Friday, August 1, 2014

Schroll Camp

I am a teacher by trade and by passion.  I am convinced that becoming a mom simply increased that passion.  Having a boat load of kids at home during the summer can be daunting and make a mom run for cover and dream of sweet September mornings.  I have never been a mom who looks forward to school starting again.  I do love my kids.  Mind you, I do not always like them or their shenanigans.  This year I planned something new.  Schroll Camp.  The challenge was not to let Pinterest control me and steal any joy.  Being a mom is a privilege, but my goodness, it is a lot of work.  I wanted to make my summer easier and more enjoyable and not simply add more stress.  
So here was the plan.  Each week included crafts, themed books, snacks, and activities.  Often it would involve a trip out of the house.  My goal was to have fun and not over schedule or plan.  I wanted to enjoy my kids.  Again it was simply a plan.
We did not have everyone out of school until late June so we had a later start than I would have wished, but it may have been a blessing in disguise.  Less stress is better.
Week 1 - We celebrated with our church and friends at Weird Animals VBS.   What a great way to start summer learning God's Word.
Week 2 - The week of July 4th was easy.  Celebrate America.  We painted t-shirts, enjoyed Liberty's Kids movies, and created some fun fire works crafts.  Summer fruit made a red, white, and blue snack fun.  As we live close to Philadelphia, I had hoped to get into the city, but the crowds made that too stressful for our family.  We ended the week with a parade and fire works. 
Week 3 - Friend Week was scheduled with some special crafts, activities, and play dates.  God had other plans for me to spend three days in the hospital with Laura as she was treated for Lymes Menangitis.  I was blessed later in the week by my friend who took my littles for the day to swim.  The best laid plans were changed, but that was okay.
Week 4 - Animals Week was fun for my littles.  Maddie and my 10yo son were enjoying a week away at New Life Island.  My focus could be more preschool centered.  We made a fun octopus snack out of apples and grapes.  We read lots of animal books.  A trip to the zoo was perfect.  One evening, we made simple binoculars out of paper and went on an animal adventure in the yard.  Little kids love animals of all shapes and sizes.  Sea gulls at the beach were also part of our adventure.  
Week 5 - This was Building Week.  I pulled out the toothpicks and mini marshmallows and gave them the challenge to build.  They had to decide if their goal would be height or design.  My youngest just wanted to eat the marshmallows, but the bigger kids took on the challenge.  You cannot have a building week unless you bring out the Legos and Tinker Toys as well.  It was good to have a day especially for those toys.  We did take a side trip with some friends to a local Nature Center.  This  had nothing to do with building, but it was fun none-the-less.  
Week 6 - We enjoyed another week of VBS and my mom's church.  As this Bible school lasted for three hours in the morning, my kids were wiped by the afternoon.  I did not plan anything extra for this week.
Week 7 - Planes, Trains, and Automobiles are the focus.  Maddie is not all that thrilled, but the boys will love it.  I plan on a paper airplane contest, a huge car track designed to wind around the downstairs, a family room floor covered in train tracks, and vehicles designed from Tinker Toys - just not all on the same day.  Heaven help me.  The plan is to take a train ride into the city later in the week.  Maybe we can hit one of those car dealers who sell really fancy cars.  My 5yo has a passion for that.  
Week 8 - Hero Week is also the week that Bryan and I take Laura back to  Cedarville.  I have some fun crafts and activites planned to focus on heros.  Grandma will be babysitting for three days, so it will be up to her how things go.  Pinterest has some fun patterns and ideas.  I really like the one that celebrates Jesus as our hero.  In a world with inappropriate heros, focusing on what constitutes a real hero is a good lesson.  
Week 9 - Ocean Adventures  means more fun snacks and crafts and of course a trip to the ocean.  It is a blessing to live so close to the beach.  We may just have to squeeze in some time to visit the aqaurium as well.  
Week 10 - Create!  You know all those boxed crafts that sit on the shelf for a rainy day?  Well, this will be the week to pull them out.  Time to get messy.  There are some other fun crafts for the big kids that we may endeavor.  Ever heard of a hula hoop rug?  
That will finish up our summer.  I feel that it is flying too quickly.  Selfishly I wish there were funds and opportunity to go away for a vacation.  There are not.  Being home is not a bad thing.  Having a plan despite the many other things that infringe on our family time has been a blessing.  My kids have looked forward to each week.  It is not perfect.  We are not perfect.  Time with my kids is quickly fleeting.  I am thankful for some time of fun and creativity.  

No comments: