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Summer break can be an adjustment for a family, especially for a mom whose normal routines have been disrupted with kids who are now home from school. Having kids at home will change so much more than schedules and routines, however. You may find yourself wondering how to make it through the summer in the midst of all the craziness.
The truth is, a little goes a long way when planning a summer break strategy. It’s really just a matter of knowing a few things and then putting them into practice.
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Here’s what you need to know for surviving (& loving) summer break with kids.
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Stick to a bedtime
This doesn’t mean that all of your kids need the same bedtime. It doesn’t mean that it needs to be the same bedtime your kids have during the school year. In fact, with it being light so much later, it is impossible to get my kids to go to sleep at the same time as they do when the darkness arrives before dinnertime.
It’s a matter of consistency. Make sure each of your kids goes to bed at the same time every night as much as possible.
Stick to a waking time
Similar to the first tip, each kid should get up at the same time every day. It is super helpful in my home if the waking time is consistent for all the kids, but that can be up to you.
The overall idea is that the waking time would be the same for each kid each day.
Household chores or responsibilities are a very good thing
It is helpful not only to have everyone helping, but it is also part of building a structure of activities. When families work together, it is more fun to play together. And, in most cases, there is more time for playing together.
Establish and maintain routines
These can be different than the routines you must maintain during the school year, but it’s a matter of structure, consistency, and organization. For example, you could say that breakfast is at this time, lunch is at that time, and dinner is later in the evening at another time. You can also establish set times to do certain household chores, like saying that these kids have to clean the kitchen every night after dinner.
Schedule quiet time
Even with older kids, having a short period of downtime in the afternoon is so helpful. I find it helps kids get along better, kids can recharge doing what they enjoy doing, and the period of quiet and calm is like a reset to the day.
Seriously. Whatever it is you’re thinking of scheduling, make the decision to schedule less of that.
Make time for simple fun
You don’t need to do something fancy to have fun. It can be something as simple as planning your child’s outfit for the next day or throwing a ball back and forth in the front yard.
Flex those learning muscles
Summer is still an excellent time to learn, but you can really have some freedom and fun with learning during the summer. Summer is a great time to research and try new science experiments using simple materials from around the house.
Get a little crazy
Have fun doing some “crazy” things. Play in the rain in your clothes, run through the sprinklers with your kids, have a massive sleepover with your whole family, sleep out under the stars. It’s just as important to spend time having fun with the whole family during the summer as it is during the school year.
It is so good to spend time outside, but it is something that we can often forget in the crazy busyness of life. Make time to get outside every day. After all, your kids will be more tired at the end of the day!
Let it go
The truth is, there is extra crazy during the summer. Expect it, accept it, and let it go. As much as there is a need for structure, there is also a time to be a bit more lenient at times in the summer. Not all the time, but some of the time. When you do, you will be saving your own sanity most of the time.
I certainly allow more in the summer than I do in the winter. It’s kind of like compromising. You can’t fight all the battles that arise. Pick and choose which ones to fight and which ones to walk away from in the name of having a more peaceful (and sane) summer.
Summer break can very easily turn insane with the kids home from school. But with these tips and tricks, you can cut down on a lot of it, and make summertime for fun – for everyone!