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If you’re like me, you and your kids have already begun the countdown to summer. No more homework, getting up early, or packing school lunches.  I don’t know about you, but I am convinced that parents look forward to summer break just as much as the students!

Despite how much I love summer, there is one aspect that I don’t love, and that is planning what my kids are going to do each week.

Regardless of whether you are a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, everyone wants their kids to have fun and be free from boredom for the 10 weeks they are home with us.

However working moms have a whole other stress to consider: “What am I going to do with my kids for the summer while I am at work?”

Like everything, the key for me is planning and being organized.  Don’t worry if you aren’t either of those things because below are the tips you’ll need to keeping everyone’s schedule straight and you sane from scrambling at the last minute of finding something to do.

1.   Look at a calendar by week and mark off any pre-planned vacations or other dates that are important.  Most people are visual, so if you look at the calendar by the week it’s easier to see what is going on with your schedule.

2.   Lay everything out so that you know exactly what you needs are. Identify the weeks that you can fill in any gaps, whether it’s with camp or a sitter.

3.   Make a list (or in my case, I use an excel spreadsheet.) I find the easiest way is to create a column for every week in the summer and a row for each child. Fill in each of their activities including start/end times and location.  There is nothing worse than realizing at the last minute that you need to be in two places at once.

4.   Pre register for camps if possible. This is a big one for me for 2 reasons:
a.     Because I am so Type A, it is important for me to have everything planned early so I don’t have to worry about it later.
b.     Most programs will offer a discount if you pre-register before a certain date. If you have multiple children attending several weeks at a camp, you could be saving yourself a couple of hundred dollars! (see, it pays to be organized J).

5.   Keep a folder or a binder labeled CAMP 2011 for all your paperwork.  If you have multiple children attending different programs, you may even want to have a section labeled for each child.

6.   Make sure that you have all necessary health records from your child’s physician.  Most camps will require some form of medical clearances, so be prepared to provide that when asked.

7.   Have a Plan B. Have some ideas in your back pocket for any unexpected changes that may arise.
Summer should be a time to relax and enjoy. You don’t need to be scheduled 24/7 but having a Plan of Action helps keep everyone on-track and less stressed.  Make the most of your summer; I know that I am looking forward to mine starting very soon!