Week 19: Learning Balance with a Summer Schedule
I saw this idea on Pinterest recently, and it stuck with me. I love summer with the kids, and we do tons of fun things, but I find that at times I really crave the routine of the school year. And I always worry that my kids are spending way too much time playing video games or watching TV during the summer.
So this year, I’m going to try giving them a summer schedule. I created this with The Trip Clip:
You can easily edit this schedule to make it work for your family with The Trip Clip website.
I may also try setting up a weekly schedule – possibly to help add some direction to the morning playtime, or to the afternoon outing.
Now don’t get me wrong – our house is anything but rigid, and I recognize that scheduling out the summer days seems insane. Summer is supposed to be a time for freedom, spontaneity, fun, and relaxation. The point of summer vacation is to NOT have a schedule.
But bear with me for a moment. There are some very good reasons that I want to try a schedule this year:
- Reduce Screen Time: I worry (constantly) about my kids having too much screen time. And I find that we fight less about turning off the screens when they know the timing ahead of time, and it’s a cute list telling them it’s time to turn off the screens rather than me.
- Make the Most of Summer Days: We start the summer with grand ideas of projects we will undertake, and fun things we’ll do, but often the end of the summer comes and we never did those science experiments, nor did we make the stop motion videos we’d dreamed about or taken the bike rides we’d planned at the beginning of the summer. I know some of the things we plan still won’t happen, but I’m hopeful that if we set aside time to do the things we’ve planned we will have a better shot at it.
- Plan Work Time For Me: I work part-time, and I need to be able to carve out some work time I can count on. My plan is to work in the mornings, and then the afternoons will be dedicated to time with the kids.
- Schedules are Awesome, and Can Be Changed! I’m a firm believer in schedules (children do best with structure), but I’ve also learned that having a schedule doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. The mere fact that you HAVE one helps you make better decisions when last-minute invitations pop up. If we get invited to go to the pool, and we don’t really have a plan for the day, we’ll probably say yes because we don’t really know what we would do otherwise except “hang out at home”. But if we get invited to go to the pool, and we knew that we’d planned to set up the slip and slide and invite the neighbor kids over, or have a Monopoly marathon on the deck, then we can make a more informed choice about which of those things we’d rather do.
Your goals may be different from mine, and your schedule definitely will be! But The Trip Clip makes it easy to customize this for your family. If you try a summer schedule with your kids, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and inlucde a picture of your schedule so I can see what works for others!