B.C.—aka Before COVID

Way back in January B.C.–that’s Before COVID–we filed our taxes early and designated a chunk of our refund to summer break. (Ironically, this is the first year we’ve been on top of budgeting for summer.) This year we planned for swim lessons and bike camp, outings and adventures, museums and movie tickets on rainy days, extra ice cream treats, weekend getaways, and some babysitting time so Mama could enjoy a leisurely stroll through the air-conditioned aisles of Target without two kids begging for everything in sight.


As a stay-at-home-parent, I have dubbed our annual summer childcare plans “Camp Mama.” The kiddos attend a mini-camp or two, but for the most part, I am Camp Director . . . and I love it! Both kids are on the same schedule, the weather is amazing, and we have a huge metropolitan area to explore.

gif of mom and daughter having fun in the summer

I love plotting out our adventures and reliving my childhood alongside my daughters. We alternate between outings to parks and beaches, afternoons at the pool, and playground picnics with friends. With more time on our hands, we venture further across our city and out into suburbs. For those rare rainy days, I’ve got a closet full of craft projects and board games, but most of our days are spent outside and with friends.

And then the world stopped.

sorry folks. park's closed. the moose out front should've told ya.

When Everything Changed

That money is still sitting there in my budget, patiently waiting to be spent. But as we approach Memorial Day Weekend, the official kick-off of the summer season, I’m realizing it’s time to start formulating Plan B.

gif of a woman at a microphone saying "well this is different"

As it stands now, there will be no camps, no getaways, no beaches or pools, no movie theaters, and no playdates. And that supply of rainy day contingency plans is dwindling rapidly after already 50+ days at home. We don’t yet know what our summer will look like, but we know for sure it won’t be like any summer we’ve had before. We’ve got about five more weeks until we transition from homeschooling in a crisis to summer breaking in a crisis. And it’s about that time for parents and caregivers to figure out what that means.
So what exactly are we going to do?!

What’s Plan B?

a gif saying we need a plan b

To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure yet. If this quarantine has taught me anything, it’s to stay flexible. Any plans we make now will be adaptable—to evolving safety measures, a new season, my kids’ cooperation, and most importantly, my daily level of energy and motivation. The farthest I’ve gotten into planning our summer break is researching above ground pools for our backyard. We’re incredibly fortunate to have a large backyard (by city standards), and a pool we can actually use feels necessary to surviving a quarantine summer.

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

That’s not an option for so many families, and I know we’ll need more than a new pool to stay sane. This summer we’ll have more hours of the day to fill without a stream of resources from school, so I’m also planning what I like to call Homeschool Lite. Our current routine is working pretty well for us, and I’m solidly in the parenting camp of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Right now, we do a few hours of learning and connecting each morning. It’s a mix of class meetings, independent activities, and group projects. Afternoons, the girls are free to choose what they do (with a few limitations). I’ll make a few adjustments to account for nicer weather and a lack of class Zoom meetings, but I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel here. I’m envisioning themes to guide our activities and learning. More hands-on experiments and messy projects in the backyard instead of the living room. Less screens and lots of creativity and outside play.

gif from schitts creek saying "we will make this work!"

This summer is far from what I imagined even two months ago when I had the audacity to hope that this would be over by now. It’s anyone’s guess when (or even if) we’ll return to normal. So for now, I’m embracing the chaos, focusing on the positive, and leaning into the fun memories we can create together this summer while we’re safe at home.

Get Advice, Highlights, Tips And More!

Take me there
Secured By miniOrange