Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Schedules

We are in the homestretch of the school year now, only 5 days left, and boy is my 6 year old counting. Yet, I'm unsure of why he is so excited. He loves school and the repetition of the school day is good for his soul, even if he doesn't realize it yet (or ever). But I know him, better than he knows himself, so I am getting a head of the game and starting to compile my own "Summer Routine" for him, his little sister, and I. I have found that if we follow a pretty structured day we are more likely to keep the peace and sanity in the house and between the three of us. Sometimes the interactions between Lily and Jonah can get pretty heated, which in turn fries my nerves. Therefore, anything to make our days run smoother are being put into place ASAP.

First of all, research shows that kids lose over 2 months of educational knowledge over the summer. Well, I'm not letting that happen and if that makes me a strict or mean mom, then I will gladly take the title. I have already printed and bound a variety of worksheets, as well as correlating activities, "field trips", reading blocks, and journals to take up certain parts of the day. I have spent the last few weeks creating these summer lesson plans for the kids, and it gives me one more reason to have the utmost respect for teachers who do this on a yearly basis and parents who homeschool.

Now, as far as the scheduling goes, I have to do my best to have a good combination of structure along with spontaneity, because I know what you're thinking, that I'm taking all the fun out of the summertime! But that is simply not true! I don't schedule every little thing, I like to think of it as a "soft structure", more so that "this comes after that" instead of the more militant approach of scheduling potty breaks and such (although I could see certain instances where those may need to be scheduled too). I do plug in times for certain things too, to keep the flow moving. Here is a sample:

Summer Routine

7:30am ~ Get dressed and brush teeth/hair
Make bed/Do Daily Chores
8am ~ schoolwork
(when done with schoolwork) ~ PLAY! (inside/outside)
sight word activity/daily summer bucket list project
12pm ~ lunch
1pm ~ Quiet/Naptime
(after nap/quiet time) ~ Writing Journal
5:30pm ~ Dinner
6:30pm ~ Baths
7:30pm-7:50pm ~ Reading
8pm ~ Bedtime

Realistically, I know this isn't totally going to go off without a hitch, and there will probably be some adjusting, to the schedule AND to our lives, but I feel like if we start this right away, it will become more habit than a nuisance. But once the kids know what to expect I feel like it will be second nature, as well as keep us from falling into a lazy frump.

What about you? Do you run on a schedule over the summer? Or do you go with the flow? Or a combination of both? Tell me how it works for you and your family!

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