Scheduling Kids in the Summer

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Lazy days of summer. Dog days of summer.

That’s how the sayings go.

I do love summer.

I think I try to soak up all the sun and Vitamin D I can before winter, when I tend to be a little sad.

And I want the kids to create fun memories this season. I like the fact that they’re able to have fun without worrying too much about accomplishing anything academically, at least for a time.

To be honest, *I* need the break from the responsibilities of homeschooling that summer brings!

But I don’t want my kids to have no boundaries or schedule of any kind in the summer. I don’t want them, for instance, to think that viewing random silly videos on YouTube is ok at 9 a.m. (Something that the built in schedule of homeschooling prevents.) Nor do I want them watching too many movies or playing too much DS.

How do you create a schedule in summer that gives kids the freedom to explore, play and be a little lazy without a total lack of accountability?

Of course, I’ve never given the kids the summer off entirely. For instance, they are expected to do a little math most days, as well as at least 20 minutes of Spanish.

Do you have any ideas for creating a flexible summer schedule for kids?

I came up with a few, and would like to hear yours as well.

- Limits on electronics. We have specific house rules for video games: no more than 45 minutes a day, and no playing on Thursdays or Sundays.

We don’t have a set time limit rule for movie or computer use, but during the school year it’s “not until schoolwork is done”, or 2:30 p.m., whichever comes last.

I’m thinking of setting a specific time for summer. For instance, no electronics until after 12 (when it’s getting unbearably hot outside).

- Reading focus. Summer is a great time for pleasure reading. For most of my kids, this is no problem. Their noses are frequently in a book for a couple hours a day anyway. They look forward to earning their free book at Barnes and Noble each year (it takes them about a day or two to read the required 8 titles). Library trips to keep them in fresh material are a twice weekly thing.

But I have one reluctant reader. The good news is, he loves to be read TO. So my goal is to keep him in a good engaging read aloud all summer. Right now we’re enjoying King Matt the First. Any other suggestions for a 10 year old boy who is interested in aeronautics, LEGO, and hang gliding?

- Keeping busy. My goal is to keep the kids busy with fun stuff so they won’t just loaf around. We’re going to the pool a lot, having friends over, BBQing, going to parties and picnics, hosting sleepovers, visiting family, going to the beach etc.

Not so much that they (and I) are exhausted, but summer definitely makes socializing easier when nobody has to get up early for (public) school and there are no “school nights”.

I’ve noticed that chores are slacking a bit. Laundry is piling up, the kid’s bathroom is gross, the floors are sticky – all of these the domain of 3 of the kids.

I understand because *I* get a little lazy in summer too.

Cooking? Nah. Watermelon for dinner!

Housework? Meh. Margaritas!

What are your suggestions for keeping kids busy (enough) in summer? Do you create a schedule for them to follow? Or what?



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2 Responses to Scheduling Kids in the Summer

  1. Candi @ Family Stamping and FOOD! says:

    I joined the summer reading program offered at the library. There are little incentives for the kids and even for mine since they don’t read yet, we’re going to try to rectify that before summer’s end and she starts public school.

  2. carrie says:

    Great idea. Sadie is just on the cusp of reading too. We have the Cobb county libraries, Smyrna city library and Fulton county library all within a couple of miles of our house!

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