Wednesday, May 28, 2008

SUMMER vacation is here!!!! Keeping Summer simple...

Yesterday was the official last day of school for my oldest two! Robyn finished off the school year with a picnic to the park. Ethan, Nate and I joined the class for some fun!
Keeping summer simple is a HUGE goal of mine! For me that means we have a plan, a target goal. One of my favorite quotes: "If you don't aim at the target you will miss it every time."

I told Wes and Robyn that they can sleep in as LATE as they want to today, but the rest of the summer they have to be up by 7:30am. I have learned over the years that in order for summer to go smoothly and to keep everyone stable, happy and helpful we MUST stay on a schedule. I can hear the groans now.... "but it is summer!" Really, it works for our family. We don't keep a torture schedule, just a basic outline of how the day will go and what chores/responsibilities must get done. We also keep a tight reign on the tv/computer/play station. The kids "earn" their tv/computer/play station time by completing their assigned tasks with a good attitude.

We are going to have a "Little House on the Prairie" summer. Due to gas prices we are STAYING home as much as possible. We will go out for Robyn's games, church and one day for outings and errands. We are going to focus on building memories and having fun. We are going to participate in VBS and 4H.

Here is a look at our summer schedule: (It is kept flexible so that we can leave it for a day to do other things like go visit friends and family, participate in VBS and other things) I don't list our schedule with exact times. What works best for me is to have a "routine", an order we do things and target times to have things started and completed by. My "Target times" keep us on track!

Summer "Target" Schedule for a "HOME" day:

  • Target time: 6:30 Heather up (thats me) Shower, Dress, make bed, personal Bible time
  • by 7:30 all kids up (Ethan and Nate will RARELY sleep in that late, they are usually up by 6:30)
  • Eat breakfast and read "Keys for Kids" for Bible time
  • Morning Routine (the kids have their list of daily morning responsibilities such as get dressed, make bed, tidy check room, bring down laundry, etc. I have my own set of responsibilities such as start the laundry, tidy check my own room, tidy kitchen, swish and swipe bathroom, etc)
  • Morning "House Blessing" chores (we divide up house cleaning responsibilities and everyone tackles one. 15 minutes)
  • BARN chores: the animals want fed!
  • Garden/flower check: If we stay on top of the garden it doesn't get to be a HUGE job
  • 9 am: TARGET time for all the above to be completed.
  • FREE play time for children, blog, email and homestead forum time for me. I will also use some of this time for gardening and other projects.
  • 10- 11 am: "Home School" We home school every summer. I believe that it is vital to keep the kid's brains sharp! During this time we work on various subjects, projects, math drills, writing letters, etc. The goal is to do fun things that keep the kid's brains learning.
  • Lunch
  • Room Rescues (Clean up the kitchen and dining room from lunch and then go quickly through the house "rescuing" the rooms from any messes.
  • Check on the animals.
  • Free play** for children. I will work on laundry and other things that need done in/around the homestead/house.
  • 1pm TARGET time: Afternoon rest begins! Ethan and Nate go down for naps (they still sleep), Wes and Robyn go to their rooms to have quiet reading time, personal devotions, work on 4H projects or sleep. I use this time to work on Simple Family Supper or complete "desk" work.
  • Target time: 3pm Snack
  • Afternoon chores : just a quick chore off the chore list (15 minutes). Team work!
  • Free play for children (or they work on a project or help me )
  • Supper Prep and Supper Time (Time for supper varies depending on if Robyn has a softball game or when hubby will be home from work.)
  • Clean up kitchen
  • Robyn Game?? Family Fun Play time!
  • Garden, Animals
  • Room Rescues
  • Showers, PJ's, brush teeth, read books BED!
  • 8:30 TARGET time: All children in their beds!
**Note on "Free Play": I believe that children need structure to their days, but that they also need time to just explore, create, imagine and day dream! During free play they are also welcome to work along side me on whatever task I am doing.

"House Blessing", "Swish and Swipe" and "Room Rescues" are all flylady terms. I discovered flylady 4.5 years ago and her teaching/mentoring changed my life. I PRAYED for help with my home management and God sent me flylady!!

"Keys for Kids" is a wonderful (FREE) publication. My parents did this with us when I was growing up and now my kids LOVE it!
What does a typical "summer day" look like in your home? I LOVE summer!!! I am excited to have my kids at home and totally enjoy summer time activities and tasks! This is by far my favorite time of the year.


Don't let supper be a stress this summer!


tammi said...

I need to adopt this kind of a schedule for my kids AND myself! And then learn how to stick with it. I've visited the FlyLady site numerous times over the last couple of years and yet somehow never followed her ideas very well. Well, the 15-minute decluttering gets done fairly regularly around here, but there's certainly no routine. I really need to adopt a plan like this.

Anonymous said...

You GO girl! It sounds like a great schedule that's sure to keep everyone from going insane. I need to come up with something along these lines.

Cara Putman said...

Our schedule is going to be a bit in flux, but not. Abigail's on team gymnastics for the first time, so I will have three hour chunks of time where I have to wait for her. We'll use those times to go to the park or library so Jonathan has something fun to do. Run errands, too. I'm also teaching two mornings a week at Purdue, so someone comes to the house to watch the kids those mornings. Then afternoons will be for house work, the pool, fun play, etc. Trying to keep the schedule loose, but with enough structure to provide some boundaries for us.