Drudgery Week. That is the reassigned theme name for this week at Camp Lieblich. No, I did not have the pleasure of sitting at my desk doing paperwork nor cleaning. Today I embarked on the overwhelming task of figuring out how I am going to keep four kids occupied and entertained for the next nine to ten weeks. It is 5 in the evening, as I start to write this post (first draft only), and I am still in my morning walking clothes. That you should give you some indication of how the day went.
Last Friday, we did some preliminarily looking online at ideas and websites for virtual camps and summer activities. My friend and researcher-extraordinaire, Anna, sent some comprehensive websites last week and I found more once I started to dig in today. Last week I was so burned out from homeschooling that I just couldn't tackle this enormous undertaking, so I put it aside. But I could avoid no longer, so today was the day of reckoning. After spending the beginning part of this week getting caught up on some urgent matters of my own and around the house I knew that I had to face the music of planning what is sure to be a very long summer.
Lest you think I am superwoman, I barely made a dent in the process, despite spending most of the day on it. I revisited countless virtual camp websites I had seen last week and studied each one in-depth. What I found was that between the prices, lack of available spots and odd schedules (some start at 3 AM PST), there weren't many that were going to work.
I found a few that I liked and am hoping will help to fill the 700-800 hours I have ahead of me this summer. When you break it down to simple arithmetic, it doesn't sound that daunting, does it?
I found one called Varsity Tutors and they offer a lot of free classes online. I figure if they're free, what do I have to lose? After watching the debacle with Zoom these past three months (most particularly with Garin), I am reticent, at best, to pay a fortune for a repeat performance. School was free and I nearly threw all 5 computers out the window, out of pure frustration, so I can only imagine what I might do if I had to pay money to experience that all over again, in the form of virtual summer camp.
I signed up for a multitude of classes on Varsity Tutors. Here are some of the interesting titles: Virtual Safari: Big Cats Class; YEEOOW!: The Science of Bites and Stings; Brain Games; Veni Vidi Vici! Introduction to Latin; Under The Sea: Ocean Explorations; Is It Ready Yet? Healthy Easy Snacks: and Presidential Secrets. I was tempted to lie about my age and register for some of the classes myself. only to realize I would never have time to indulge in virtual summer camp.
Garin took his first class today Virtual Safari: Big Cats Class. The instructor featured cheetah's and he seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. If nothing else, it kept him from exclaiming how bored he was for 90 minutes and out of everyone's hair. You can't beat that!
I am continuing to brainstorm for ideas. I found a lot of DIY arts and crafts ideas which we will try if I can get my crafting juices going. I also found terrific things on a website called Wide Open School including virtual field trips; fun projects and videos; and lots more. Finally, we searched up cookie recipes together and are going to do a cookie baking marathon this summer, trying as many recipes as we can. Tessa suggested we create a chart and rate them all. Shelley suggested we drop them off to first responders or friends as a loving gesture. I liked both those ideas! I am also going to embark on bread baking with them, so if you have any favorite recipes please send them our way.
I spent so many hours looking at websites geared toward families quarantined for the summer, that my head was spinning, Despite that, I barely made a dent in the task at hand - occupying this spirited brood of four, for ten weeks. By 4:30 I gave up and decided to go on Bloomingdales.com to look at pretty clothes and distract myself from everything. Despite the tempting sale they are having, I am not sure I'll buy anything since I have nowhere to go, nothing to do and no one to see. But for an hour or so, it sure was fun to pretend that I did!
Printouts of all the classes I signed the kids up for today. This will cover about 10% of their summer waking hours.
A three-month schedule for each of the kids with all the classes recorded from above, categorized by month, class and child. Warning: Can cause a severe headache and nausea just looking at it.
Catherine and Garin helping me research cookie recipes and scooters (which we ended up deciding against after Garin discovered that 67,000 kids are injured each year on them. Leave it to Garin to find that statistic).
Garin enjoying his first virtual class this afternoon on Cheetah's, which included rather graphic footage of a kill. Now I can see why it was for 6th to 9th graders only.
Miles' craft project - bedazzling his ten-foot python. You can't do that with a real snake, Miles!
Miles playing with the new Bug Catcher Kit that arrived from Amazon yesterday. Since there was no note nor card we have no idea who sent it? We love it and want to say thank you, so if you sent it, please speak up and let us know!
All the kids joining in the fun with the new Bug Catcher Kit. It's a big hit!
This is the sight I came upon after emerging from hours of mind-numbing camp research. Oh dear. I surmise they'll be up until dawn trying to clean it all up.