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#31 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 02:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom
I don't see any difference between a 'nice' little camp program and a 'nice' litte preschool program.
I see two differences:

1) Camps tend to be focused on a certain interest (art camp, soccer camp, etc.)

and

2) Camps tend to be short in duration (one week, three weeks, etc.)

Namaste!
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#32 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 03:02 PM
 
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I am strongly considering HSing, but I did have my twin boys in a Waldorf preschool two mornings a week, and will continue to do this during the upcoming year as I research our alternatives. Although I really love the program there, it does have the boys in the mode of going to "school", which may cause some strife if/when they stay home instead of heading to Kgarden. We'll see. We could never afford the program without the help of the g-parents. I figure I'll use the break while I can. I have really enjoyed having them home with me all summer - it can be a real pain to have to get your child to "school" by 8:30 AM!

Good luck with your decision - go with what works best for you mama. . .
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#33 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 07:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
I see two differences:

1) Camps tend to be focused on a certain interest (art camp, soccer camp, etc.)

and

2) Camps tend to be short in duration (one week, three weeks, etc.)

Namaste!
I can't see sending a preschooler to an 'Interest camp' for a couple of weeks. Little ones can't take hours a day of soccer, even if just for a couple of weeks. Well, some can, but that wouldn't interest me.

My kids are not preschool age, but I woould rather see a couple of hours a play a week in a little program than an intense summer program of anything for my littles.

That's just me, and I admit I'm a slacker. :
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#34 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 07:46 PM
 
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how is that slacking? I happen to know you are the anti-slacker-mama, the ultimate in admirable, wouldyoubemymom mama-ness, UUmom.

(eta, I have a serious problem I think - my post count is way higher than yours and I know you've been hanging here longer. )

My kids did 3 hours/day soccer camp this summer for just one week, and it completely wiped them out. They are 9 and 11. As preschoolers neither of them would have been up for full days of separation.

Also, I think I'd prefer a school/childcare situation to camps because they have a chance to form an attachment to the adults and I have the chance to check them out ahead of time. Sometimes camps and short-term lessons have pretty sketchy adult leadership.
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#35 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 08:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PancakeGoddess
how is that slacking? I happen to know you are the anti-slacker-mama, the ultimate in admirable, wouldyoubemymom mama-ness, UUmom.

(eta, I have a serious problem I think - my post count is way higher than yours and I know you've been hanging here longer. )

My kids did 3 hours/day soccer camp this summer for just one week, and it completely wiped them out. They are 9 and 11. As preschoolers neither of them would have been up for full days of separation.

Also, I think I'd prefer a school/childcare situation to camps because they have a chance to form an attachment to the adults and I have the chance to check them out ahead of time. Sometimes camps and short-term lessons have pretty sketchy adult leadership.
Oh, how sweet are you? Thanks for that. I happen to think we both have really nice kids.

I say slacker because 'interest camps' , especially sports interest camps are big here. These little 4 yr olds sent off to 'excel'. I mean what sort of mother might I be if I reject that notion? lol Slacker. I much prefer 'little' programs, in small doses for my small children. I know my youngest would love to go to a 'little' program (preschool) for a couple of hours two times a week. If I could find something sweet and respectful and afforable, I'd do it. And I know she would love it.

But to send her off for hours of fill -in- the- blank-do -something-for-hours-camp in the massive heat? Heck no. Not to mention, oy, what I have seen in some 'camps' that pass for adult 'leadership'. Plus, so many summer 'counselors' might have an interest , and perhaps 'excel' in a certain thing, but do not have the foggiest notion of how to communicate with a 3 or 4 year old. You're right on that, for sure.

I like what you said about forming a bond with someone you like and see regularly. That's so nice. It doesn't always have to be mommy.
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#36 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 08:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom

I like what you said about forming a bond with someone you like and see regularly. That's so nice. It doesn't always have to be mommy.
yes. I never planned for my oldest to go to school at all, but when he met his kindy teacher, they had such a lovely connection. It was a very expanding year for him AND me.
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#37 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
I can't see sending a preschooler to an 'Interest camp' for a couple of weeks. Little ones can't take hours a day of soccer, even if just for a couple of weeks. Well, some can, but that wouldn't interest me.

My kids are not preschool age, but I woould rather see a couple of hours a play a week in a little program than an intense summer program of anything for my littles.
Well, I don't think anyone offers full-day soccer camp for preschoolers. I guess I was thinking of the places around here that offer a one-week, 2.5-hour-per-day painting class for four year olds, or the 2-hours-per-day for one week soccer camp for four year olds that I saw when I was looking into soccer camp for my 11 year old. I wasn't thinking of a 9-hour-a-day, summer long camp for preschoolers.

But I do think that preschool and camps for preschoolers are very different.

Namaste!
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#38 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 11:29 PM
 
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We won't do preschool, but we will do specific classes in interests

Homeschooling SAHM to 3 children under 5 + one on the way.
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#39 of 53 Old 07-26-2006, 11:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama

But I do think that preschool and camps for preschoolers are very different.

