Ahhh! Summer break.
Lying around watching tv.
Reading for hours.
Children peacefully finding creative things to do with all their free time.
Cooking their own meals, and then cleaning them up.
Washing their laundry and putting it away.
ahhh… wait… am I dreaming?
What’s that I hear? kids fussing over the use of the computer?
Arguing over who needs to put the toys back into the garage?
What’s that I see? mounds of dishes in the sink?
laundry on the couch? mold on the shower curtain?
What’s that I smell? the kitchen trash overflowing?
the rabbit’s cage needing to be cleaned?
something sour in the fridge?
Oh, yeah. This is more like it.
I used to hate the thought of having a schedule over a vacation.
It felt so limiting. And against my nature of having fun and love of spontaneity.
But over the years I have found that having a schedule when I am home,
actually gives me MORE time for fun and lets me accomplish the things that I love to do!
And one thing I want over these summer months with all my kiddos still in the house,
is to make some good memories with them.
Memories that don’t include unnecessary frustration, bickering, and anger.
Schedules can be as simple as a few words.
I have learned to take just a few minutes in the morning to establish a general schedule for the day.
Sometimes it takes literally one min.
But that one minute sets me up for hours of peace, productivity, and rest.
Our summer schedule often looks like this:
Just having that up on our daily board gives direction and provides a skeleton to hang a good day.
6 Benefits of a summer schedule:
1) less questions
I don’t know about you, but the questions can wear me down.
Writing out a simple schedule and having clear expectations has eliminated many of the daily questions!
What is next? What are we doing today?
What is for supper? When are we going to the library?
When can I use the computer? Who has to do the dishes?
Any sound familiar?
Simply having a routine has helped me not go CRAZY!
LESS questions means MORE sanity! :)
2) less bickering
Mooooooom, I want to use the computer! But (the guilty that shall not be named) said I can’t use it!
Moooooom, she won’t help me clean the bedroom. It’s her stuff all over the floor!
Pretty normal stuff around our house without clear times to use electronics and clear chore expectations.
Computer time and chore assignments have helped eliminate a lot of typical daily bickering over who was supposed to use and do what.
LESS bickering means MORE peace in my home!
3) less summer slump
I hear so much about the loss of academic ground over the summer.
We have worked too hard over the school year to give in to that tradition.
By simply scheduling just a few minutes on days we are home over the summer,
our children can stay current on their math and reading skills.
Through free online programs like Khan Academy they can actually grow in their math skills.
If you haven’t checked out Khan Academy before, I would greatly recommend it. It is free, online, and fun!
Through the local reading program at the library, they are encouraged to read every day over the summer.
Many book stores also run reading programs giving your child a chance to earn a free book.
LESS summer slump means MORE academic progress.
4) less time cleaning
I am going to be honest. Most days, I don’t enjoy cleaning.
I like the way the house is AFTER we clean but…
Some days it feels like it is useless.
Like a boomerang… gonna come right back atcha!
And there are SO many other things I rather be doing!
So the less I think about or actually have to clean… the better!
By establishing our cleaning and chore schedule for the summer, we can knock it out quickly and be DONE with it!
If I know that I have set times to go through and straighten up, then I can resist the urge to constantly ask the kids to clean up.
We enjoy hours of creative mess with the knowledge that there is an end. It’s the best of both worlds.
Less cleaning means MORE time to do what we actually want to be doing.
5) less time repeating myself
With 8 people in our house, I literally could repeat myself all day… and still hear the phrase, “Oh, I didn’t hear you, Mom.”
By having a schedule up on the wall for all to see,
and by giving the kids the responsibility to check it to see what we are doing…
I can eliminate some of the repeating.
Less time repeating myself is MORE sanity! (I think I am repeating myself… but this is something worth repeating!)
6) less time spent on planning
Having a few things throughout the week that are predictable and routine,
I spend way less time “re-inventing the wheel.”
Our “3 B’s” is an easy way to remind the kids to take care of their body, breakfast, and bedroom before starting the rest of their day.
Having days of the week that we normally go to the library, get allergy shots, get groceries, go to play practice, and go bowling have helped me plan less.
Some of these days can be changed around if needed, but to organize all the summer comings and goings, takes a lot of time already.
Less time I have to spend on planning gives me MORE FREE time! (and I LOVE FREE time!)
It’s not long at all till they start flying away.
Just yesterday I had a house full of elementary aged kids building with legos and playing with dolls.
And the day before that I had a house full of toddlers doing those precious toddlery things.
Now, my house is full… of adults, almost adults, and tweens.
We each have only so many days with life and home as it is today.
I want to live this season of life fully~
Minimizing the clutter, work, and mess so I can focus on things we love to do.
I believe a simple schedule has helped me accomplish this.
How about you? Do you find it natural or against your grain to make a schedule?
Have you found another benefit from having a summer schedule?
I’d love to hear from you!