Summer is quickly approaching and kids are getting out of school in a few weeks. I, once again, have all these high hopes of organized days with lots of reading, family prayer time, field trips, pool time etc. each and every day. That led me to routines….that led me to “I wonder how Danielle does it …” So, how do you do it? Do you have a set routine in the summer?
Well we certainly do relax things around here in the summertime, but we do wind up falling into a routine of sorts too. I am one of those spoiled wives whose husband has summers off. As a family, we tend to stay up later at night and get up later in the morning. School is limited to reading practice for those who need it, handwriting practice only when I am feeling really mean, and read alouds for their sheer entertainment value.
Prayer times will remain the same, but the chore schedule I posted a few weeks back is going to go out the window. In its place, I’ll come up with one that better suits our family’s needs when we are spending more time outdoors and less time on schoolwork, but I will hold the kids accountable for regular household contributions with laundry, meals, and housekeeping.
Some summers we’ve been terrifically organized with planned schedules for morning sports activities and afternoon trips to the lake. But more recently I have found that we don’t need to plan everything out in great detail in order for us to fall into a regular routine around here.
This year, my oldest girls will be taking part in a summer day camp nearby. Kateri will work at the barn and we may or may not participate in town swim lessons at the lake. Dan will take various kids fishing, to the tennis courts, and to the basketball courts several times a week. And we live near enough to beautiful lakes so that I tend to make regular trips there in the evening after dinner so that the kids can swim a bit and cool off before bed. I also have great ambitions of hosting a “drama camp” here at the house and putting on a play with some other homeschooling families we know, but the details have not yet been worked out. We’ll definitely plan some day trips to the ocean and maybe a few other places as well, but we have no wild plans to drive dozens of hours for an extended time away this year.
If you are worried about activities and routines, it might be a good idea to sit down as a family and plan your summer schedule together, so that everyone’s preferences and expectations are taken into consideration. Just be careful not to fill every day of the week with activities and obligations. A little organization is nice, but too much of it takes away from the lazy loveliness of summer, I think. Leave yourself room for impromptu picnics and give your family space to enjoy some down time. Maybe it’s because I have the perspective of a New Hampshire resident, but I think summer’s way too short to fill with obligations. It really is okay sometimes to let your kids just hang out, dig holes in the yard, and listen to the insects buzz. Enjoy the change of pace. It’ll be back to school before you know it!
Anyone else? What kind of summer routines do you follow? What are your family’s plans?