Today is my 1st grade son’s last day of school (finally!). After one last trip to the Dollar Store this morning, I’m ready!
Summer provides a magical (well, at least at first) and unique time to pour into my three kids at home. The great amount of free time together, though, can be overwhelming. Where do I begin in trying to make these two months really count? How can I help my kids grow in some significant areas while having fun together?
Last year, I wrote a post called Make Your Summer At Home with Kids Count. It’s one of those posts that I had to write down, so I would go back and read it each year at this time. It’s about the process I went through to create goals for my children, and the plan I put in place.
This year, I’m at it again because last year’s plan really was a success for the most part. We didn’t go on any huge vacations or spend much money, but my kids still talk about our summer together and many of the things they learned last year. So, here are our family’s summer goals, daily and weekly schedule, and lots of ideas for summer chores and summer FUN!
I’m a big believer in planning–whether it’s an event at my work or a summer at home with my kids–with the end goals in mind. Without some specific summer goals, it’s easy to spin your wheels or get too many activities going on. After talking it over with my husband, I came up with goals in four areas for each of my kids: Spiritual, Learning, Skills, and Character. My shoddy little homemade chart somehow makes me feel both happy and relieved to know I’ve got direction with my three little people (ages 7, 5, and 3 respectively on the chart).
One of the simple things that helps our family is to have a consistent flow to our week. So, like many moms I’ve seen on Pinterest, we’ve got a tentative map of our weekly schedule written down. We’ll adjust according to the weather and vacation, of course, but for the most part these are the components.
Weekly Chore Chart
Last summer was the first time my kids were responsible for age-appropriate daily chores. Here is a peek at our chore chart from last year, when my kids were 6, 4, and 3, respectively. It worked out really well over the summer. But, I dropped the ball once school began on enforcing the chores on the same level.
I’m back with renewed vigor for the summer, though! Mainly I’m motivated because I know my house will descend into the pit of nastiness if we don’t work as a team. My goals with these guys this summer is to help them tidy their rooms each morning, work as a team to unload the dish washer, and help me clean up after meals. This new Weekly Chores plan could be a life changer if it builds a lasting pattern (fingers crossed).
Summer Bucket List
Then, the kids and I brainstormed ideas of fun activities to try this summer on our bucket list. We found lots of help on our Thriving Home Facebook page and on Pinterest. I created a Summer Fun Pinterest board, if you’re looking for more ideas.
Field Trip Ideas
One of our learning goals, like last summer, is to go on a weekly experiential learning field trip with our good friends. This may have been the single best thing we did together last year. I’m not always great about doing an intentional learning activity each day, but I can handle once a week. Here’s our list of ideas so far.
Magnetic Daily Schedule
I plan to pull out and use this magnetic Daily Schedule from this post again. Every morning at breakfast, I review with the kids what is happening that day. What I love about this is that the kids keep us on schedule better than I do when we have it on the fridge!