, though, ... what should we do with him when he's not at the pool? We found a few camps in the past that he is going to return to this year (Hills Gymnastics, BounceU, Little Gym of Germantown). He also will be taking on a few projects this summer of mine and his father's design. He wants to learn to play the guitar, so we're going to try and teach him (and learn ourselves). He also needs to get into the habit of reading by himself—the fact that he gets read to is wonderful, but reading is an activity that he can do for himself whenever he has the time. So, we are going to have him read daily. For at least 15 minutes per day. This won't stop Dad from reading the Harry Potter books to him at bedtime, or the How To Train Your Dragon series. But this will be his chance to keep reading about space exploration and to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books he likes so much (but Dad and I don't).
The vacation is still up in the air. Hopefully, we'll have time to spend at the pool to relax once swim team is over and I'll get to play with my kids in the water (which is one of my favorite things in the world to do). But it's nice to know that, before Memorial Day, for a chance I know (mostly) what we're going to be doing this summer.