A Little Structure for Summer

I started writing this a few days ago but hadn’t finished it – then, I saw Jill Savage’s post today and decided I’d finish it up! She has very similar ideas for summer, but her kids are older so it’s nice to read about what future summers might look like…

I’m all for summer fun, but without a plan for how we’re going to spend our days this summer, things will not go smoothly around here for anyone. Gee, I sound like a fun mom, don’t I? Question for my boys when they read this in 15 years: was I any fun? Ever?

Luke will be doing a 2-hour summer school class for 4 weeks about being a fit kid – I’m excited to see what he takes away from this class. As much as I like to believe that I’m my children’s best teacher, oftentimes when someone else in authority says something, it sticks better (like about healthy eating, etc).

We also have swimming lessons for the two older boys coming up in a few weeks, so that will help to fill our days. Plus, there’s water fun to be had in the backyard on a hot afternoon, including a couple of different sprinklers, a good-sized kids pool, and our new slip ‘n slide (which I am not in the least tempted to try out – it looks like it would hurt!). I’ll probably save most trips to the pool for evenings when Matt can come with us, as me + 3 kids at the pool sounds like a recipe for disaster.

I’ve told the boys to expect to have a small job to do each morning (like unloading the dishwasher, putting away folded clothes), and I made a list of four jobs they have to take care of first thing every morning: get dressed, take care of pjs, make beds, brush teeth. We’ll also make time every day for reading, and I love that the summer reading program through the library is extra encouragement for them to sit down with a book. We’re going to try to plan on playing a game every day after Jack Henry goes down for his nap but before they do some quiet time (one hour, in separate rooms, except Luke told me today that some days, he’d like to read to Bennett. Uh, ok.). Today we played Toy Story Memory for the second time in a row and I got my you-know-what kicked.

Luke’s 1st grade teacher suggested that he keep writing over the summer, so we bought a cool kids’ journal at Target (Bennett got one too) so that he can record some things he does this summer. Right now, he’s writing a story about playing baseball. He just does a page or so at a time.

Luke’s teacher gave us a list of websites that might be good for your kids, too, so I’ll share them (we already use some of them):
Crayola
Seussville (haven’t tried yet)
PBS Kids
Starfall
Wacona Elementary (haven’t tried yet)

What are your plans for this summer?

10 responses to “A Little Structure for Summer

  1. My kids are doing swimming lessons also! They started today and have them every day for a week….I plan on doing another week of them later in the summer. Kayla is continuing with gymnastics and Andrew soccer. I also want to get them in the summer reading program with the library and looking into vacation bible school through our preschool.

    I don’t really feel like summer is that long anymore…..andrew starts kindergarten the beginning of August so I don’t really want to do much more than that! Enjoy yours and hopefully we’ll get to see ya sometime this summer!

  2. our summer includes being ready by 10am (hey, it’s summer), swimming lessons, vacation bible school, kids in the garden class and tball. and spending a lot of time outside and at the pool.

  3. if you guys do a Friday or Saturday at The Lodge, call us. That would be fun for all the boys and me too.

  4. Jill (thebaglady)

    We seem to be thnking the same way. My kids do 30 minutes of ‘quiet time’ while Blake naps. I’m not getting a pool pass because you’re right: mom + 3 kids just doesn’t work. I hope to go in the evenings when Alex can help & rates are cheaper too 🙂 We signed up our library reading program & I really am going to try to attend most of the other things they have going on too.

  5. Our summer = very close to yours, though I have not gone as far as to solidify chores yet. Though there will be chores. I’m still looking forward to our day not being cut in half by school and would love to get in a “pajama walk” habit like we have in summers past.

    • Kar – do you walk in pajamas, too? 😉 I’m thinking the neighbors would really get a kick out my boxers-only clad boys!

      Chores will be different depending on the day…today they cleaned up the mess they made in the basement, but most days I’m picturing something much quicker, like putting away folded clothes, etc.

  6. Thanks for the links! I was just trying to find fun sites for the kids!

  7. I haven’t checked out those links–and your structured ideas are great!–but I am going to keep them in mind when the grandkids are here. Anna’s 3 from California are coming for about 2 1/2 weeks in July. The fun you are having with your kids will be doubled when they start giving you grandkids! You are such a wonderful mom, Nicole!

  8. I saw your comment on Jill Savage’s blog – have you been to a Hearts@Home conference?? I went last year and loved it.

    We are totally not doing anything this summer. We are signed up for one VBS and that’s it. We’re heading out today to sign up for all of the summer reading programs but other than that – I am just going to send my kids outside to play with the neighbors. School just ended Thursday and I am still on ‘last week of school overload’. I always over book myself for summer and end up sort of not liking it.

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