Our first year of homeschooling is entering it's last month. It has been an amazing year and a mind-blowing experience. Our family has grown a lot in the last year! We have learned a lot about ourselves, each other, and the direction we want our life as a family to go.
As we prepare for our last month of “school” and start planning what we want to do for the summer, we are discussing the changes we want to make, what we want to work on over the summer, our schedule for the fall, and our children’s extracurricular activities. There is so much to keep in mind!
This year we have enjoyed taking a gymnastics class, dance class, karate, playing basketball, cheerleading, and flag football! We also attended Awanas, co-op, play group, went to the library, the zoo, Science Museum Oklahoma, and a whole long list of things. I would seriously need to go through my pictures or my date book to remember it all. Doing all this along with being a licensed in-home childcare provider, made for a very busy year!
First we get to plan our summer and have lots of fun! We have been gathering information for a month already. May is when most places start posting their information and opening up registration, but we started looking in April. We learned the hard way last year when we didn’t get to go do some of the things we wanted to because the class, camp, etc was already full! This summer, we plan to continue gymnastics for both kids, our 10 year old will still be in karate and summer basketball, our daughter will be trying out a dance camp with a new dance school, both kids are taking swim lessons, VBS, and also a sports camp! Plus there is still play groups and such. We made sure we could fit these activities into our budget and had to adjust our plans many times to make sure no one was going to be overwhelmed or stressed out.
All this got me thinking about our budget. We have some long term goals and plans that are in the works for the next year, so I had to scale back on our summer activities plans or find a less expensive way to do the same activity. So I wanted to share some of the fun stuff we have done in the past that didn’t break the bank:
- Splash pads – All over the metro, in Moore, and Norman there are parks with splash pads, which is great free fun. Our kids have a blast, get some exercise and even meet some new people.
- Public library – Local library have TONS of activities over the summer for all ages. Reading programs, classes, speakers, shows, story time, and the list goes on and on! Most of these activities are free or very inexpensive as well. Many of them do require you to preregister, so check out your local library’s website (or go in and ask!) to see what they have to offer.
- MetroFamily’s Kid Pass has some awesome deals that help make trips to the zoo, local museums, and so much more a little bit more affordable! Plus, they have an awesome page where you can see free events and activities going on in the metro.
- Indoor play areas – Whether you go to McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-a, or places like Game Time, UnPluggits, or JumpZone!, there are some great indoor places to run off some energy! Make sure to check out local papers, websites and more for coupons for some of these awesome places. Plus a few of the malls in the area have play areas for the little ones.
- Get outside! We have a tons of lakes and parks in Oklahoma. Make a day of it—pack a lunch, put on some sunscree and enjoy the fresh air.
- The backyard – you don’t even have to leave your own home! Sprinklers, side walk chalk, water balloons, bikes, crafts, and so much more! You can find lots of cool stuff to make crafts and enjoy at the Dollar Tree, the bargain bins at Target & Walmart, and can even find fun ideas in Terri's Creative Parenting blog.
The idea is to stay active and have fun! Throw in a little reading, let the kids help cook (helps practice math and science), and just simple things like drawing, painting, and so on helps keeps all that awesome stuff you learned during the school year fresh in their minds! Also check out Jennifer’s recent blog post for more awesome ideas!
Stay tuned! We have some exciting news coming soon!!!!