Once again, summer is fast approaching. My schedule is turned crazy during the summer, with my son home most of the time (except when attends summer camp), and my husband, a college professor, is home a lot more, too (he does teach some classes in summer, though). With everyone home more of the time, and without the activities that normally fill our days, sometimes things fall apart a little bit.
Once summer rolls around, what you really need is a schedule. Does every minute have to have an assignment? Of course not. But some basic structure is in order if you want to maintain your sanity, and if you want your kids to retain some semblance of normalcy throughout the summer. Here are some ideas for creating routine during the summer:
Retain Some of the “Regular” Activities
My son continues his piano lessons during the summer. He also has regular reading time each day. These are small things, but they connect him to the “normal” life that happens during the school year. He practices his piano each day, he has reading time each day. These items usually happen in the early afternoon, after lunch. That way, on weeks that he has day camp in the morning his “regular” activities aren’t interrupted. And, because baseball isn’t until later in the day, that doesn’t interrupt, either.
Incorporate Your Fun Summer Activities into the Schedule
I try to look ahead at what we can do during the summer. We go camping two or three times, take a staycation or two, and maybe take one longer trip during the summer. A lot of these trips are scheduled in ahead of time, so that we know when they are coming. This makes it easier to ensure that things are too disruptive during the summer. And, because a lot of the people we do these activities with (like grandma and grandpa) have to work during the week, we plan them for the weekend. Keeping some sort of routine can help you stay on track.
Regular Meal Times
It’s not always possible to have regular meal times during the summer, but it’s a good idea to try. One of the ways to make sure that the kids don’t get cranky from hunger is to at least have some rules about snacks. Regular snack times can hold them over when meals are a little later, as well as prevent them from pestering you all the time for a snack. You can also encourage healthy snacking by telling your kids that they are welcome to get their own carrot sticks or apple slices (do this in the morning) whenever they want. But meal times that are as regular as possible are important, since it can stave off grumpies, and keep their bodies growing strong.
Regular Sleep Times
There are times, like the Fourth of July and during campouts, that my son isn’t going to go to bed at a regular time. For the most part, though, his sleep schedule doesn’t change during the summer. He still goes to bed at roughly the same time, and gets up at roughly the same time. This way, we don’t have to try to make readjustments when school starts again. Additionally, regular sleep helps children maintain better attitudes and health.