J2 Content – Perspectives

A varied collection of thoughts on education and parenting

Summer Vacation

The last day of school for my kids quickly approaches and with it the start of summer vacation.

I love summer and I love summer vacation. Unfortunately I’m not a student, nor do I get summers off from work. As a result, the summer vacation phenomena is quite a disruption to our normal family routine.  Where my kids will be out of school for 2-3 months, I will be lucky to take a week off during this time.

I work from home. When the kids are at school,my “office” is fairly quiet. However when the kids are home it’s sometimes difficult to maintain the boundaries between Mom and Career Woman. If I hear the kids argue my first reaction is to intervene as Mom.  And, if they need something their first reaction is to come into my office and bug me.  “Mom, can I go to a friend’s house?” “Mom, can I watch a movie?” and so on…  I’ve learned it takes approximately a week to re-establish boundaries so my kids understand my working time vs. Mom time.

Another adjustment required during the summer vacation is overcoming boredom.  Last year, it took 4 hours after my daughter was out of school before she said, “Mom, I’m bored”.  Ugh. I try to instill that they need to work on entertaining themselves, but I do feel for them – we aren’t wealthy enough to do something extravagant every day and finding something inexpensive to do (or better yet – FREE) is difficult.

Then there’s the reminder of the upcoming school year. Children forget the lessons learned, and it’s a difficult battle to explain to my kids on why I’m having them do homework during their summer vacation.  Educators say it can take up to two months in the fall for teachers to review old lessons and bring students up to par. By providing them a little homework throughout the summer I’m attempting to minimize the re-education process and also combat summer boredom.

There will be time to spend with family, friends, and maybe go on the occasional trip during the summer. But for those of us parents who work during the summer it’s difficult to balance work and family life, especially when the children are not attending school during the day.

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