It’s been a week! Since school let out that is. I know it’s been a bit longer since my last blog post. My apologies. Life happened. But if you continue reading I’ll fill you in! 🙂
Last Friday, June 7th was the children’s last day of school. With only half a school day scheduled I sensed mixed emotions: excited that summer was starting yet a bit sad to leave their teachers and classmates behind. They each toted along with gifts for their teachers, handmade…literally. I’ll explain.
Upcycling a few tin cans, the children used decorated craft paper to wrap around and make pretty. Using construction paper folded in half, they traced their hands and cut both hands out. On the hands they wrote: “you deserve a hand” on one and on the other: “a teacher holds a hand, opens a mind and touches a heart”. After gluing their hands onto opposite sides of the can, they filled the cans with a little shred (saved from a few packages I received in the past – I knew it would come in handy), then placed a tube of Mary Kay Satin Hands cream. My oldest son made a batch of homemade cookies for his class party and decided to allow his siblings to each share one with their teachers. They were proud of their gifts, and I was proud of their thoughtfulness. Teachers really deserve recognition and appreciation for all their hard work and dedication.
While the children enjoyed a fun filled last week of school, I committed myself to creating a plan that would work for summer. I know how spending all day every day together can be. I love them to pieces and enjoy every moment I spend with my children. However, after experiencing my round of homeschooling for a year and a half and spending two summers together in a row, I admit we need our moments apart to appreciate on another’s time and presence more.
Being a work at home mom I could only recall how much my time to work would be affected with the children home. So I started searching the Internet for summer schedules and came across several printables, planners and more. After reading trough a few others’ ideas, I focused on my family and our needs. I know my schedule and what my children need better than anyone else. I asked the children what kinds of things they would like to do over the summer. Their feedback proved helpful: arts and crafts, snacks, play dates, music, treasure hunts…the list went on…I clearly got the idea: Have FUN!
I created another list of regular household management tasks such as laundry, dusting, decluttering, menu planning, grocery shopping, yard work, etc. I categorized by what gets done daily, weekly and monthly as well as how much time is necessary for each.
Lastly, I made my business list of goals, availability, tasks, monthly deadlines and trainings, again determining how much time I would need for each item. I included checking and replying to email and social media as well because if not managing time properly that alone can take all day.
Thinking of my husband’s varying work schedule and my ideal work day starting when the children normally leave for school, I figured I would stick with routine and start our day with breakfast around 8:00am. I like starting our day with devotion/Bible study so I scheduled 30 minutes right after breakfast. After being nourished physically and spiritually I feel we are well fueled for a great day. I included time in our schedule for chores, outside time twice a day, special activities with themes each day, for example crafty Monday, game playing Tuesday, library Thursday, etc. and through it all I’m able to accomplish my work assignments in a timely manner.
Although Monday rained and that eliminated outside time, we still got our bodies moving with Kinect Adventures on Xbox 360.
It was fun to hear the children cheering each other on instead of squabbling over what belongs to whom and not taking turns with whatever the coveted item of the day is. The day passed smoothly and I was glad I had a plan in place. Tuesday kind of made me think Monday was too good to be true. :-/ But that was only because of grumpy children not getting their way. That feeling passed quickly. I maintained my position and continued with our routines.
The week has passed and while it took me a little adjusting because of changing the timing of some of my regular schedule, I have really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to what the rest of the summer has in store. Summer was always my favorite season as a child. Carefree. As if being a child wasn’t carefree enough, right? Sun. Ice cream. Family. Friends. Fun. I want my children to enjoy their summers as much as I did growing up, if not more.
Some may think it strange that I have created a summer schedule, I mean where’s the fun in that? No spontaneity? Actually quite the opposite. It is a schedule that isn’t set in stone but serves more as a guide so the children aren’t glued to iPods and computer games all day, so I’m not glued to my computer screen/iPad/iPhone all day, so our home remains clean and welcoming, so I’m managing my business and work productively and so I’m enjoying a memorable summer of loving my family.
I have been productive with work assignments, probably more than before, and I have enjoyed quality time with my children and husband, creating fun summer memories that I’m sure we’ll look back on with a smile. 🙂
What are you looking forward to this summer?
If you are a stay/work at home parent, how do you manage when the children are out of school for summer?