It’s that time of year when the kiddos are almost out for school and we, the parents, have to figure out what to do with them. I say this because a good bit of us single parents work. If you do not have a place for them to go yet , especially if your children are too young to be home alone say not 14 and up, then read on for some ideas.
1. Send them to grandma’s.
I am fortunate enough to have support in my mom and sisters. They usually watch the boys for me if I have things to do like conferences during the summer. They take turns and it’s just good for them to hang around their cousins and bond. You know, be kids. Plus, their nanna enjoys it. My benefit is they are safe, loved, having fun, and are safe. Did I say safe? Yes. A big deal for this mama is safety. Do not ever feel like you have no choices. People, even unlikely people, are willing to help. But, always make sure you trust them.
2. Child Exchange
“What is this?”, you say. Well, I started years ago keeping my best friends son for two weeks during the summer to allow my really hard-working cousin to take a vacation. She deserved it and her son got to be with my boys and have “cousin time”. A win. In exchange, she would later keep my two and they would hang out again and the boys just thought it was rad. In our two weeks without children, we learned to sleep in and pamper ourselves. It was heaven. Let me say something here: Every parent needs a break at times. It doesn’t make you bad, inept, or whatever “perfect people” call it. It makes you human and authentic. Parents and Single parents, especially, need a vacation. So, call your friends up and make a plan to do an exchange!
3. Summer/Church Camp
Now, in the beginning, I could not afford paying for camp. Vacation Bible school was the best I could do and that was half a day. Let me tell you, it helped. As I progressed in my career, I learned how to budget/sacrifice so they could do science camp or do the church summer camp. Some organizations offer scholarships. So, please don’t think you cannot afford it. Look into what is offered and ask about discounts. The old adage rings true: “Closed mouths do not get fed”. So, call them and ask! My boys had a blast at their science camp and church camp. Both were at different times and lasted 4-5 days. Amen.
4. Stay home
If they are old enough or you have an older sibling, friend, or family member to watch them, go for it. I try to let mine have a break and just be when they’re with me. But later, I break out something educational. Since I speak and teach Spanish, I have them practice. I am starting them up intensely this summer because I would like them to be bilingual. I only work them an hour a day. I mean, it’s summer.
I have never used The Y, but I know they offer full-day programs during the summer. I have friends who have used their programs and liked them. Look into any scholarships or discounts they may offer.
I know that some daycares will keep older children during the summer and some even have per day rates and even per hour. You want to do your research on this one. They usually include fun field trips, as well.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful. Don’t let school end without a plan! Remember, safety first.
If it costs a lot, but your kids are safe… Yep, you guessed it!
Do It Anyway!