Last Friday was my kids' last day of school. I always sort of look forward to summer and days spent with my kids. After all, it's been a long school year and they deserve a break. Inevitably, the excitement of summer fades and is often replaced with drones of "I'm bored". The day becomes a challenge of survival instead of adventure. This year I'm looking to change all of that. I don't know how it will work longterm, but you never know if you don't try, right?
At the risk of looking too rigid, I wanted to share with you something we are going to try this summer to make our days more structured. I don't know many people who don't appreciate a little structure, even if they are not very good at creating it. I am definitely a planner, but even my ADHD husband appreciates (even needs) a good plan.
The kids and I came up with a daily schedule/routine that could be flexibly followed each day. When we are home we break down the morning and afternoon into 30 minute and 1 hour blocks. We decided together what activities fit into the blocks. Here is an example:
7:30-8am practice piano
8-8:30am eat breakfast
8:30-9:30am free play
9:30-10am math practice/summer homework packet
10-11am Wii/DS/or computer game
11-noon chores (clean up toys/room, collect trash/recycling, etc.)
The afternoon is similar in structure. Two times a day (right before mealtimes) they are to pick up around the house. I am hoping this will keep the house from becoming a disaster area (a girl can hope anyway). This isn't a rigid schedule. There will be days when we have to run errands like to the grocery store or other appointments, but this schedule gives us a rough outline of how our day can go. And I'm hoping it eliminates the "I'm bored" comments since they can refer to the schedule for ideas of what to do.
I also want to encourage the kids to read this summer and I found 2 free incentive programs for reading. One is through TD Bank where kids have to read 10 books and will receive $10 in a young saver bank account. The other is through Barnes & Noble where they have to read 8 books and will receive a free book (from a list). I found these links, along with several others at Spoiled but not Rotten.
So here's to the beginning of another long summer filled with fun and adventure and a great balance of doing stuff we want to do and have to do. Hope we make it to August with smiles still on our faces!
If you have any tips, ideas, free stuff to do with kids this summer, feel free to share! I'm always looking for good ideas!