Summer – unscheduled, yet structured

June 16, 2009 by

kids-swinging

As the school year closed out, I was so looking forward to summer.  Not just for the sun and fun, but for the slower pace summer brings.  I was getting weary of driving to two schools two different times a day and trying to fit homework into nights filled with various school and church activities.  We needed to slow down, reconnect as a family and figure out where each of us was in life and where we needed to go next.

My goal for this summer is to figure all that out by being unscheduled, yet structured.  By that, I mean I don’t want to have something on the calendar every day.  I want to let the kids be bored and figure out what to do.  I want them to use their creativity and I want them to learn to work together.  I want us all to spend some quality time together.   On the other hand, I don’t want them to just play all summer.  I want to teach them responsibility.  Before they go off to play, they need to finish their chores.  They need to be willing to help around the house – with a good attitude.

So, here we are, a couple weeks into summer.  How’s it going so far?  Really good.  The only scheduled activities this summer are my daughter’s softball games once a week until mid July, Wednesday night church and Bible school.  That leaves us the rest of the summer to do something or do nothing!  We started the chore charts last week and to my shock and amazement, they complete their responsibilities on their own without any moaning and groaning!  They have such pride of accomplishment when they check off those little boxes on the chore chart. (Read more about that here.)

Last week, we stayed home all week.  The kids played with our neighbors’ nieces who were spending the week with them.  It worked out great for us all.  My kids made new friends.  Our neighbors didn’t have bored girls on their hands all week.  None of this would have been possible if we were booked up last week!

This week is Bible school.  The kids came home so tired yesterday.  We did have some fights, but that was pretty much due to the low tolerance of each other caused by exhaustion.  So, today, I am planning some quiet activities for the kids (on their own) and maybe an ice cream run to break things up.

Will my summer remain this calm and relaxed?  Who knows?!  I just know that I can roll with whatever adjustments need to be made in our days, because this summer I’ll actually have the time!

What does your summer schedule look like?

Comments (6)

 

  1. Chele says:

    AMEN!! Exactly how I feel!!!

  2. kirwin says:

    OMG, would you come over and coach me on how to get my kids to get their chores done (mostly, just tidy up after themselves…) Last week, I introduced the chore cards from Creative Mama and the kids LOVED it. This week…not so much.

    It’s not the cards — they are awesome. It’s my approach to getting the kids to do it. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, but my approach isn’t affective. HELP!

  3. Erika says:

    I think that is AWESOME! My kids act like I’m forcing them into a child’s work camp or something. LOL

    We’ve had a great summer so far and my kids should be very appreciative of the places they’ve been to so far (waterslide, beach several times, pool, free Jars of Clay concert, House of Blues for appetizers before concert, they’ve had friends over and Bible school at a neighborhood church this week, my son’s bday is tomorrow and they’ve only been out of school for a week? ). Of course, they want to go somewhere everyday now but we just can’t always do that. On those days maybe I’ll add more chores! LOL JUST KIDDING 🙂

  4. kirwin says:

    Okay, disregard my comment above…

    I went back and re-read your (awesome!) post on how you structured your chore system. Thank you so much for explaining how you did it. Now I just need to do the same for my brood. (Does 2 kids make a “brood”?) ; )

    I particularly liked how you’re starting out “small”, and have plans to add more chores along the way.

  5. donna says:

    Hey there…I just stumbled onto your blog through your comment on the Homeschool classroom blog. I totally agree with your thinking. We have nothing really scheduled until August and its great to see my children just enjoy being kids..digging in the sand, painting, just playing with absolutely no timetable. That’s really what summer is all about.

  6. I am really thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information `.;

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