Most single moms have to work during summer, so summer camp is not an option it’s pretty much a must. However, if you don’t have to send your child to summer camp and they really don’t want to go, please don’t feel guilty about not sending them! I’m all for enrichment, Anya has gone to a number of camps and enjoyed them, but after I started working from home she asked me if it was okay for her not to go to camp all summer. She wanted time to just be at home. I was fine with that idea because Anya has a great imagination and left to her own devices will create and play all day happily. Now, what I didn’t want her to do was sit at home in front of the television for 8 hours until I was finished with work, which didn’t happen. My point is that in order for kids to have a good summer they don’t necessarily have to attend summer camp.
Moms start asking me in April if I have chosen summer camps and when I tell them no, they look concerned. I have found that giving Anya free space and a combination of some structured play is a good mix. For example last summer we went to my mom’s house for 4 weeks, she did 3 weeks of summer camp and the rest of the time she was home playing and using her imagination. She had a great time! Giving our kid’s the opportunity to just play in the yard, read a book, get dirty, and hang out at home is not a bad thing and you are not a bad mom if you don’t send your kid’s to camp for the summer. Some kids love summer camp and that’s great, but if your kid’s like mine and want to spend some time hanging at home and you are able to do that, then by all means let them! Most kids are busy all through the school year with homework and extracurricular activities, if they want a break do you blame them? I don’t recall going to summer camp and I always had a great summer playing hide and seek, getting squirted with the house and sitting on the porch drinking lemonade with my gram.
If you are working at home, I would make sure that there were activities for them to do, because you are working. Or an alternative is sending them to a camp that is a half day. Have a talk with them before summer starts and discuss what options work best and the type of activities they’d like to do and make sure you suggest some ideas like painting, crafting, reading, selling lemonade, making a fort, having a tea party for their dolls, or visiting grandma. Make sure they know the boundaries especially if you work from home and put limits on television and technology if you forsee that being an issue. Enjoy a lazy summer with no mommy guilt! If it is feasible for you and your kids would rather not go to camp allow them to enjoy their summer in the comfort of their own home!