Since school finished for the year, the most common worry I’ve heard from families that I work with, as well as those that I don’t , is scheduling. School provides a great deal of structure, but what happens when that is suddenly gone for two-three months in the middle of the year?
Camps: This isn’t a cure all for the entire summer (unless you find a summer long day-camp program), but it can help to take a good chunk of time during the summer and provide a wide variety of experiences for your child. Just last week, I did some music therapy groups with Camp T.A.L.K. here in the midlands. While I was only there for a day, what I saw was awesome! The campers had structured activities throughout the day that were as diverse as the kids participating. They also had lots of volunteers and mentors helping out, and positively reinforcing good social skills and positive self esteem. I wish I had helpers like that in every group I do! Talking to other parents in your area can help you figure out what programs would be best for your child.
Free Community Activities: I wish I was a kid some days! I love looking through the events calendar in the Free-Times. They do an excellent job of rounding up the free and low cost activities in the midlands. It’s a good way to be aware of special rate days at EdVenture, cool activities at the Richland County Public Library, and lots of other goodies.
Weekly Groups: It’s also a great time to begin a weekly group for your child! Beginning a therapy group in the summer gives your child a great chance to adjust and acclimate to the group without the added scheduling stress of school. Many groups (like the ones I offer here at Key Changes) have day and evening slots to accommodate varying schedules. Summer is the perfect time to try new things, so if music therapy is on your list of things to explore, try it in the summer!
Vacations: I have to admit that I am jealous of some of the kids I work with. They take awesome vacations! While I can’t imagine a highly scheduled vacation seems enjoyable, be sure that you have activities in your vacation that your child can look forward to and count on happening. If you are in Florida for a week, let them know that Tuesday is the beach and Thursday is Disney. That way, they have something to look forward to and count on. Enjoy the rest of your vacation being a parent with them, and loving the looks on their faces when they see Mickey close up!
I hope some of these tips help you have a smooth summer. Please share your tips and tricks for a smoothly scheduled summer in the comments!