Namaste!
I'm sorry, I don't think preschoolers need 'interest camps'. I can't even imagine a 3 or 4 yr having to play soccer for 3 hours! Or any one thing for 3 hours! I would never drop a 3 or 4 or 5 yr old off on a hot summer field for 2 or 3 hours or more hours. I can't even think of a single child that age who would want to play soccer for that long. (I am sure there are some). I'd rather see a little one be able make various choices in that long period of time. Run through a sprinkler, glue some paper, dump some glitter, go sit in the shade or inside & hear a little story. I honestly can't imagine feeling comfortable with something like that.

I suppose if you found a short and sweet one with suberb couselors, then it might be like an excellent play (preschool?) program.

I don't think preschoolers need long days of 'interest camps'. None of my children would have been interested in something like that. I think excellence is excellence no matter the season. I've never seen an 'interest camp' for preschoolers that met my criteria. But if I found one, or a short and sweet preschool/play program, I would see if my children were interested.

My experience with camps has shown me that most summer counselors don't have the maturity level or experince with littles that would convince me that money would not be wasted, or that my teeny one would be well cared for.
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#40 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 12:10 AM
 
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I'm a single parent who homeschools both of my kids. I never sent either one of my kids to preschool. To be honest, I really don't understand the concept of homeschooling and sending them to a regular preschool. To each her own, I suppose.

I'm a single, self-employed, homeschooling mom of 2 great kids. Girl 9/95 and Boy 3/99.
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#41 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 08:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom
My experience with camps has shown me that most summer counselors don't have the maturity level or experince with littles that would convince me that money would not be wasted, or that my teeny one would be well cared for.
I totally agree. Fortunately, I rarely have to make this call because my kids generally think it's nuts to just take off with a strange adult and wave goodbye to me, so we don't do it.

I will say, though, and this is really getting off topic, the soccer camp my big kids attended offered a 90 minute/day week-long camp for ages 3-6, and I watched them every day (while I sat watching my big kids). The counselors were in their 20s, no high school - visiting from the UK for this summer job, and they were excellent, very playful, wrestling, water play, and the soccer part was all games. If anyone DOES want a soccer camp for any age, I can recommend those people - my kids have liked it two yrs in a row.
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#42 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 09:21 AM
 
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Am I the only one whose kids would not stay at a camp or program without me?

My oldest, at age 4 and up, would stay at about an hour long program without me. Once, we tried a drop-off yoga class and he loved it. My youngest, OTOH, was absolutely hysterical that we had left him and basically was very unsettled until we picked him back up. We manage to sneak out the door for Sunday School, but my youngest will often ask if he can come.

Programs like that would not be an option for us. I had looked into some summer programs run by the school district (I know it sounds scary but they had some great workshops for kids and it was open to hs-ers). Anyway, I could not leave my oldest for the couple of hours that they wanted and even though he uses the bathroom by himself, he hasn't really developed modesty yet and often wants company.

I am amazed at the kids who happily separate at such young ages, because mine wouldn't do that.

I don't like preschool for us mainly due to the school socialization reasons. I think it possibly puts them in a school mindset and when their friends move up to Kindergarten, they wonder why they are being left out. I didn't want to introduce that paradigm at all. But, I can see the value in programs, just like I would for older kids, but my littles would never separate from me to do them.
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#43 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 09:35 AM
 
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We found a play-only pre-school with quality (educated and trained) teachers. My son went two days a week and it helped him a lot. He was four at the time he went. It was the first time he had left me for any length of time. I had a new baby at the time so it was good for both of us!
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#44 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 09:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UUMom
I'm sorry, I don't think preschoolers need 'interest camps'. I can't even imagine a 3 or 4 yr having to play soccer for 3 hours! Or any one thing for 3 hours! I would never drop a 3 or 4 or 5 yr old off on a hot summer field for 2 or 3 hours or more hours. I can't even think of a single child that age who would want to play soccer for that long.
UUMom, I think you are taking this a little personally. I never said that preschoolers need interest camps. I never said that I would take my child to one (although I can see my four year old LOVING a painting camp). I merely said that I see a difference between preschools and interest camps in regards to whether they are "anti-homeschooling."

Btw, just to set your mind at ease, the TWO (not three) hour soccer camp that I saw for four year olds was run by adults, not teenagers, and consisted of three 15-minute sections of "instruction" and one 15-minute "scrimmage" broken up by three 15-minute sections of rest time and one 15-minute "closing time." Regardless of whether you think a four-year-old NEEDS a soccer camp, some four year olds might like this. In my area, soccer starts at four years old. (Yes, *I* think that four year olds are too young, but apparently many others parents don't.)

Namaste!
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#45 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 10:30 AM
 
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Originally Posted by PancakeGoddess
I totally agree. Fortunately, I rarely have to make this call because my kids generally think it's nuts to just take off with a strange adult and wave goodbye to me, so we don't do it.

