5 Things I Learned from Summer Camp - MetroFamily Magazine
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5 Things I Learned from Summer Camp

by Jennifer Geary

Reading Time: 2 minutes 

Last week my son spent five full days in Lego camp at our local children's museum. He's done some five day a week camps and VBS before, but those have been half days, and the full day made a big difference in the whole experience. In spite of being worn out, he had a good time and enjoyed himself. Here are five things I learned from his week!

I like slow mornings. Really, I already knew this, but this past week drove the point home. My kids have always been early risers, but we don't usually have to be out of the house until at least mid-morning, so we're able to go slow and have a good breakfast and be fully awake before we need to start the day. I'm not sure how I used to get to work by 7:30 each morning!

The "extras" take a lot of time. Getting to camp was just the first struggle; I actually needed to send lunch each day. Food probably doesn't really count as an extra, but for some reason it never crossed my mind until I noticed it in the small print the day before camp started. Some days they were supposed to bring other things, too, which I was sure I would forget when the time came. In the end, we got all the extras there when they were supposed to be there, but it was not without great effort.

I love our free evenings. Camp was over at 4:00 each day, and by the time we got home it was usually 5:00 or after. Then it was time to cook dinner, play a bit, care for the pets, shower, and head to bed early so we could start it all over again early in the morning. I am very thankful that we can stay up later if we need to without worrying about it causing problems the next morning.

I'm thankful for his friends. My son is only 11, but so far he's done a really good job of choosing friends who are respectful and kind and still seem to be happy being kids. I know this is not a straight public school/homeschool divide, but I am thankful that he is able to be around many other kids who share many of the same values. I love that they're still happy playing outside and including younger siblings, too.

I love the margin we have built into our lives. By the end of the week we were all pretty frazzled because we had no margin in our days. Every minute was accounted for, from getting up to going to bed, and that's something we're not used to. I have worked- and still work at it, because it's a constant battle for me- to build margin into our lives so we have that free time to read or play or do something new or interesting. It's easy to get over-involved in all of the great activities out there, but that also takes away from your time to just be.

I'm glad my son enjoyed the camp, but I'm also glad we get to return to our normal, relaxed days. To any public school moms out there who might be reading, you have my sincere admiration. I know that so many moms think they couldn't homeschool, but I know I do not have what it takes to get my kids to a school every day!

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