Some times summer days are long. Long in a sweet, wonderful, enjoy every relaxing moment sort of way. Sometimes the days are long in a, “I’m checking the calender to see when the first day back to school is” way. It’s been my experience that when I don’t have at least an outline of what our summer days will look like, my children sit around in dirty pj’s eating whole jars of nutella, using their index finger as a utensil. They start to fight and cry and run through the house saying they’re bored. I combat the, “I’m bored” thing with my, “fine, go clean your room or do the dishes” response. I then find them an hour later rolling around covered in dishwater laughing and wrestling. I may or may not be exaggerating (I’m not) but seriously, without anything planned or organized, kids get bored and you get frustrated.
Last Summer I started a daily summer schedule. Sometime during the late morning we would take a few hours to do what correlated with the day of the week.
It was vague enough that I could improvise if I needed to but we had a direction to go with our “fun time”.
We really had one of the best summers yet and we were new to town so it’s not like we filled it up with friends and familiar activities.
- Monday was usually a craft project or it could be a dessert that we made. We also made cards for the troops and old people who still like to get cards in the mail. We made up stories and a fort, lots of stuff – it doesn’t have to be an arts and crafts kit that you buy from Hobby Lobby.
- Tuesday was always a trip to the library, there is lots to do there – it’s cool both temperature and style wise and we loved it. Lots of learning tools, a puppet theater and contests to enter.
- Wednesday was anything to do with improving yourself. Take a walk, do math fact drills, paint each others nails, read a bible story, etc.
- Thursday was a day that just made you feel good about yourself. We would walk the elderly widowers dog, take donations to a shelter, collect pop tabs for Ronald McDonald house. This year we will be cooking dinner for the men’s shelter in town. We had SO much fun doing that last week, I think we will do it all summer.
- Friday, is really a free day but the “free your mind” part will be less tv, video’s and gaming and more imagination, reflection, quite time, interacting, improvising. Just a no scheduled day to enjoy and just be (do I sound like I’ve lost my mind?).
This year I added two additional charts (once I go all office supply crazy – I can’t stop). One was a snapshot of the 3 months of summer and a few highlighted events to plan for and look forward to. We saved room to add more as they come up (we love spontaneity).
The other is an idea I copied from a friend on facebook. I can’t remember who it was but I saved her photo. I’ll show you hers and mine (her’s looks better, but mine is more specific to our lives, tastes and location). If you really want me to and you can’t read it – I’ll type out all 100 thing to do this summer in another post.
Knowing us – we’ll get through 19 of ’em and call it good. There is only so much time, money and desire for all this nonsense – but you gotta have something to work for, right?
Here is a sample summer schedule from a very organized mom/friend I know.
What do you plan to do with your kids this summer?