If you are like me, your summer calendars can fill up in a hurry and juggling kids camps, vacations, friends, family, sports, with extra activities can quickly get out of hand. There are only a few weeks to enjoy this 100 degree heat in Columbus, GA, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to start a summer schedule. Outline a general schedule with flexibility that covers your goals.
This guideline lets the kids know what to expect. On Monday, we have chores but on Tuesday, we can make plans to invite a friend to a movie then home with us for the afternoon. We can even swap up days if needed when we get invited to go swimming on a Tuesday.
What’s Important? Every family is different so one of the first steps is to identify what’s important to each of you. Is it sports? Visiting relatives in Texas? Maybe you work full time and you’re looking for evening activities, daily structure or educational classes for the children. Take time to identify what’s important and prioritize.
If you have older children, have them write down their goals for the summer too. What do they consider their “Must do” during this time? Have them include friends, activities, summer reading, and personal, physical, and spiritual goals on this list as well.
Create a Summer Calendar. To keep everyone on the same page, create a master calendar. Make sure to include downtime. It’s easy to say “Yes” to everything. Just remember downtime allows time to relax, reconnect as a family and create lasting memories together. Don’t forget to schedule time to exercise.
Routines are Important. At our house we like to stay up late and sleep in during the summer. But over the years I have found that it’s routines that give us the most freedom. Daily routines help us stay organized so we can enjoy our home. So sleep a little late but you still have to make up your bed is a rule in our house. It’s the simple things like this that keep your home running smoothly. Don’t forget about chores. I encourage you to include children in these daily routines. You might be surprised at how much they enjoy this time together. My boys, ages 12 and 4 like to fold and hang clothes with me…just ask them! I don’t even turn on the TV. It gives us time to talk and working together makes this task easier for everyone. Sometimes we set the timer and try to bet our best time. You can make any chore a game or reward them for time they spend helping each day.
Routines like grocery shopping and running errands on the same day also save money in the long run. So routines are important!
Be Creative. I hope you will take time to think over your summer schedule. What’s already planned? What needs to be added or maybe even taken out to give you some downtime? Fill in your calendar including some things your children have expressed as important to them. Be creative and establish some routines that will help you maximize your time together.
Happy HOT Summer!