Mother Nature: Saying Good-bye to School

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By Leslie Lindsay

It may be that I am the worst mother in town.  You see, I love my kids…but I don’t want school to be out for summer.  Nope.  No way.  Nada.  Sure, they are excited.  And I remember that joyous, carefree feeling of flying out of the school doors on the last day and thinking, “Whoo—hoo!  Good-bye school and heeellllooo summer.”  As an elementary kid, that was just about the best feeling in the world.  I had it all planned out in my mind:  pool and trips to the local attractions like the zoo and Six Flags, if I could get mom to take me.

In all honesty, my summers were pretty fun.  It didn’t always mean the big pool, but perhaps the plastic one with the built-in-slide shaped like a turtle.  It meant popsicles and the smell of mom’s Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil (back before we cared about high SPF).  It meant mac ‘n cheese for lunch everyday because I wasn’t buying school lunch.

Yet, I wonder how my mom felt about summer?  Her free time now slashed in half–or practically nonexistant.  And I wonder if she planned summer camps and “enrichment” activities for me and my sister like I feel I need to do for my kids?  (I can remember doing a few things like that when I was an older elementary student, but nothing as young as my kids are now).

I do wish I could embrace summer and just go with the flow.  Yet I have goals, dreams, aspirations, and doggone-it–structure–that I like to employ in my day-to-day life.

So, here’s what I am doing in preparation of the last day of school:  getting proactive.  Kind of. 

  • I cleaned out the kids’ craft cabinet and re-discovered workbooks, coloring books, markers, etc that I could re-purpose.  Everyday, I have decided the girls will have a quiet work time in which they can complete these workbooks that have been collecting dust.  They will have to show me what they have done.
  • Purging the basement playroom.  Lot’s of old toys are going.  Lots of others are being reclaimed so when the kids get bored, I can say, “Oh, you have such-and-such you haven’t played with in eons!”
  • Reorganizing the pantry and stocking it with fun, healthy, easy-to-eat snacks like all-fruit popsicles, string cheese, Raisinettes, and those delicious sweet potato chips from WholeFoods.
  • Going through piles and piles of papers that have suddenly appeared on my countertop as the school year comes to a close.  Assessments and report cards are getting filed, school notebooks and supplies redistributed, projects are going in large portfolios (or the recycling bin….sorry, guys).  And finally,
  • Making a pile of things for the girls to organize when we get one of those really hot, really boring days.

And that is how I am saying good-bye to the school year.  Sigh…

When’s the first day back, again?!

3 responses »

  1. Your plan of action sounds fantastic. Especially having them spend time each day on the workbooks. That seems like it will help them keep a school-like routine, so it’s not so difficult to get them doing homework again come autumn, while being fun for them too (because coloring books are awesome)!

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