Summer is an opportunity. To make memories. Slow down. Enjoy the little things. Connect.
It is a gift, and I’m blessed and fortunate to be home with my kids during this time. I value these ten weeks or so that give me the chance to reconnect with my kids and be more intentional with my days. I don’t want to waste any of it or buffer it away on social media or television. I’m here for it all — the messes, the moods, the hugs, and the laughter. I want to enjoy every minute of it.
Two ways I do this are creating a Summer Bucket List and Summer Routines.
Summer Bucket List
For the past several years, I’ve pulled together a bucket list to keep myself on track. It’s easy to let the days slip away, putting off things for tomorrow because today we are cleaning the house or running errands.
This year, I created a pretty PDF and Google Slides document to share with you. You can download the PDF to use my list. If you want to customize it and make it your own, click on the link for the Google document. (You’ll need to have a Google account.) Then, make a copy to be able to edit the list for your family.
I hope it’s a blessing to you. Don’t allow it to add stress. If every box isn’t checked at the end of the summer, I am completely ok with it! It’s just a reminder to make each day count.
As a former teacher and a mom of twins, I know routines and procedures make my life better. Kids thrive with routines, whether or not they claim to enjoy it.
Here are a few of the ways I keep my kids focused on being intentional with their time and reduce the hours they spend in front of a television, video game, or device.
I completely understand that not everyone works this way, and if it’s not for you, be who you are, momma! I’m my happiest, most productive, and truest self when my family is on a schedule. If that isn’t the case for you, there’s no need to feel condemnation. Just skip these tips.
Also, mommas of littles. You aren’t here yet, and that’s ok. Your season will come. These routines work best for upper elementary and older. Adapt as needed for smaller kids, and give yourself and them extra grace and room to grow into this.
Mornings have a set wake-up time.
For us, this is 7:30. Kids stay in their rooms quietly until this time. They do not talk to one another. This gives me time to write, think, and be alone with God. I try to wake up around 6:00. Sometimes I don’t, but when I do have that “me time”, I find that I have more to give.
Screens are a privilege once other tasks are done.
Before my kids can turn on a screen, they make their beds, do their daily chore, read for 30 minutes, complete a daily math review and complete a daily ELA review. Ok, I know that seems like a lot, but it really doesn’t take long.
The daily chore is posted before the kids get up, so they know what to expect. My kids have been doing chores for years, so they aren’t really surprised by this. We’ve never paid them for chores, but we talk about how everyone helps out to keep our home running smoothly.
My favorite resource for summer review packets is Teachers Pay Teachers. This year, I purchased this math review for the boys (finishing 5th), this math for my daughter (finishing pre-algebra), and this ELA resource. I also loved this ELA resource. You can also find tons of free resources on the site.
Establish meal and snack times
Without established times to eat, my kids are constantly digging in the kitchen pantry. They know that they can have one pantry snack each day, and fruits and veggies are available any time. This keeps them from constantly rummaging for food or complaining about being hungry. Bonus: I try to keep the fruit or veggies cut and prepared for easy access. This makes everyone more likely to make healthy choices!
Keep bedtime routines consistent.
We generally have a bedtime of 9 p.m. during the summer. It doesn’t mean everyone is asleep at that time, but they are in their beds and tucked in. We pray as a family each night before they go to bed, and it really helps put everyone in the right mindset to go to sleep.
I really hope this post is helpful to you. It’s definitely not meant to overwhelm anyone or make you feel bad for not doing these things! I completely acknowledge that these are our goals. There are days that nothing goes according to plan, and the house is crazy and disorganized. Also, life with littles looked a lot different! I did try to stick to a routine though– it’s just who I am!
I hope you have a wonderful summer! If you’d like more content like this, please let me know. In the meantime, look for a new One Room Challenge update later this week, Memorial Day ideas, and a huge Old Navy Try-On coming soon.
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