Since the school district dumped Shea's summer school or ESY (Extended School Year), we decided to try something new.
Vashon Youth and Family Services do Chautauqua Kids program at the elementary school cafeteria. It is a nice big open space with an air hockey table, games, art projects, bike riding club and a different field trip each week. Off island even!
The program directors and teen mentors take the kids swimming 2 times a week and stick to a loose but structured day. Lots of variety, lots of supervision but not much hovering.
This was about self sufficiency and independence and doing for yourself. Sure there was help near by but Shea just got into the habit of taking care of stuff himself. A huge step for us.
This is mainly for kids whose parents work and the times are from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM. For $180 a week, it could be perhaps the most affordable day care set up around.
And, I am so glad we tried it! I considered it intensive social and behavior therapy and WOW! did it work.
We were tentative at first but Shea zoomed and soared with the structured fluidity, friend making, playing with the big kids and generally just having a great time.
The program directors were extremely sensitive to Shea's allergies and his speech issues. I just feel like I struck gold. So much so that I signed him up for several more weeks and ended the summer fully in love with the program.
When school got out in June, I was nervous about 1st grade. I thought it could go either way and was poised to worry. But now, after all the growth and talking and socializing and resolving issues this summer, I feel that Shea is really ready to go for 1st grade and give it his darndest!
Thanks VYFS and Chautauqua Kids! You made our summer!
2 months ago