The days of summer are right around the corner. The sun is peaking out behind the clouds, the days are warming, the mornings and the evenings are brightening. I love summer, in all of its lazy glory, and always hope for simple days and lots of family togetherness. Over the next 6 weeks I will be posting every Thursday with ideas on ways to prepare for summer. These simple steps will focus on what we can do to plan and execute an amazingly awesome summer for ourselves and our families.
Today we are chatting about schedules. It is all about the planning and preparing. This year I’m determined to plan, prepare, and schedule as much as I can before the summer starts. I’m hoping by doing this, I can be more present with my family in all of our summer days ahead.
1. Create a summer binder.
Just a three ring binder that you have that you can label Summer Plans 2014. This is a place to put your calendar of events, any paperwork for travel, any information on summer camps, your bucket list, and your weekly and daily schedule.
2. Schedule your vacations and activities.
This would include your larger vacations but also your smaller camping, lake, or beach day or weekend trips. Schedule any visits you may have planned from family and friends. Schedule any day camps for the kids. Spread these out over the summer. Make sure you give yourself down time, at least a week or two in between, for your family to relax and really enjoy some lazy summer days. Also, schedule any birthdays, weddings, reunions, or other events that you will be attending.
We like to schedule one big trip in the summer, one or two weeks of camps for the kids, and two to three weekends away at a beach house or camping. We also celebrate 3 of our kid’s birthdays during these summer months. Summer is a big deal around here and we try to take full advantage of the warm, sunny days and kiddos out of school.
3. Create a summer bucket list.
Create a list of things you would like to do this summer. Since the larger events are planned, we tend to create this list with the kids, and plan smaller, local events and home based summer activities. Things that we put on this list may be, buying ice cream from the ice cream truck, going to the pool, having a sprinkler day, making homemade ice-cream, having a picnic outside, staying up late to look at the stars, going to a movie, etc.
4. Create a summer weekly and daily schedule.
Create a weekly schedule of events. What has worked for us is to plan an activity to do on each day of the week. Monday could be craft day, Tuesday cooking day, Wednesday could be pool day, etc. These activities could take 15 minutes or could take up the whole day. You could plan a day for hikes, a day to have friends over, a day to work in the garden, a sprinkler day, a reading day, a day to go on a walk, a day to go to the park, or anything that your family does or wants to do. I usually only plan one to two days a week when I am away from home, the rest of the activities keep us close to home. With all the other vacations and weekend trips we plan during the summer, when we are home I like to be home. If you don’t have many vacations planned or if your family just loves going and doing each day, you could plan more outings each week. Whatever works best for your family.
Create a daily schedule of events. This I like to keep pretty general and loose. I like having lazy summer mornings, with a couple hours to wake up, eat breakfast, and just have free time. I may incorporate some self directed activities into our morning, if I feel the kids need some help managing this free time. We try to get our work and summer school done in the morning. We also like to read together everyday and be outside a lot. The afternoon will be when we do our weekly activity. Above I have shown the schedule we will use this summer.
5. Make a list of summer activities just for you!
Just because you are the mom, doesn’t mean you don’t get a fun summer too! I have fallen into the trap of planning a really fun summer for my kids, and being so busy catering to them, that my summer has just felt like work, work, and more work. This summer, for the first time, I’m creating a list of items I want to do and scheduling them into our summer. This may be with my family, with just my husband, or on my own! I’m looking to do one of my activities at least once each week. Some of the activities I’m thinking of are attending our summer farmer’s market, going on a summer’s drive, kayaking, hiking, and going on a couple special dates with my husband. Put them on the calendar in pink, so they stand out, and you know they are your activities! Doesn’t that make the summer sound like so much more fun, when you can plan on doing some of the things that you enjoy?
By creating a list of things you want to do and scheduling out your entire summer, you can take full advantage of the time off and have the type of summer you hope for. Keep it simple. Each of these can be as big or small as you would like them to be.
6 Steps to an Awesome Summer Series | Work
6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Summer School
6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Activities
6 Steps to an Awesome Summer | Crafts
6 Steps for an Awesome Summer Series | Schedules