School’s Out – What Will You Do?

So the summer is here, the storms have arrived and kids of all ages are so relieved to change their routines.  Everyone, if possible, is looking forward to a break from making lunches, a little relief from the early morning rush and the constant reminder to do your homework.

Ahhhh….. the start of summer vacation.  But alas, there are many types of  households and many types of families.  And there is no perfect summer for all families.  A few questions, a few answers and would love to hear your thoughts on what your right 3 month summer period looks like.  Let’s examine the steps.

1.  What are your basic needs?  

  • what are your child care needs?  how old are the kids?  do you work outside of the home?

  • do you have travel plans?  with children?  without children?

  • how much money can you spare for camps?  activities?  babysitters?

  • if you could have anything you could dream up, what would it be?

2.  Now think of the family and their needs?

  • how old are the kids?  what would be in their best interest for strong growth and development? how much down time should they be allowed?

  • what part of the summer is devoted to their needs vs the needs of spouse/significant other?

  • what do the kids WANT to do?

3.  Make a list of possible activities.

  • There are many ways to fill in the calendar.  Three months is a long time and many activities can be done within that period of time.   Consider:  family vacation, summer camp, personal improvement activities — learning a musical instrument, practicing a sport, playing on a team

  • Acquire dates, activities, costs and make your lists

4.  Fill in the calendar.

  • Identify the selected “set in stone” dates ie family vacation, summer camp, class time, etc.

  • Build in free days that identify who in the family is the director

  • Build in days where the kids must come up with their individual plans ahead of time for approval

  • Build in days where the kids can just be “last minute”, go with the flow

5.  Establish a flexible routine.

  • Summer certainly can be a time of flexibility and a more laid back atmosphere.  Enjoy!

  • But too much flexibility will result in a waste of time, cranky little ones, and lethargic teens

  • Maintain bedtime rituals, daily chores, and family dinners

  • Select special themes ie Field Trip days.  My favorite was “messy food night” which was actually left overs that the kids organized and made their own dinners.

6.  Chores and community service.

  • Great time to learn how to do laundry (pays off when they go to college), vacuuming, mopping and more.  Music must be a part of chores time.

  • Engage the kids in a community service project during the summer.  Whether it be writing to soldiers overseas or collecting shoes or even shoe laces for kids in need, think about it, develop the plan and implement during this time.

  • You can also link responsibilities to rewards such as earning coupons for completion of tasks such as a week’s worth of successful bed making earns a coupon for a day off…

7.  Brain stimulation

  • First, identify if there are needs that must be addressed during the summer.  This may require tutors or summer school.

  • If there is no issue, but just a need to continue reading and math skills, be creative.  With little ones, you can go to the library and check out books that start with the letter A, and each week return the books and go to the next letter.  With older ones, you can have your own book club all reading the same book with goals to either see the movie when done or have a fun discussion about it.

  • Cooking is great for math skills, grocery shopping and money counting.  Learning can occur without a text book and be more memorable by utilizing all the senses to learn.

8.  Be sure to do what is right for your family and your children

  • Let go of guilt.  If going to camp and hiring baby sitters are what you need to do to survive because you are working full time, then that is what is right for your family.

  • If you are a stay at home mom, you love being with your kids, and cannot afford to let them go away to camp, match up with other stay at home moms so you can let your kids go for a bit and gain independence.

  • Don’t feel pressure from the neighbors, friends and other kids.  What is right for others is not necessarily right for your family.  Just make sure you don’t fall into the trap of making choices based on what the neighbors child says.

  • Just enjoy!!  Summer is fun!!

9.  Call on an Expert to help you design your summer.  It can help!


Posted: 6/6/2016 6:27:51 PM by Global Administrator | with 0 comments