Summer chaos driving you mad? Bored kids got you down? I’ve been there, Mama. And that’s why I put together a plan–our very own Summer Routine–to get us through the summer without Mom losing her mind!
Our official summer break from homeschool began a few weeks ago. At first, I made the mistake of letting our regular routine slip through the cracks, and boy, have I paid the price! I had a messy house and kids that ran around all day with no clear direction or purpose.
Okay, maybe that was me running around with no clear direction or purpose…
Why create a Summer Routine?
Why create a routine at all? What’s the point?
Because kids thrive on routine. Just knowing what comes next gives a child a sense of security. The world has enough chaos. I want my home to be their safe place.
I’m definitely not saying structure your days to the point of squeezing all the fun out of them. No way! I’m saying… Create enough routine that everyone knows what’s expected and has a general idea of what’s happening next. In doing so, you can have an enjoyable summer without letting the house fall apart around you.
And don’t forget that routines are good for moms too. I know my life has felt chaotic without one the past couple weeks. I can’t wait to get some daily scheduled down time too!
How do you create a Summer Routine?
I’m not a fan of super-strict scheduling, even during the regular school year. But even during the summer, there are certain tasks that need to be completed daily–ya know, meals, baths, bed time, etc.
So begin at the beginning. I like to use what I call “anchors”, the parts of the day that are pretty much at the same time (or at least in the same order) every day. I use meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.Seriously. Keep it simple.
Make a list of all the other things you’d like to see accomplished in a day–chores, reading, playing outside, etc. Now fill in the blocks of time that are left between those. Do you want chores done immediately after breakfast? Or can it wait until later in the day? Are you continuing with educational activities during the summer? Where will those get plugged in?
A quick side note: Before you begin thinking that structure will ruin all the summer fun and spontaneity, I’ve found the opposite to be true. Because my house is in order, I feel more prepared and willing to jump into the fun stuff with my kids.
Don’t forget to leave some white space for unexpected opportunities–what if a friend invites you to the park? Well, if you’ve established a summer routine, you’ll know quickly if you can or can’t make it. And you won’t be stressed about chores needing to be done if they’re included in your routine.
And we still have our Summer Bucket List to work on. All that white space leaves us plenty of opportunity to work on marking fun stuff off our list!
How do you incorporate a Summer Routine?
Just like any other new habit, it’ll take time for your routine to catch on. But it’ll be worth it in the end. The first week will be the hardest–for you and the kids. Because odds are, you’ll have to get used to it too.
So here’s how I introduce a change to our regular routine…
- First, introduce the change. Explain what’s expected, and if there will be consequences for not doing as expected (chores), now is a good time to bring that up.
- Make a visual, and post it where it will be seen by the family. Ours goes on a pin board we have on the kitchen wall. But the fridge is a good place too.
- Follow the plan yourself.
- Supervise, remind, reinforce, and encourage. This is especially important in the first week to make sure your new routine sticks!
- Enjoy the fruits of your labor. In no time at all, your days will be seamless; and you’ll wonder why you waited so long to create a summer routine in the first place!
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling less stressed already. In a world that leans toward chaos, a little bit of order in my life brings me amazing peace. I like it! And most of all, I hope these ideas help bring some peace to your home as well.
So what do you do with your kids during the summer? Do you keep the same routine all year round? Do you change it up for summer? Or do you drop all structure and go with the flow? Leave me a note in the comments.