Which often drums up thoughts of putting your feet up and relaxing.
But in reality, parenting over the summer can feel like this.
Kids are up early. They’re hungry around the clock, and bored by 10am.
(Same applies to weekends. Is a Saturday really that much different than a Monday? The answer is no. No it is not.)
So to avoid feeling like a perpetual camp counselor charged with entertaining a hoard of little people, I’d like to share the schedule I’ve adopted in order to preserve my sanity. Over the next week or so, I’ll be sharing various aspects of this schedule, but for today, I’d like to share the big picture.
Basically, I divide our days into 4 chunks of time: School, Chores, Pool, & Outside Maintenance. Obviously there’s a lot that finds it’s way into those blocks of time (like my exercise, food shopping, cooking & eating meals, diapers, naps, etc.) but these 4 divisions serve as the building blocks of our day.
This incredibly unimpressive piece of paper hangs on the wall by our breakfast table with the 5 other aspects of our summer schedule (to be discussed later this week) and serves as a sort of compass for my day. You’d think it would be easy to remember a 4-part daily schedule, but insert crying and complaining and spills and diapers and it’s amazing how quickly the brain can scramble.
Why these 4 blocks, you ask? Allow me to share my reasoning:
1. School: We continue with homeschooling over the summer which, don’t tell the kids, means we do school year round (gasp). This allows for a slower, more gradual pace with lots of breaks, trips, and visitors without the stress of ‘catching up’. Plus, it’s pretty hot here in Georgia over the summer, so we actually tend to stay inside more. Which means we can get through 2/3 of our math curriculum from May-September!
2. Chores: The children continue to help manage the home for the sanity (and sanitariness) of us all. Simple as that.
3. Pool: Our neighborhood pool is a great motivator for points 1 & 2. We actually moved into our current home sight-unseen. My only requirement was that we had access to a pool, and boy it has not disappointed. This only works because I, too, really enjoy the pool, so it feels like a treat for me as well.
4. Maintaining the grounds: Because we live in a community with covenants, the children are responsible for picking up all toys from the yard every night. They also tidy the porches and garage so that, when mom and dad sit outside in the morning with their cup of coffee, it doesn’t feel like we’re sitting in a disaster zone. Ambiance, folks.
So there it is. Part I of how we as a family schedule our summer in order to preserve sanity, promote simplicity, and save lots of room for adventuring. Like today, when Judah decided to play out in the rain. And drink the road water.
Followed by the discovery of an unacceptably too-long snake in the woods by the 3 bigger kids. Which led to many youtube videos of snakes eating various animals in order to decide what they saw in the woods. They’ve decided it was a Rat Snake. Worst. Name. Ever.
So, yeah, adventures…