a SUMMER SCHEDULE perfect for relaxing and learning

Summer is the perfect time for relaxing.  It’s also the perfect time for some pressure free playful learning and summer activities. Creating a summer schedule for kids, a little planning and some prep work will go a long way towards a summer filled with great memories.  As an added bonus you’ll find a lot less “I’m bored” time floating around.

Creating a Summer Schedule

Important Parent Stuff.  What are your must-dos?  Do you have work, deep cleaning, or organizing that must be done?  Make sure to include those things in your written out summer schedule or you’ll be scrambling to squeeze it in.  

  • Consider hiring a neighbor teen to help with the kids a few hours a week.
  • Set up days to take a friend’s kids, then switch.  You’ll both end up with free days to handle the parent stuff and the kids will have friends to play with!

Learning Needs.  Are there learning areas where your kid could use a little extra practice?  I will be focusing on pressure free independent reading time, because a continued love of reading is something that will help Big M succeed next year.  I will also make sure there is a lot of Letter Sound Fun going on, I want Little M prepped and confident for her first steps into reading.

  • Talk to your little one’s teacher or review their progress report to find out what skills could use a little fine tuning.
  • Think back to which subjects or special areas your kid seemed resistant to.  Maybe they just need a little pressure free time to absorb and explore it on their own.

Include Down Time.  Life is busy, moving from one scheduled event to the next leaves very little time for plain old play.   (Which just happens to be the best way for kids to learn!)  Make sure to schedule chunks in the day for your kids to just play.

Be Flexible.  Summer is about freedom, relaxation and flexibility.  Once you have your schedule in place you’ll find it easier to bend on some things because you’ll be able jump back into your set routine whenever you’re ready.

Be prepared.  The best way to avoid the “I’m bored” issue is to be prepared.  Plus it’s a whole lot more relaxing for you!

  • Focus on a weekly theme and make a lesson plan.  (I think I can help with that. Wink wink.)  To make it even more fun call these lesson plans Summer Camp.  You can invite other kids if you’re up to it!
  • Have an idea of what you’ll want to do over the following days (or weeks) and have everything ready to grab.  This will make it easier to be flexible and planned at the same time!
  • When something neat comes your way (like these busy bags) don’t hand them out immediately.  Keep them stored out of sight for the perfect “I need something special” moment.

Write it out.  I don’t know about you, but for me days, weeks and months seem to fly by.  Writing out summer plans will make it easier to make sure they actually happen.

  • Make a summer bucket list for all of the big (and some of the little) stuff you want to do over the summer.
  • Set dates for the things that you can.  Will you be doing something on a monthly basis?  (I’m planning to visit a few local museums with my sis.)  How about on a weekly basis?  (Our library has a great summer reading program, and I love bringing home new books!)  Make sure those special outings are penciled into your calendar.
  • Make a daily summer schedule.  Include snacks, reading, outside play, quiet time, art or science time, clean up, chores, and anything else that is relevant for your daily flow.  (I also include screen time into my schedule, it helps me keep screen time under control.)

Happy Planning.

This post originally appeared on May 30, 2012.

One more thing before you go…

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Adventure ideas and tips – you can have adventures without leaving your backyard!
Tips for managing sibling conflictwhat to do with the toddler and how to enjoy a museum with your kids.
Book recommendations from Mom’s who love kid books!

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    1. Jeannette,
      We are starting summer break today. Phew, this past week as been crazy. Here is the extremely flexible schedule Hubs and I came up with. We both work at home so we will alternate “working days”. Having a set schedule will help us keep the kids on a routine. We will use the schedule as a guideline but our days will be relaxed and if someone is involved in an activity we won’t stick to the schedule.
      wake up time – 8… (our kids are early risers) Breakfast and a show
      8-10… outside play
      10… snack
      snack – 11… art books and playtime
      12… Lunch
      lunch- 3… read books then “quiet time” (Lego’s, puzzles, books, sleep, etc.)
      3-4… Family time (game, reading, activity, etc.)
      4-6… outside (neighbor kids can come over)
      6… Dinner
      dinner – 7ish… outside time
      8… bedroom playtime and then bed

  1. This is great I’m sharing it. With children not at school yet I dread the summer holidays – as everything stops all toddler groups, all baby groups and attractions become over crowded. Having a plan like this will help me stay focused and feel in control over the weeks when it all stops. Thank you

  2. Just discovered your blog – these are great ideas, and I will have to use some of them – especially like the summer camp ideas. We have a Summer Fun List that we will work through – Love the ideas here as well.

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