Working Mom Diaries: soaring past summer slide

Photo by Lily Banse on Unsplash

My daughter is five, almost six.

She’s full of life and has a positive character that brings me joy daily — even though sometimes it seems like she’s five going on 15.

Next month, she’ll be finishing up Kindergarten at a Philly public school. It’s been a whirlwind year of change and development on many levels. And thinking back to when she started Kindergarten, I can see how far she’s come as a reader.

The first half of the school year was rocky. It seemed like her confidence as a learner was dwindling and she had a hard time keeping up. It was a time that filled me with worry (it’s not always easy to remember that children develop on their own schedules, regardless the ones we impose on them.)

But thanks to her devoted teacher and some help at home, her confidence has grown over the past few months. Now she is able to read more sight words than I can keep track of. Bring on first grade!

Summer camps and beating “summer slide”

As the summer approaches, I wonder how much of what she learned will be lost over those three months of fun and sun. Like many other parents, I’ve heard about “summer slide” and want to find ways to keep my child engaged with reading, but still free to have fun.

As a full-time working parent, I need to find camps to keep my child busy for almost the entire summer. And, of course, I want the camp to be affordable, enriching and convenient.

Here are some helpful resources to find camps for your child!

It can be hard to sift through what is out there, here is a resource list of free and affordable summer camps for kids from K-12, featuring options from Philadelphia Parks & Rec, The Free Library and PAL. 

Photo by Jeroen Mirck, used under a Flickr Creative Commons License

The following camps are among those taking part in the Free Library Summer Camp Challenge – these camps will keep kids on track with reading by providing at least 30 minutes of reading per day in the camp schedule:

Northeast Philadelphia

North Philadelphia

Northwest Philadelphia

West Philadelphia

Southwest Philadelphia

South Philadelphia

Look out for the Free Library’s Summer of Wonder reading program, happening all summer long!

Stop into your local library for more information.


Juliet Shen is the communications manager for Philadelphia Citywide Out-of-School Time. Juliet has over 10 years experience as a media producer, documentary filmmaker and writer. She holds a BA in Film and Media Arts from Temple University and and MLA in Communication and Environmental Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. Juliet is a West Philly native, and lover of small dogs (mostly Chihuahuas actually). She currently lives in the Wissahickon area of Philly, with her husband, daughter and two cute dogs.