Summer is here: is it time for survival or freedom?


Ahhha summer. 

The break from the regular schedule. 

I'm not sure how your summer unfolds but when I asked our Facebook group to share their thoughts of summer it ranges from 'survival' to 'a great break from school'.

I think we all move in and out of these feelings as summer can bring a sense of ease due to no school demands but also leave parents and kids who prosper in routine to flounder a little until a new routine is established during these few precious weeks.

The first day of summer seems to be the trickiest of all. Right?!?

It only took me a few years (or more) to realize I needed to have something planned for the first day of summer as a way to help transition into this new way of life!!

It seems simple enough to plan a day with friends and parents to allow the kids to play and for us to relax into the days ahead. But isn't it the small changes that can make all the difference? 

This small shift from school to summer allowed us to get through the next few days and adjust to our new summer life.  

I know we all plan but it's planning with the flexibility to address some of these ongoing questions: 

Can I have so+so over NOW Mom? 
What are we doing tomorrow Mom?
I'm hungry.  I know I just ate but..what is there to eat Mom? 

These questions made my head spin as I was trying to figure out how to handle the summer schedule, food demands, and my work. 

So, I decided I needed to know what was coming and what we would be doing in the week so we would ALL be prepared.

Just a week at a time!! 

On the days there was very little planned, it was okay because we knew what was coming up during the week.  I would say today is a 'down-day' a time to clean your room, read a book, riding your bike, etc. 

Now that was just the 'everyday summer stuff" 

What about your child's learning and the areas of concern you were focusing on all year at school?

Yup, I learned to plan that too! 

But this planning was different. I had to add to my digital calendar to help me remember to add it to their day.

But it wasn't really at a set time it was just there to remind me to put it into our day where it fit. 

I selected one main area to focus on for the summer.  That might have been reading, writing, math, or social.  The basics really!

I would ask myself, "What was the area I needed to help my child with during the summer?"

And as my children got older I would ask them what they wanted to focus on during the summer to help them with their next grade.   
I would then work that 'area' into my day for about 15 minutes.  Nothing big but big enough to keep them moving ahead.

I also didn't make it feel like we were doing school work or focusing on other areas such as anxiety.

I would add it into our day so it felt like a small part of our time together. 

Such as making a math game during their time in the pool. 

Or reading outside or at night before bed. 

Or writing on my phone to share their thoughts with someone or just texting others was a great way to write without the added demands.

Summer is fun and a bit challenging at the same time.

Just know that you are not alone...

and small changes can make a big difference! 

You got this.