I will say, though, and this is really getting off topic, the soccer camp my big kids attended offered a 90 minute/day week-long camp for ages 3-6, and I watched them every day (while I sat watching my big kids). The counselors were in their 20s, no high school - visiting from the UK for this summer job, and they were excellent, very playful, wrestling, water play, and the soccer part was all games. If anyone DOES want a soccer camp for any age, I can recommend those people - my kids have liked it two yrs in a row.
I agree that that there are some great programs available. My 12 yr old did a sailing/tennis camp for two weeks this summer that was spectacular. And my 14 yr old loves riding camp. When my little one is older, I am going to send her there as well. It's too much time for a little, imo. And it would not be appropriate for a preschooler. Hard work of tacking and mucking out stalls etc. And no other choices but riding, tacking and mucking. In fact, I think a child has to be 8 to attend. Interest camps for older kids with actual interest is nearly heaven, I think.

My youngest also did a Reggio art program this summer and last, in a Reggio School (preschool to 3rd grade). I keep telling them they need to add a very part-time component for people who arent interested in full time school. It's adult run, by very energetic, respectful, knowledgeable, creative, dedicated folk who actually understand the Reggio model.

I know excellent camp programs exist (although I can't say they exist in abundance for preschoolers!), just as I know there are excellent part time preschool programs out there for interested children.
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#46 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 10:35 AM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
UUMom, I think you are taking this a little personally. I never said that preschoolers need interest camps. I never said that I would take my child to one (although I can see my four year old LOVING a painting camp). I merely said that I see a difference between preschools and interest camps in regards to whether they are "anti-homeschooling."

Btw, just to set your mind at ease, the TWO (not three) hour soccer camp that I saw for four year olds was run by adults, not teenagers, and consisted of three 15-minute sections of "instruction" and one 15-minute "scrimmage" broken up by three 15-minute sections of rest time and one 15-minute "closing time." Regardless of whether you think a four-year-old NEEDS a soccer camp, some four year olds might like this. In my area, soccer starts at four years old. (Yes, *I* think that four year olds are too young, but apparently many others parents don't.)

Namaste!
I didn't feel it was personal.

If your children are happy, and it's working, that's fantastic. I have no personal issue with your children's programming. Please don't feel you need to justify your choices. I'm just participating in a disscussion.
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#47 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 10:38 AM
 
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Am I the only one whose kids would not stay at a camp or program without me?


see my post above yours
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#48 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 10:41 AM
 
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My youngest also did a Reggio art program this summer and last, in a Reggio School (preschool to 3rd grade). I keep telling them they need to add a very part-time component for people who arent interested in full time school. It's adult run, by very energetic, respectful, knowledgeable, creative, dedicated folk who actually understand the Reggio model.
Oh! this reminds me - tell me if this isn't NUTS... there is a local eco-camp - basically nature/hiking camp right in our town but after age 8 there is NO daycamp. Everything is overnight for a week!
wth??
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#49 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 10:54 AM
 
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Oh! this reminds me - tell me if this isn't NUTS... there is a local eco-camp - basically nature/hiking camp right in our town but after age 8 there is NO daycamp. Everything is overnight for a week!
wth??
Bummer. They are missing out on a whole bunch of folks that way!

Although depending on the people/program/child, a lot of older kids do like that overnight stuff. My children started attending a UU Nature camp for a week at a time at around age 9/10. My 17 yr old will age out next year, but will continue as a camp worker (probably in the kitchen) as adult couselors run the programs.
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#50 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by UUMom
If your children are happy, and it's working, that's fantastic. I have no personal issue with your children's programming. Please don't feel you need to justify your choices. I'm just participating in a disscussion.
I'm not justifying my choices because my kids have never been to camp. You just seemed a little worked up about the soccer camp thing. But I do think you are not reading me correctly if you think I am justifying my choices because, like I said, I don't think four year olds should be going to camp, anyway, and I haven't ever sent my kids to one.

Namaste!
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#51 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 11:10 AM
 
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I did because I was working at the time. Now that my work hours are way down, we're doing all our "schooling" (very little now) at home.
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#52 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 11:41 AM
 
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Although depending on the people/program/child, a lot of older kids do like that overnight stuff.
oh of course - although I can't imagine it, and neither could my kids, I'm sure it's true. I just wish this camp would offer both options, or let daycampers just go home and come back - what's the big deal with that? For starters, I think the fact that the camp director and all counselors are childless themselves, so they are just not fully getting that separation concept.

I do think the camp is missing out on a lot of business, like you say. Unfortunately, I get the feeling I'm the only one who makes the annual phone call to say so. They respond like I'm a dolt when I suggest it.
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#53 of 53 Old 07-27-2006, 03:22 PM
 
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We chose not to send dd to pre-school last year. First, I really think they are geared towards getting kids ready for kdg (at least the ones around here are). Since she isn't going to ps for that, I see no reason to have her go to preschool. Second, I like being able to pick and choose activities that she is really interested in and focus on those. So for her she did a playgroup (it was also part of a moms group for me), dance class, story time, and church. All of these were onlt 1-1.5 hrs at a time, just enough time to have fun without being gone for a big part of the day.
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