Tips for creating a summer routine.
Creating a summer routine has been what helps us not sink into survival mode forever. In the past, I have had a few different kinds of summers.
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There was the summer of the extreme summer routine. We had so many activities planned.
Then there was the summer of zero routines. While it was nice for a while, we eventually felt like we were all over the place. My kids were constantly wanting to be on screens and it felt stressful.
With both of these, we all ended up in survival mode. Both left me feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.
Then there was the other summer. The summer that I implemented a simple summer routine to help our days have some sort of schedule.
This was the summer we thrived.
No, it was not a perfect summer. There were moments of stress, but overall it went so well.
After that summer, I realized the importance of having a summer routine. My kids and I both thrive on routine. When we do not have a routine, they end up being on their tablets or watching TV A LOT which results in them arguing which results in me yelling- never a good combination.
In case you have the same struggle with summer, I wanted to share this simple summer routine. Read it over, take some ideas from it, and then form one that works for you!
Creating a Simple Summer Routine
Take time now and determine whether you will use alarm clocks in the summer. For our family, we do not use alarms for the summer (except for my husband). My kids are usually up fairly early and I try to be up by 7 am so I can do my routine.
We take the early morning with a lot of grace and coffee. I usually have coffee, have some “quiet time”, and then prepare breakfast. The kids are usually having some screen time or playing during this time.
Tip: Figure out what is essential for you and implement that! For me, I knew I wanted to be able to read my Bible, workout, and get ready for the day.
I usually have a little clean up to do in the morning, so I like to involve the kids in this. They have to make sure their beds are put together and clothes are in the dirty clothes basket. Starting a load of laundry helps get things rolling too.
Tip: Determine what essential chores are important this summer. Is there an area you want to help your child grow in?
We usually try to add in a little bit of learning time in the summer. It does not take up a lot of the time (15 minutes or less). This summer, I am using the Brain Quest book for my youngest. Reading is also part of this, but we usually do that after or before lunch.
As long as it is not raining, we head outside. Most of the time this means doing something in the water because of the southern heat and humidity. We usually do our activity for the day from our At-Home Summer Camp kit during this time as well. If we are having an outing for the day it is usually during this time.
Last summer we started having daily reading time. We used a summer reading chart (there is one in the Thriving Summer Guide) and a special snack during reading. A friend told me about an idea from Simply On Purpose called the Mom Shop. I adjusted the idea to fit our family and it has been great! Basically, they can get a snack from the Mom Shop during reading time and only during reading time. The Mom Shop includes snacks that are special (all of the individually wrapped items). It was a hit! You can view her tips here.
During the quiet time, the kids can go on screens.
We typically go outside again in the afternoon or run errands or head to the library. If we did not do our activity for the day earlier, we do it during this time. This is also when I fold laundry, prep dinner, etc.
After dinner, we typically have family time and then bedtime. Our evenings are pretty slow and quiet during the summer which is a welcome relief to the school year. We like to do a screen-free evening and do a family game. Recently we had a glow game from Starlux Games that was a lot of fun!
Reminder- this is what works for our family. You have to do what works best for your family. Use this as a springboard to get you ready to set your own summer routine. There are some days that we go to the beach and that is ALL we do. It is a flexible routine, but having the structure for the everyday moments has helped us to thrive, not survive, summer.