Nine Weeks of Summer Gone in a Flash

After years of the same year round pre-school / childcare program, this was our first summer that was different. This was the first summer that Juliana had a break from school and we wanted to make sure that she had a mix of activities to fill the 9 weeks. We knew that she would spend some of that time in the familiar summer program where she had been for the past 3 years. The best thing about that program is that the boys are in the same building so it is one drop-off and one pick-up each day which made my life very easy on those days…in fact I could sleep 40 minutes later than a school day.

Juliana loves art class and art projects so when I stumbled upon a catalog for summer art camps, I thought it was something that Juliana would enjoy. The class that immediately popped up for me was “Art Stories” – a class where they would write a story and illustrate it. I was sure she would love it. Then I found several others that looked interesting. In the end I registered her for 4 weeks of art camp. The first 3 were in July and the final class was last week. The first 2 were full day and the last two were only in the morning.

Art in Motion – This class combined art, dance and music. They gave a performance at the end of the week with costumes and a set that they created in the class. It was a busy, active week and she enjoyed it. I wrote a little bit about the performance here. One of my favorite projects from that class was the drawing that they made while watching the other half of the class practice their dance.

Art Stories – The original class that I saw in the catalog, the class I thought she would love…she didn’t. I should have known immediately that there might be a problem when I dropped her off the first morning. Most of the chairs were already filled and the room was completely quiet – 20 kids 6-8 years old and you could have heard a pin drop. She was immediately uncomfortable and didn’t want me to leave. When I picked her up the first day, she told me that we should get all of her stuff because she wouldn’t be coming back. Drop-offs were bad all week – we were all happy when that class ended.

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Mosaics – As I was finalizing the schedule in March, this class caught my attention and I added it. And it ended up being her favorite class! She was excited to go every day and loved her teacher and we all loved her final project!

Jewelry Making – It was in the same room with the same teacher as Art Stories and I feared it was going to be another bad week. It wasn’t great, but not completely horrible either. I wonder if she would have survived the class if it was a full day. I was disappointed with what she created this week, most of what she brought home was incomplete or sloppy (edited: Scott thought this was a harsh comment about Juliana when he read it. To be clear that is a criticism of the class and the way it was structured.)

Overall I was really happy with the art camp program as a whole and it was very organized. And we will definitely be back next week for a few weeks and I will be looking for more active classes. Half-days were difficult to manage, but my mom was able to pick her up for a few afternoons and I took off some afternoons. Dropping off the kids in two different places wasn’t fun and required some extra coordination. I am looking forward to the school year after a busy 9 weeks.

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