My older son just finished kindergarten a few weeks ago, so this is my first transition to summer vacation from the school year as a mom. We have no huge plans besides visiting family and doing a lot of the usual fun summer stuff. But I know that transitioning from the school year with its structured schedule to the freedom of summer can bring about a few headaches like bored kids and cranky moms so I have taken a few steps to try to avoid these pitfalls.
My main tactic has been to give us a schedule. It’s a really loose schedule- I’m not standing outside my kids bedrooms playing a bugle at 6 AM to start the day or structuring every minute of our day. We simply keep a morning routine by having a few things that we get done before lunch- breakfast, devotional time, school time, getting dressed, cleaning our rooms, taking a walk, and doing a morning chore. That sounds like a lot, but none of those tasks take very long.
Making my kids do school time in the summer sounds awful but it’s really not. I make it super fun, very play focused and keep it short (like 15 minutes). Getting all of this stuff done in the morning makes me feel like we accomplished something and then we can goof off and enjoy the rest of the day.
To give a little more routine I have a list of things we like to do each week. Almost every day we will go somewhere- visit the library, walk trails at the park, swim at the pool, or visit a playground. To keep monotony at bay I try to vary things up. We will visit different parks and playgrounds which the boys love because they get to explore.
I don’t schedule every minute of our days. My kids have a lot of freedom and choice. There are days where we lay around in our pajamas playing games, building forts, and watching T.V. But getting a few things done early in the morning and having an activity to do most days has worked out really well for us this past month since school ended.
What helps you enjoy the summer with your kids?