We have delayed one fun California rite-of-passage until all the kids are old enough to get the full experience:
Mckenna went with friends 2 summers ago, but the rest of us have never been.
But, if all goes as planned, that will change in 5 months.
Of course, being the homeschool Mom I am (I kinda don't like the connotation that comes with that word, homeschool. I have been my kids' teacher since they were born. I taught them to sleep, to eat, to talk, to walk, to count...they don't need to be 5 for me to become their teacher. I digress, sorry.) I had to turn our vacation into an economics lesson.
Mckenna and I sat at the computer and planned our trip.
We found ticket prices, mapped our route and estimated our gasoline, found the best hotel deal (we are discriminated against--if you are into conspiracy theories. We cannot, as a family of 5, rent one room. We have to reserve a suite. My family is too big in their opinion for one room), budgeted for food, planned out our days (loosely, though, because it's not vacation for Daniel if we pack our days full).
I had her create a spreadsheet with prices (she had to figure out tax and parking too), and tally our expenses.
I explained that it is cheapest to go in January, so that is when we are going. She was hoping for next week.
Add a lesson in patience and delayed gratification, and move right along.
I know, right now you are thankful you are not my kid.
Then we counted the months until we go, she realized we should divide the cost by the number of months to figure out how much to save each month--insert math lesson, uh huh--and presto! We have a plan and savings plan.
I learned a lesson too.
Going on vacation is E.X.P.E.N.S.I.V.E. Even though we do it C.H.E.A.P.
However, it's doable. Just check out Mckenna's list of how we will save for it:
Don't go out to eat (much)
Don't buy toys
Save Loose Change
Contribute kids' allowances
Be energy efficient
It's a great list.
But let me point out a few discrepancies.
1. She is the one who loves to eat out.
2. We just bought a gas-guzzler
3. We never buy toys
4. We keep track of our change
5. They have not been doing many chores--she only earned $3.75 in 2 weeks (she could earn $6 a week)--and they are committed to sponsoring a child in Haiti to go to school, so this could be a slow process.
6. She takes 30 minute showers when left to her own devices, leaves on the lights, the fan, etc.
I guess self-discipline is the next lesson to come.
My favorite part of the day was when I got a call requesting my tutoring services (it sounds all official when I say it that way); the second I was off the phone Mckenna said:
Mom, we can save your tutoring money for our vacation.
And of course, I will. Because we want to go on more adventures, and this one sounds particularly fun.