And no school.
Yep, it is that time of year where my kids are all mine for two and a half months. No homework. No parent/teacher conferences. No morning alarm clock. It is wonderful…. For the first two weeks.
Then the count down begins… The count down to the first day of school.
Summer is when I truly appreciate teachers. Now, I know first hand how hard they work. Before I was a mom, I was a preschool teacher. My mother was a high school teacher for 18 years and my grandmother was a 1st grade teacher for 32 years.
Teachers are rockstars and are the MVP’s in my life!
Now that summer break is in full swing, I didn’t want to spend my kids’ summer secretly counting down the days left till school starts. I wanted to make this summer a good one for them and for me. I wanted to enjoy my children, truly enjoy them in all their childhood wonder but on our budget, exotic vacations are not in the cards for us.
So, I decided to create a summer schedule with activities that are budget-friendly and made summer fun for all of us.
During the school year, every part of their life is scheduled from recess to lunch and everything in between. So, it only makes sense to schedule their summer days as well.
I created a schedule that is not only fun but educational. This was our first week of implementing the new schedule and the kids and I really enjoyed ourselves and each other. They’re behavior was better and they enjoyed showing off their awesome reading and writing skills.
We begin everyday by getting dressed and eating breakfast together. Then we get the not-so-fun stuff out of the way.
After breakfast, we do chores together. We pick up toys around the house, make beds, load the dish washer, take out trash and do a load of laundry. Most of the time I have a child focus on one chore apiece so I can work on something like cleaning the bathroom or vacuuming. It is also easier to do chores together because we motivate each other.
Once the chores are done, we start on school work. The kids do three pages each in their own workbooks. Then the older boys read a book. Once that is done I read them all a story. Then we go through some flash cards. Some days we go through our sight word flash cards; other days we go through our math ones.
Up next on our agenda is snack time and outside play followed by lunch. After lunch is the highlight of the day, our daily activity.
Everyday I plan a different daily activity. Mondays are what we like to call “Make Something Monday”. Every Monday we will either make a craft or find a recipe and bake something. Then we play a board game together. Tuesdays we go to the library and check out some books. Wednesday we go to our local splash pad and Thursdays we go to the park. Friday is “Filed Trip Friday” where we pick something off the list of field trip places and go!
Some of the field trip places on our list are:
• Ice Cream
• Bike Ride
• Lake Trip
• Farmer’s Market
After our fun activity we come home and have quiet time. I put on a movie and all of the kids lay down. I found that by calling it quiet time versus nap time the kids didn’t fight or throw a fit when it was time to lay down. Plus the baby gets a nice quiet nap and the kids who need one always fall asleep. This is when I work on my blog, or pay bills or other things I need to take care of around the house.
Once quiet time is over, the kids get a snack and some screen time. They each get 30 minutes of tv choices. My older boys love to play video games while my daughter loves watching Barbie. While they have tv time, I work on dinner. We eat dinner when dad gets home from work. On nights he is running late, the kids play outside till he gets home.
After dinner, we begin the bedtime routine. Baths or showers, then story time. After story, the kids get tucked in bed and we say our prayers. Lights out at 8 pm, 9 on nights that dad runs late. The kids have been going to bed really well and we don’t have the endless battle come bedtime. It has been wonderful!
We follow the schedule religiously Monday through Friday. On the weekends, Dad is off work and we tend to go have fun together as a family but our meal times and bedtime routine is still the same.
This schedule has been a sanity saver.
The kids love it! I love it and my bank account loves it! The kids wake up every morning asking what we are doing today and are so excited! They are getting better with their schoolwork and have been listening much better. They have better attitudes which has helped me be a more patient parent.
The best part… my kids and I are making wonderful summer memories without going broke!
I encourage every parent to create a summer schedule that works best for their family. It is officially my not-so-secret summer time game changer!