Summer’s a Comin’

I cannot believe we are down into the single digits when talking about weeks of school. It’s weird to have kids old enough where midterm grades matter, but we do, and the grades do, and they’ve already been sent home. Standardized testing is wrapping up, and someone who shall remain nameless HAS PICKED HER CLASSES FOR EIGTH GRADE. Since she just graduated kindergarten last month I’m not sure how it’s possible, but when she looks down at me and shakes her head, I know it’s true.

Since winter break, I’ve been penciling in our summer. There’s a coding camp for the girl, a Webelo Adventure Camp for the boy, and Art camp for both of them. They might even check out some of the programming at the local game store. The boy’s also going to the local traditional day camp he loved last year. This year, he had to pick between swimming and soccer as his focus for one week. He looked at me like I was new and said, “Swimming, mom, it’s what I do. I want a week of basketball and a week of swimming.” From his mouth to the camp director’s ears. After all, swimming is what he does. I love how he stated that. He’s right – he’s been swimming weekly at Goldfish Swim School for nearly 18 months. Last Friday he took part in his first SwimForce swim meet, and when it was over he asked, “Can I do this again?”  Swimming is absolutely what he does.

Does your camper need to get summer ready? Sign up for a Jump Start Clinic and get a month’s worth of swim lessons done in one week!

Space Camp: An Amazing Frontier

The first part of our Spring Break extravaganza involved a 48 hour program at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. We went as a family, with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop, and I can honestly say it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done together (which is kind of saying a lot).

The Pathfinder program is designed for groups of 4-8th graders – we had 3 4th grade boys, and 6 6-7th grade girls. It was a PACKED schedule, our only downtime was during meals. The 4th graders slept HARD each night, and it was a little much for them, but for 6-8th graders, I can’t think of a better hands on STEM program.

Our group did a simulated space mission, where each crew member was assigned a job and read the script for that position. I got to conduct an experiment on the International Space Station, which my husband commanded. My son was in Mission Control, and my daughter got to do a space walk.

We experienced simulators, built rockets and learned the history of the US space program. We also learned about what it’s going to take to get to MARS, and how the US is planning on getting there in the next 10-15years.

The Pathfinder program stretched our minds to think outside of our midwestern lives, and to think actually out beyond the stars. My kids haven’t stopped talking about it – about how the Mars teams are working on being earth independent and how long that journey will be.

The Fox is already talking about going for a longer program in a few years, and if we can get him there, we absolutely will.

Huntsville is an easy day’s drive from Indianapolis, and it makes a great long weekend destination. The US Space  & Rocket center is worth a visit, even without attending a Space Camp program. It’s currently a member of the ASTC travel passport program, which means members of the Indiana State Museum receive free admission, which makes it even better!

Who knows, maybe one of the kiddos we attended with will get to Mars one day!!

 

Spring Break Spectacular

We are wrapping up an unusually adventurous spring break for us. We even started early, by taking the kids out of school a day early so we could get a head start.

Our first stop? SPACE CAMP. I lived my best 1986 life, and I think the kids had fun too. We attended a three day Pathfinder program with Scouts, and I cannot say enough good things about it. It was action-packed, it was exhausting, and it was amazing. More on that in a different post.

 

Sunday we parted ways with our group and headed south to the BEACH.

Everything in Gulf Shores and the Florida/Alabama coast revolves around water. The islands are narrow enough you can see both sides at once- the Gulf of Mexico as well as the channel. Every building has a pool, boats rides are on every corner, and there’s even fishing while you wait at restaurants.

Water is everywhere. It made me very glad the kids are old enough to be cautious, and that they have a good foundation in water safety thanks to Goldfish Swim school. They respected the rules and taught me some things about riptides.

I was seriously hoping for a week of sunshine and beaches, but the forecast did not cooperate. Instead of a week of swimming in the gulf, we got lessons in the warning flags and riptide safety. On double red flag days,  we walked the beach and played in the sand.  After three days of double red flags, we were relieved to have just a single red flag on Wednesday. Yes, that was our standard – “at least it’s not illegal to get in the water  today.” it was one amazing day in the sand and surf, complete with wave jumping and jellyfish catching.

Water was everywhere on this vacation . It made me very glad the kids are old enough to be cautious, and that they have a good foundation in water safety thanks to Goldfish Swim school. They respected the rules and taught me some things about riptides.

We had an amazing week and can’t wait to return!

Disclosure: Thanks to Goldfish Swim School for partnering with us  to build my school-age swimmers’ confidence in exchange for my honest review of their programs!