Making My Summer at Home with Kids Count

By Rachel Tiemeyer
June 5, 2014

How to Make Your Summer at Home Count: Having a few summer goals for your kids can change everything! This post is all about setting goals and living those out all summer long. Full of ideas!!!

Read my much more updated post called Make Your Summer at Home Count with Kids” here.

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.

How to Make Your Summer at Home Count: Having a few summer goals for your kids can change everything! This post is all about setting goals and living those out all summer long. Full of ideas!!!

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!

Summer Goals

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).

How to Make Your Summer at Home Count (2014)

Weekly Schedule

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.

How to Make Your Summer at Home Count (2014)

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.

How to Make a Chore Chart

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).

How to Make Your Summer at Home Count (2014)

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.

How to Make Your Summer at Home Count (2014)

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.

 How to Make Your Summer at Home Count (2014)

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!

make your summer count with kids at home

What is your plan for the summer? Any ideas I should add to our Bucket List? I’d love to hear from you!

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8 replies
  1. Katy says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’m not going to let this summer go to waste! I was wondering if you remember what the family devotion cards were or if you have any recommendations for family devotions for young kids (mine will be 4 and 6 mid summer). Thanks againd

  2. Lisa Watson says:

    Wow!!! This is seriously an answer to prayer!!!! I have been trying to make a chore chart, daily schedule, goals, etc for the past 4 weeks. I have a son, Everett, who will be going into 1st grade & a daughter, Nora Kate, who will be 3 at the end of August (I am not working this summer & have had these grandiose ideas that it was going to be like a fairy tale. Well, 2 weeks in & I am on the verge of looking for a summer job! Pathetic, I know!)…so, I just happen to open Pinterest today and yours is the first page or pin or whatever its called that I see. All of the descriptions you gave about yourself and your family sound just like me! I am so excited to go and put all this into place starting on Monday. (but seriously starting on Monday. I usually say that, but for reals I mean it)…Thank you, thank you, thank you! Can’t wait to learn more!!!!!

  3. Kimberly says:

    I love this!! With school being out now and having a newborn, life gets pretty hectic. I want to make the most of the summer with my kiddos. I am now tasked with recreating this! 🙂 Thank you!