The first day of "summercation" as Emerson put it. I am still in my jammies drinking my coffee. Fresh from Starbucks thanks to my lovely daughter. One boy is off enjoying solitude play in his room. A robotic toy with a million pieces and a million ways to build it. School cramping his ability to really spend the hours he needs to do those million ways of building. The two others stationed in front of a computer playing Flight Simulator. A game that is only allowed on non-school days, thus only the weekends. Whoopee today is a Thursday and they get to play it all day long if they want.
I have been abandoned to the fun in the house. I can think of 101 things do in my house, but looking around my home think....what for. Not only do I have the rest of the summer, then all three kids go off to school in the fall I can do all these things in the fall. I have the "Summercation" brain only hours into the first sunny day.
This week we are laying low. No plans, no agenda. No chores. (However Eric did mop the kitchen floor earlier because he has been wanting to.) Next week we do start a more structured plan. My kids go crazy wild without structure and a plan. I go crazy wild without structure and a plan. I have already laid out the plans for the summer. Camps all signed up and may add one or two more. Book reading club via Traub style, and our "school" pages. Here is how our plan works each summer. For those moms who would like some ideas I will share how we do it around here.
Mon. Weds. Fri. are our structured days. I like these days because the boys can read and can read the schedule and I am no longer having to remind them over and over what they need to get done. The morning can start out as slow as you want it. But here is how the rest of the morning is laud out. If you come to my home, you will see the following printed out on my refrigerator by next Monday. (not out yet, we are still in lazy mode, I mean really we are only into day one of summercation.)
9:00am 2 Worksheets from your Binder (all three boys)
9:30am Eric Reads with Mommy
9:30am Ethan Practices Piano
9:30am Emerson Cleans in his room
10am Biking Riding Break
10:30am Craft Project'
11:30 am One household Chore together (in our home we all kind of work together on the same thing)
12:30 Fun Outing
4:00pm Eric practices Piano
4:00pm Ethan reads his book (he is reading chapter books now and most likely will disapear for the
next hour or two)
4:00pm Emerson Practices Reading with Mommy
4:30 Everyone gets all toys PUT AWAY before papa comes home from work.
This is a basic schedule I have kept for many years with my kids. The reality is that I am not always the most popular mom with my friends because I don't run off to every activity. On Tuesday and Thursday we always go the beach, hiking, have friends over, go to friends, and run all over Portland and beyond. I am not an overly drill Sargent kind of mom with my children. I think it's important to keep their minds thinking through out the summer, so when school starts they are not having to play catch up. My summers are fun and easy and my boys love knowing what to expect. That is not to say when I get a call that someone has tickets to some amazing adventure I drop the entire day and go, but for the most part I love how our summers play out. I know many young moms who struggle from one day to the next, and summers are something they dread. Even with kids who are not in school. Having a plan helps kids know what to expect. Gives them something to look forward to. They then can take ownership in the process.
I love how Eric saw all the books on his reading shelf. A shelf we just set up for his summer reading. A visual of over 70 books. He looks at those books and thinks how will I ever read all those mom. But then the smile and grin when he knows he can do it, and I know he can do it, and then the shelf gets smaller and smaller, as the books get moved to the bottom shelf and his reading chart fills with his little stickers. The confidence that grows. And the reading skills the broaden.
The nice thing also about having a little structure is the selfish part of my day. I get a little more "me" time. I know it sounds crazy, but while they are working away....I can sit and read a few chapters of a book with my coffee. I can have my quiet time with God. I can write a few pages in my journal and pray. Clean up my kitchen, and plan my dinner menu and get my salad made for dinner, so later if I am to tired to cook dinner as least the salad is made and I can throw in a sandwich or something and everyone is fed. I have that time, that I don't have when everyone is board, crazy and wild.
If you are a mom and home this summer I hope you can take some of these ideas and this will help. If you have some ideas. I love reading your ideas too. Let me know some of yours. I learn all the time by reading your ideas. Love and blessings for a wonderful "summercation" to all.