Last week I talked about ways to beat boredom in the summer and it reminded me of how we made the most of summer when my children were young. I found if I didn't have some sort of plan the days got away from me, the work piled up and we still hadn't made any memories. But, when I had a plan, or at least a rough schedule, the chores got done, we had fun outings and the whole household was calmer and happier.
I was reading a thread in the Sonlighter Club Forums about summer schedules and it made me think about the basic schedule we followed for years. You may want to have some sort of summer schedule. It can be loose, but something like:
- Monday-Laundry, everyone takes their laundry to the laundry room, straighten their own room, room chores [such as vacuuming the living room, unloading the dishwasher, dusting, etc.] then everyone can have free time. You may have a child or two that works on the laundry or at least helps fold and put away the clothes. If you go to the library weekly, this is a good day to have the children collect all their library books and put in a designated place or tote bag.
- Tuesday-Lunch at the park, or a nature walk day, then to the library [make sure to put last weeks book in the car!]--maybe invite a friend.
- Wednesday-Laundry again, and cooking day. Have kids join you and teach them basic cooking, or maybe just make something fun like ice cream. We loved making cookie ice cream sandwiches, wrapping them individually and pulling them out a few at a time for a treat.
- Thursday- Shopping day, maybe take in a movie or [one my personal favorites] play in the play place at a McDonalds while you drink some iced tea!
- Friday-Tidy the house and do laundry so the weekend can be relaxing. You may want to do craft, or maybe this could be science day. Lots of folks like to do some science in the summer to lessen the school work in the fall and it keeps the mess of the experiments outside. You may want Fridays to be an at home family movie or game night. You can pop some popcorn and enjoy each other.
You also might want to let all the kids sleep out in the living room or in a tent in the back yard one night a week.
I hope this helps make your summer fun and productive. Also, I was talking to my Sonlighting cousin a while ago and she mentioned that is hard to read all the Sonlight read-alouds during the school year so they save many for summer. She said it is so much fun and takes some of the reading pressure off during the school year.
Whether you homeschool or not--read your kids great books this summer, a chapter or so a day. I highly recommend the Ralph Moody books as a place to start. The first one, "Little Britches" is one of our family favorites and has lots of great character lessons as well.
Please, let me know if you have suggestions to add. I would love to be able to share more ideas in the future.