It's over and we thrived - two weeks of spring break. Since the corporate world doesn't support 6 weeks of annual vacation and my husband and I both work full time, we spend significant effort planning for extended school vacations. We are exhausted, but it was a success. Our trick is regular reinforcements.
In truth, our community had a camp available for the second week, but we didn't take advantage of that simplifying option. We jam packed a lot of family and a lot of travel without incurring a ton of PTO.
First, we spent the opening weekend skiing in Tahoe. This is one of our favorite family activities - outdoor, athletic and full of smiles. Combine that we did it with my sister's family and we have extended family fun - and more playmates for everyone.
Survival Tip one: Find people you like who have children your children like.
Second, we hosted my brother-in-law's family for five days in our home. We shared two Passover seders and their family explored San Francisco and our town - bringing our boys along as tour guides. Most of the time, the kids just enjoyed free play around the yard and neighborhood. We worked, the kids and in-laws played.
Survival Tip two: Invite out-of-town families to visit. It's fun, special and the kids create their own entertainment.
On the weekend, we rested. It was Easter weekend and our wedding anniversary - blissfully, we had no plans.
Survival Tip three: Down time calms everyone. Schedule some.
The second week we went to camp grandparent. A non-stop flight across the country and then it's fun in the sun. Grandma and Grandpa have a pool and live near tennis and golf. Everyone can relax, splash, play without lots of programming. Thankfully, it didn't rain.
Survival Tip four: Change the scenery and encourage free play.
At the end of the two weeks, I found that my kids and I really liked each other. We had enough space apart while being together because we sometimes explored different recreation and sometimes didn't.
Survival Tip five: Roll with it.
Our return flight was delayed three hours on the ground and we didn't get home until 2am on a school night. The kids slept on the plane and at home...and everyone kept their cool.
What are your survival tips for extended school vacations?