How do you plan for half days & vacations?

September 1, 2011 | By | Comments (5)

Summer may just be ending, but I’m already thinking about February. And April. And 10 random early release days scattered throughout the academic schedule.

Specifically, I’m thinking about what we’re going to do with the kids, and what it is going to cost.

Two years ago, when my son was in 1st grade, we registered him for half-day explorers, a program run by our local recreation department which helps families like mine bridge the gap on early release days. My son loved being in explorers, and who could blame him? They went bowling, to the movies, and visited other local attractions with other kids.

Last year, with two kids eligible to join the explorers, my husband and I decided (reluctantly on my part) to save money and cobble together care. But the truth is, we ended up relying very heavily on my mother, who willingly took the kids even though we hadn’t consulted her on our decision.

For the most part the year went smoothly, except for the occasional complaint from my then 8 year old son that hanging with his grandmother and younger sister was “boring.”

This year, with the kids now 6 and 9, we decided (this time it was my husband who was reluctant) to sign the kids up for explorers. The cost, $35 per day, per child, is not unreasonable, just a little painful when we have to pay a lump sum of $700 just when we’re getting hit with all the other beginning of school expenses.

But waiting to register is not an option – with only 45 open spots, a busy parent can’t mess around. Wait too long and you’ll be out of luck – which is why I’m always planning our summer in February, when the YMCA brochure arrives.

Speaking of which, now I have to figure out what we want to do for all those vacations. . .

What do your kids do on half days and vacation weeks?