I decided that maybe it was time for the boys to try something more structured, especially since Aleks has been calling for school lately (due to the fact that all the kids on our block are in the same class, practically). First, we went swimming with the slightly-far-away homeschooling/unschooling friends. That actually worked out well and Aleks decided he'd rather do that once a week then go to school. So kudos for that. I'm also going to sign them up for swim lessons this summer and we hope to join the homeschooling co-op in the fall. Even though they're too structured for me, the kids want more kids, and they seem old enough now to make it through a whole day, so more kids they'll get.
Finally, we decided to go to a day camp session this summer at one of the local nature centers. Aleks chose the swamp session in August, so Bastian will go to the younger group who meets at the same time. The guy who gave me the pamphlet about all this when I was tabling for the Food Co-op at a Beyond Pesticides forum told me that they have scholarship funds and that to his knowledge, they didn't usually use them all.
I held onto the pamphlet for awhile then tried to call the woman who was in charge of scholarships. I called her 7 times over a couple of weeks and finally got through today after never hearing back. Of course, the scholarship applications were due April 1st and have all been awarded, but there may be additional funds coming in, so she suggested I apply anyway.
As it turns out, this application is ridiculous. The regular application is just fine, but apparently the scholarships are achievement-based rather than need-based, as I had anticipated. Thus, more than a simple check-mark next to the session(s) we wish to attend is required. In fact, much more than I could have suspected. In addition to the application for the camp, plus the application for the scholarships (including a demand that you "comment briefly on any volunteer experiences or applicable circumstances you feel might strengthen your application for achievement-based aid" and provide a reference contact from your child's school (or another person in the community)), a letter from the child explaining why they'd like to attend is required as well as a letter of recommendation from someone who is not a family member. Good lord. You'd think we were in Manhattan and not Cleveland.
Bastian is permitted to draw his letter of explanation, which is fine except that I have to help him know how to draw since he doesn't know how to, or rather, has not yet become willing to experiment much on his own. So I had to hand-hold both boys through the process. For Aleks' letter, to ensure correct spelling, he first dictated what he wanted to say to me, then copied it onto a separate page. Both boys got very bored very quickly. Sigh.
They look happy in the photo anyway.