Smarty was very interested to get back to the camp that she enjoyed last year. It's a day camp for middle schoolers in a local community college called College 4 Kids. Just like in a real college, kids choose their "courses" from a course catalog and then take these courses for 3 weeks. This year, Smarty chose living history, creative writing, drama, and animation. The only thing that I don't like about this camp is that it starts early, at 8:30, which means that Smarty needs to get up for it at the same time as she would for school year, and she will be home only at 4:30 leaving little time for anything else. However, she is eagerly looking forward to it.
After this camp is over, there are two more weeks of camps. One is another of Smarty's favorites, Steve & Kate camp. Technically, she already aged out of it based on her grade, but not by her age. She loves Steve & Kate, because it's a "self-directed" camps - instead of following a certain program, students can choose different stations throughout the day. We like that Steve & Kate has a concept of daily passes and does not requite a minimum stay. Smarty will go for 3 days and will stay 2 days at home with her Dad on the week of Steve & Kate camp. Her last camp will be an art camp. She has never done an art camp before, but she really enjoyed her art elective this term, and she wanted to try it out.
Once the camps are done, Smarty is flying with her Dad to visit her grandfather in Germany. They go every year since she was 6. Smarty enjoys visiting Bremen, her father's "place of origin", and Cologne where her uncle and aunt live. Usually the highlight of her visit in Germany is time spent with our friends who have three girls, but this year they won't be around during that time. Still, she is looking forward to German food and parks.
In the end of week 2 of this trip, we are all going to meet up in Denmark and go on a cruise on the Baltic Sea. It will be Smarty's second cruise, and she is looking forward to exploring new countries including a stop in Russia. My parents are coming as well, so Smarty will also get much needed time with the other set of grandparents, and we all celebrate important anniversaries of this year.
Getting Ready for School
By the time we get back from Europe, Smarty will have one more week left before the start of her next school year. She is expected to have an orientation and some assessments done that week and find out what classes she can take next year. This is the only week when she has free time this summer - time to recover from her travels, relax, and get mentally prepared for an entirely new school experience.
I feel a little guilty that Smarty's summer is so packed. We did ask her if she would be interested in staying home on her own one or two weeks early in summer while we work, but she did not like this idea. Besides, honestly, our daughter is not doing too well with too much unstructured time, and we don't want her to spend too much time in front of screens in summer. I hope she enjoys her camps and travel time and will come back refreshed and ready to tackle her next year of learning.
What are your plans for this summer?