The following is a guest post from momAgendaCOMM blogger Julie Meyers Pron.
While working in my garden last night (finally in shorts, t-shirts and flip flops listening to the kids screeching with glee during a late night game of tag on a school night), I caught myself in the thought of, “I am so excited for summer.”
I predict my excitement and the “unschooling” to last about 52 hours once school is officially out. My kids crave structure. When there is structure to our day, the house stays cleaner, we eat healthy and we limit the tantrums and unexpected outbursts that come so often with unscheduled hours.
So, to transition from school to summer we take about two days off and begin following a new calendar. We get up each morning, get dressed and begin our day just as we do in the school year. The lazy days of summer can be lazy, but without a structured start to each day we find ourselves getting cranky. Our calendar is already filling up with fun summer activities, so here’s how we do it:
In late winter, I invite my husband to our annual Vacation Summit – an afternoon where we sit at a restaurant with a glass of wine, appetizers, free wifi, and blank calendar pages from June through August. Together, we ink in all of our summer commitments. Next, we take out our laptops or tablets to plan trips. Finally, we highlight camp weeks so that I can go home and register for programs.
I wait until day two after summer vacation begins to fill in the rest of the summer. At that point, I propose a summer vacation fun list. I’ll take out family guides to our local city and suburbs, a map of our area, photo albums from past summers, and a few sample summer bucket lists I’ve pinned on Pinterest. Together, the kids and I make a summer bucket list of our own and hang it on the refrigerator. Some events from the list (like a day trip to the Aquarium or a weekend visit to see family) are added to the summer calendar.
Weekly, I stick to the same weekly scheduling and meal planning that I use all year. Each Sunday, I open my MomAgenda calendar app, take out my Family Planner and write in my weekly plan including my meal plan. When there’s an open day, I’ll select something from the summer bucket list that fits.
I’m also sure to include unplanned days. On a random unplanned day we may do any of the following:
• Host a clean your closet contest
• Enjoy an xBox or wiiU track meet or Olympic series
• Visit the local library
• Create an obstacle course
• Visit a local park
• Hop on our bikes and ride to a nearby park
• Visit a local pick-your-own farm
• Explore a small nearby town
• Take an ABC nature walk
• Make a movie
What are some of the ways you plan and help your family transition from school to summer?
Julie Meyers Pron is a suburban Philadelphia mom of 3. She is The Chief of Everything at Julieverse sharing her knowledge, lifestyle tips, business-savvy suggestions and real life stories to help readers parent confidently while remaining their stylish self.