For most of the year, we have a schedule. We go to school at the same time, do our after-school activities at their appropriate times, do our homework at the same time each day. We eat dinner and go to bed (mostly) at the same time.
But during summer — we try to strike a balance between a strict schedule and complete chaos. Kids still like to know what to expect from our days, but we also don’t want to be running from one activity to the next…and I certainly don’t want to be nagging anyone who’s running late.
So while we don’t have a strict summer schedule, we have a general series of events. A rhythm to our days. It goes a little like this:
2.) Dress and do chores. They are usually finished in under an hour and can include putting away laundry, cleaning rooms, vaccuuming, dishes — whatever age-appropriate chores need to be done. I try to assign enough so that everyone contributes, without assigning so much work that they all get discouraged and worry we’ll never leave the house.
3.) Leave the house. Usually. We might do one of these activities. On Wednesdays we go to the library. This year, for the first time ever, I splurged and bought a family pass to the local pool, so we may go there. And sometimes, if we’ve had a busy few days, we’ll stay home and do a kids’ activity of some sort (like one of these).
4.) Have lunch. I’ve been assigning the older kids to make lunch several days a week, and it’s been a nice break for me…and fun to see what they’re coming up with!
5.) Have Quiet Time. My youngest is four and my oldest is 12 and anyone who is in my house after lunch has Quiet Time. They need it. Heaven knows, I need it. We all need a little time alone. The rule is that you may nap or you may read — those are your only two choices and they must be done on your bed.
6.) Snack and play. I don’t usually plan much in the afternoons. The kids just have to go play. And not complain that they’re bored (they do, anyway. Ah, well.) Sometimes I’ll allow video games or a movie, depending on the day and the amount of screen time we’ve had that week.
7.) Dinner, books, bed. Unless we’re staying up late, which is pretty rare.
So there’s the feel of most of our days. Obviously things change around a bit. But that’s the general rhythm of things.
What about you? Do you have a schedule or just a general outline for the day?
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