Keeping a family summer schedule can be sanity-saving and yet tough to maintain at the same time. Summer is a wonderful break from academic routines and along with the warmer weather and more hours of sunlight each day comes the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors more frequently.
If you are like our family, much of our summer time is event-driven. Family get-togethers, special events and holidays are marked all over the calendar and the bags are packed and unpacked frequently. To encourage summer sanity for parents everywhere, here are eight ideas for maintaining a family summer schedule.
Family Summer Schedule Idea #1 – Establish a morning routine and bedtime routine for “normal” days.
The routines could be the same as the school year or you could vary them. The point of having a routine is to keep your children feeling secure and empowered to follow instruction. Staying up late and sleeping in can be fun, but to balance all the fun, having a summer daily routine can be a beautiful thing.
Family Summer Schedule Idea #2 – Set summer goals and follow schedules for those goals.
Our summer schedules include the family calendar app, a Bible reading plan for children for the gospel of John, a library reading plan, and a daily checklist. Mom keeps the family calendar app and each child is responsible for their own charts.
Family Summer Schedule Idea #3 – Keep one binder for all schedules and charts.
To maintain the above point, one binder is kept in the kitchen with each child’s papers in their section. Organization is key to maintaining a family summer schedule!
Family Summer Schedule Idea #4 –Plan “recovery days” if at all possible.
Summer is a wonderful time to travel and explore. You may find that when you’re travelling, there is no normal. A recovery day means that after travelling for any trips, one day is planned to stay home and catch up on laundry, cleaning, and general household maintenance. A reboot can be so good for the soul. This gives you a day to get back on the daily routine… until the next event!
Family Summer Schedule Idea #5 – Some families use a weekly schedule in addition to the daily schedule.
An example of this sort of schedule: Sundays are church, Mondays are cleaning, Tuesdays are grocery shopping and errands, Wednesdays are swimming, Thursdays are friend day and Fridays are family fun day (parks, zoos, museums).
Family Summer Schedule Idea #6 – Discuss the schedules with your children daily and weekly.
When tucking the children into bed and saying prayers, I often discuss the next day’s events or schedule. “Remember, tomorrow, we need to be finished with breakfast by 8:30 am because Vacation Bible School begins at 9 am.” Or ,”This weekend we are visiting your grandparents so tomorrow night you will need to pack your suitcase.” Anticipation is empowering for children.
Family Summer Schedule Idea #7 –Adjust your expectations of the word “schedule”.
In other words, be flexible. Routine is wonderful, but spontaneity offers wonderful experiences as well.
Family Summer Schedule Idea #8 – Have regular mealtimes.
While not always possible, especially when travelling, knowing what time you’ll be eating is a comfort to everyone. For our family, we have a half-hour range so everyone knows that we will begin eating at some point during that half hour.
While summertime affords a looser schedule, children enjoy understanding how to manage daily living no matter the time of year.
We’d love to hear from you! What tips do you have for maintaining a family summer schedule?