Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Summer Re-Do!

We are now almost four weeks into the new school year (wow!), and during those four weeks I have had time to contemplate how our first official "summer break" went. I have come to the conclusion that I did it all wrong! And here are the two biggest mistakes that I made: (1) I planned too much for our summer break, and (2) I didn't plan nearly enough for our summer break!

Let me explain.

I planned too much for our summer break - That is, I planned too much for ME. My personal to-do list  was overwhelming and exhausting (and impossible to accomplish in four weeks!). I had a hazy idea that during summer break, the children would play peacefully by themselves and let me get things done - decluttering, deep cleaning, tackling various projects, planning, making lesson plans and curriculum choices, and preparing for the coming school year.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! 

As you can imagine, that didn't happen. Kids require just as much supervision, food, diaper changes, mess clean-ups, help, etc. during the summer as they do during the school year. (Possibly more, because there's no school work to occupy them.) Perhaps I'll get a bit more "summer free time" when our children are older and can play together independently, but not right now. Thus, I experienced a great deal of frustration over not being able to buckle down and tackle my to-do list properly.

Additionally, I didn't plan nearly enough for our summer break - That is, I didn't plan enough for our family over our break. I am beginning to realize (too late for our break!) that family times require a great deal of planning - and the larger our family grows, the more planning is required. Outings, field trips, game nights, activities - all of these require massive amounts of logistical planning and preparation (and lots and lots of food). If I don't plan, things don't happen! Spontaneity just doesn't work with young children - it's usually a recipe for utter disaster.

Thankfully, I get another chance! Though our "summer break" is over, it's still summer - and there are lots of summer activities out there for our family to participate in, and I'm doing my best to dive in and make it a success. After reading a friend's post about making a summer planning notebook, I'm giving it a go!

Here is our checklist of fun family things to do over the coming summer months!

And since the computer is acting wonky, and that image is extremely blurry, here's the list again:

Things to Do This Summer! 

☐ Go stargazing
☐ Game night
☐ Roast marshmallows
☐ Have a water balloon fight
☐ Go to a library event: ____________________
☐ Go to another library event: ____________________
☐ Go to yet another library event: ____________________
☐ Go to still another library event: ____________________
☐ Make s’mores
☐ Go swimming
☐ Go to Bass Pro Shop
☐ Go on a night-time walk with the lantern
☐ Go on another night-time walk with the lantern!
☐ Eat dinner outside
☐ Have dinner outside again!
☐ Play outside in the sprinklers
☐ Wading pool outside
☐ Paddleball outside
☐ Make homemade ice cream in the old-fashioned ice cream maker
☐ Celebrate the 4th of July!
☐ Go stargazing at the Riparian Preserve observatory
☐ Go to a summer camp activity at Bass Pro Shop
☐ Joe’s Farm Grill for milk shakes for our tenth anniversary!

Next year, I hope to plan proactively for our "summer break," (which will hopefully be April) as well as for our actual summer. In the meantime, I'm doing my best for this coming summer.

What fun things do you have planned for your family this summer?

On one of this summer's field trips. 

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