This book is loaded with activities and ideas to keep your summer running smoothly and I highly reccommend it!! Here are just a few ways I have found to keep myself sane in the summer:
- Develop "Summer Rules" and "Summer Schedule" right off the bat. I have found that without those two things happening on day 1, it will be June 30th and I will still be nagging the kids about EVERYTHING. I made up the saying a few summers ago, "All our work must be done before we have any fun!!" and it has really stuck in our family.
- Rewards only come when they are earned. This is huge. My mom used to always say, "Being off of school is the fun of summer vacation." In my family that was true. We never went a single place, no vacation...nothing. In my own family now, I would like to keep that true to some extent. I don't know why I begin to feel so guilty over not "doing" something with them every second of their summer vacation. While summer is a special time, we certainly don't have to be at the movies, the zoo, and the water park every minute of it. I have started to plan an outing one or two days per week. We may get together with friends, have a little day out of some sort, go to the library, or just whatever, but by being out of the house every day, I have found that summer slips by us and we have nothing to show for it. That brings me to my next HUGE "Hello" moment...
- Don't let the guilt of having to do something with our kids ruin our summer and break the bank. There are so many fun things to do at home for FREE!! I have so many friends who get Season Passes to everything our town has to offer and by the middle of June, their kids are begging to not have to go to the water park another day. THAT IS NOT FUN and it is certainly not cheap. We will plan one trip to the water park, maybe a couple to the zoo, and pick a few of the summer movies that we really love to go see. Other than that, our summer will be very inexpensive and very low key.
- ENJOY THE TIME WITH YOUR KIDS. Have picnics in the backyard, go bike riding, break out the water hose, go to the park, make crafts, do puzzles, paint, play dough, there are so many things to do around the house that the school year makes so difficult to find time for.
So, with all that said, I am certainly no MOM Expert. I am just sharing what I have stubbornly learned over the last few summers and think I am so much better for. This week I will spend my time looking at my calendar and trying to strategically plan some fun outings for us as a family. I will also be doing lots of printing from the internet (school work for the coming year) to help my kids remember all that they have learned. And last but not least, I will be putting together a list of books that I want my kids to read before summer is over, so that I will have it together for our library outings...LOVE THE LIBRARY IN THE SUMMER!!
All of this will go in my binder that I keep everything in and I will be ready for summer. Check out Kathy Peel's book if you can, lots of great ideas in it.
I would LOVE to hear what yall have planned for your summer vacation. Please comment and share with us all of your good ideas and lets plan a great summer together!!