Day Camp for Everyone!

It is now officially summer, although summer weather’s been making an appearance on and off for the past few weeks. Summer time means a lot of different things, and now that I’m a mom to a near first-grader, summer means day camp and swimming lessons. Earlier this spring, I waded through the sea of options for MaM. It’s been two weeks, and it’s going well, which is a huge sigh of relief (today’s sunburn and lost glasses not withstanding).She’s come home tired and happy every day, and she’s even run into a few kids she knows from church and from school. She’s loving the rock climbing and swimming every day, and doesn’t even mind the imposed “quiet time”. She went to sleep tonight with dreams of their field trip to the zoo tomorrow.

Not all childcare plans pan out the way you hope, though. and that is why I’m interrupting this blog post with a PSA:

The YMCA of Greater Indianapolis offers programs for kids of all ages. I had the chance to speak to YMCA rep, Tangela Floyd, on the importance of the services the Y provides. She told me that their main goal is to keep kids of all ages busy while school is out. The YMCA is a dedicated to being accessible to all, so their fees are based on income, and financial assistance is available. Kids enjoy swimming, games and many other activities, all designed for them to have a happy and healthy summer, while their parents know they are in a safe environment. We talked about the challenge of finding a place for kids in the summer when parents are at work, and how it’s not easy. The Y can even accommodate young teens, because, as Tangela said, some twelve year olds can stay at home by themselves, and some really can’t. If you are finding that you need to make some childcare arrangements for the summer, see what the Y has to offer! There are still openings in their various camps around town.

Fine print: This is the first in a series of posts on what the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis has to offer. Next week, I dive into their Aquatics programs.

Countdown to Fall Break (and a giveaway)

A Flashback: FALL 2008 Junior is more likely kick, rather than sit, on a pumpkin these days 🙂

Updated 10/23/10: This giveaway is now closed and the winner is Shelby! Thanks for playing, Shelby look for an email from me.

Five is apparently the age where you start understanding that a break from school is an anticipated event. Sunday night I was talking to MaM and she figured it out — “So I go to school for two days and then there’s FIVE at home days? That’s awesome!” And she’s been counting down ever since.

We’ve got some fun things planned — a visit to the Children’s Museum, a visit to Conner Prairie for the Headless Horseman, and a quick getaway to Brown County and the Columbus Children’s Museum. We’re even hoping to squeeze in a trip to a pumpkin patch (this week’s Savvy deal), and then there’s Trunk or Treat at church on Sunday. Phew. Should be fun!

In the spirit of all that is fall, I had the chance to preview a Taking the Scary Out of Halloween Kit by children’s author, Joy Berry. It’s a fun kit that includes glow sticks (one that’s a necklace! with a whistle!),  a fun projection flashlight and book about Halloween. The kids have had a great time with the flashlight (are mine the only ones who are constantly playing in the dark bathroom? what? they are?), and the book is a good one. It’s filled with safety tips and also some good manners lessons that can make Trick or Treating go more smoothly. The book also has fun stickers and Halloween activities.

Want to win a Halloween Safety Kit of your own? Leave a comment here, telling me your fall break plans or a costume idea or whatever you feel is seasonally appropriate  and I’ll randomly choose a winner sometime on Friday!

Happy Fall Break, Everyone!

(Disclosure: Joy Berry Books sent me a Halloween Safety Kit to review. Note: the first flashlight was jostled and broken during shipping, but its replacement arrived undamaged and worked great!)

Phew, Again…

I dont usually wear a hat in class, but that tray of shapes? Use it all the time!
I don't usually wear a hat in class, but that tray of shapes? Use it all the time!

So three years ago I wrote Slowly Exhaling, where I summarized, without too much detail about the accreditation process/ evaluation my school goes through every three years. Three years, two kids and one minivan later, it was that time again this week.

Once again, I volunteered to go first, so my room was observed today and I had my consultation this afternoon. Our conversation was considerably shorter than last time–about 20 minutes total. Anyhoo, all is good. I got compliments up one side and down the other, and good advice/constructive suggestions that I can use. I must be getting soft hearted in my old age, because she told me I was too nice/ not strict enough, which made me laugh. I stop smiling tomorrow (an old teaching adage is not to let them see you smile til Christmas).

The nicest thing about today is that our evaluator gave a parent talk tonight. She sang our accolades to the parent body, which she didn’t have to do, but she did. She also recommended a website called Kids Talk News and I have to say, it is fabulous. Want to know more about the Montessori way of looking at the world? Go on and click through.

Next time our school goes through this process, I’ll be in the midst of my 16th yr of teaching and mom to a 2nd grader and a pre-K student.

Does time fly by this fast for you???