Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Summer 2020 provided all of us with a wide range of new experiences. While many people transitioned to remote work or spent more time working on side hobbies, millions of children lost out on having what could only be called a normal summer. With travel, social and related restrictions in place, a lot of emphasis last year was placed on making the most of an indoor, socially distant summer.
We’re not out of the woods yet. But with millions of vaccine doses already administered this year, and the potential of a children’s vaccine right around the corner, there is some hope that we can return to some semblance of normal sooner rather than later.
Our children and families must feel like they are bursting at the seams and cannot do with another summer at home. However, out of an abundance of caution, we must remain vigilant and plan our activities with public and personal safety in mind. That being said, what will summer camp likely look like this year?
Pam Roggeman, EdD, a parent and dean of the College of Education at University of Phoenix, understands the challenges that the summer presents to parents who need child care services but also want to provide their children with a memorable summer vacation.
According to Roggeman, there are many resources at your disposal to make sure you enjoy a safe and responsible summer. These include reviewing official guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) designed for camp operators. You can also look into low-cost local camps (usually organized at the district level), local facilities and organizations such as religious organizations, church-based activities, the local YMCA and the local library.
While you keep on the lookout for activities available in your area that your children will enjoy, consider Roggeman’s five recommendations to help you plan the best summer possible given the restrictions and limitations that everyone is working around.
Approach summer as a parent but from the vantage point of your child
Try to find activities that your child enjoys and balance those with activities that have long-term value. You must also consider specific skills or weaknesses that your child may have. For example, some level of social detachment is common in students who attended online classes all year, so try to register for classes that your child’s friends are enrolled in. Did your child struggle academically? A learning camp might be a good idea. If your child enjoys video games, try to balance those activities with physical activity-based camps designed around sports or hiking.
Talk to your child’s teacher
Your child’s teacher has the unique opportunity of observing your child for several hours every day. This gives them a perspective that you may not have. Ask your child’s teacher about your child’s strengths, weaknesses, concerns they may have disclosed and issues they may have struggled with during the school year. You can use that feedback to make the right selections for summer camp.
Use your support system
While we are all operating within some form of social distancing, that does not mean we cannot be there to help one another. Family, friends and neighbors can all be included in your summer plans, and you can pool together time and resources to help each other cover commitments such as childcare, transportation and everyday errands. A single pick-up or drop-off snafu can wreak havoc on even the best-laid plans, so a healthy, active support system that can be there to help when you are unable to work things out yourself can be a real lifesaver.
Make appropriate plans but have contingency plans as well
The earlier you plan your child’s summer activities, the more time you will have to work around any issues that may pop up. If you need to change the time slot of an activity, arrange for cover at work, book care services for another child or hash out scheduling conflicts with your partner, it will be easier to do if you have plenty of time to make arrangements. Also, have a backup plan in case things don’t work out such as if your child is unable to complete their camp for some reason, if plans change due to health or weather or if unexpected developments throw your plans off course.
Talk with your kids
Above all, consult with your child. They know what they like and what they may want to do or learn over the summer. Listen to what they have to say and see how you can make their wishes work out with your summer plan, schedule, availability, and the activities on offer in your area. You might even be surprised by what they ask for.
Try these additional activities recommended by University of Phoenix that you can use to keep your kids entertained at home. You can also visit us here to learn how University of Phoenix’s flexible class scheduling makes higher education convenient throughout the year while managing a variety of personal and professional responsibilities.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix was founded to help busy, working adults acquire the skills, knowledge and expertise needed to advance professionally without having to take time off to attend the rigid regimen of classes in use at traditional colleges for far too long. Recognizing the importance of imparting industry-relevant training to students, University of Phoenix designs its courses with adult learners and the evolving workplace in mind. Learn more about how University of Phoenix can help you achieve your academic goals by visiting us at https://www.phoenix.edu/.