Here's the situation if I weren't an actress, writer, stay-at-home mom, event planner I would be teaching. I have survived by teaching acting a few times. I enjoy it. I especially liked working with younger kids. I spent two semesters of college teaching kindergarteners. I think it helps my parenting in general that I have teaching experience. I even considered (when Isaac was having such a tough first grade year) homeschooling him. I knew I could give him the appropriate levels of academics and one on one attention. Aside from not wanting to "give up" on the public education system (how will it ever get better if we all bail?) I knew Isaac needed the forced socialization.
Over the summer we usually enroll Isaac in some sort of science camp. He loves it. He is a creature of routine who very much comes unglued with something at least vaguely familiar. It keeps him around his peers, but better than it's kids his age who enjoy science. It gives Mom a break and keeps us all sane. He usually goes for 9 out 10 weeks during regular school hours (8am-2pm) plus after care. We've always skipped the last one before school starts. The problem is when I began my research this year our best option was the camp he went to last year, but the grades are grouped two years for each set of classes. He's in the 2-3rd group again and the classes are almost identical to last year. There was no way I was going to shell out that kind of money for repeats.
I briefly considered petitioning to bump him up to the 4-5 group since there classes looked amazing (robotics, rocket building, etc), but again Isaac has social issues so an environment full of older kids is asking for trouble. I spent a few weeks looking for an alternative, but everything near us was completely inappropriate, very short term or really expensive. Then I found great stuff hours away, but with a toddler and a puppy there's no way.
I decided we would enroll him in the same science camp he did last year, but only do three weeks. One week in June, one week in July and one in August. Which means a lot of work for me. He's all signed up now. With his spot secure (for the weeks Mike and I hand picked) it was time for me to work on his curriculum at home. A teacher friend recommended Summer Bridge Activities and we'll be using the 4-5th grade book from them. It's set up to span a summer. It breaks up the subjects up nicely and makes suggestions for hands on experiments or physical activities to do. It also has a companion CD. I'm excited. On top of that we found a physics workbook with lots of fun games. It's AP physics, but Mike assures me it's not over Isaac's head at all. I hope it's not over mine and Isaac will certainly think it's a treat.
Obviously, we'll be doing a lot more than workbooks. There will be field trips, summer reading lists, free time and maybe if I play my cards right some arts and crafts that will engage Riley too. I'm still formulating a daily schedule, but it's already feeling less overwhelming. I'm open to suggestions too. Riley will still go to her school three days a week this summer so I have four days a week for 6-7wks to entertain a 9 & 2yrs old. May the force be with me.