Photo by Jo Christian Oterhals

The countdown until the end of school began last week. We are almost at the finish line, and truthfully, I’m ready to run back and start the race again. I know that other people probably do things differently during the summer. I know there must be families out there sleeping in every morning, lounging by their pools, having picnics at the park and feeling the pace slow down. I vaguely remember  those memories when my kids were babies and toddlers (minus the sleeping in part). But the living is not easy come summertime in this household. Beginning the Monday of summer break, both kids are busy with camps on opposite sides of the city – one sailing and the other learning to take care of and ride horses. That is just the start of the summer camp craziness.

I believe that summer is a time to recharge, explore new possibilities and to branch out and grow. Both of my kids are going to various camps that will broaden their worlds, teach them interesting skills and perhaps spark a lifetime passion. I am happy to provide them these opportunities. I am just not anxious to wake up early, pack more lunches and drive and drive and drive.

Besides trying to coordinate the kids’ plans (which do actually include a week here and there off of planned activities), I am trying to figure out when I can teach some yoga, lead some yoga camps and play with my friends.

My friends and I tend to play by running, biking or swimming. I have a Sprint Triathlon in August and another marathon in the fall to train for (yes, I am trying to qualify for Boston. I said it and expect you all to hold me to this!). So the summertime is a busy time and time when I sometimes find myself in my car more and not less.

Last year a local mother here in Rochester, Laura Jean Diekmann, decided to do something different with her kids. She created a 12 week at-home camp for her kids and called it Doing It All Camp. Each week has a different theme. During the cooking week the kids designed menus, picked recipes, bought the food and prepared the meals. The movie week included script writing, set designing, location scouting and more. Her ideas have, in my opinion, a homeschooling approach where learning is accompanied by creative exploration and a lot of fun.

I love the ideas and plan to do a week or two of Doing It All Camp on the weeks when the kids are home and camp-less.

That all being said, the family does tend to live outdoors during the summer. We have impromptu s’more making in the outdoor fire pit with neighbors. We find time to take family bike rides and to relax at the lake on the weekends connecting to cousins and grandparents. We listen to my husband play guitar outside until the bugs drive us inside to safety. We grill and eat out frequently. We take post dinner walks with the dog. Summer does give us more pockets of time to connect as a family and with nature.

So how about you? How do you do summer? Please leave a comment!

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