Summer is officially on and it's time to get settled and organized. We've been doing a lot of partying the past few weeks and while I definitely want that to continue throughout the summer we also need to get a grip on the use of our days and getting things done.
Now that we've had birthday, holiday and family visitors in the past two weeks today is our first real day of summer vacation and the right day to get into a good rhythm for how we want our summer to go. Here is how I'm hoping to break things down.
1) Make A Daily To Do List: Things swirling around in my head include a daily To Do list for The Bug so that she has some structure in her days. This also means I feel like I'm nagging less because the sheet is guiding her every day instead of me constantly having to stop and give directions. She also likes to cross things off her list and I think she feels less bossed around and more independent.
2) Deep Clean And Refresh The House: We need to do a deep clean of The Bug's room and beautify it again. I feel like it got as tired as we did during the school year and needs a summer vacation refresh just like we do. While we share work on that we'll also work our way around the house bit by bit.
3) Update Kiddos Toys And Books: It's high time we again go through books and toys and weed out things she is getting too old for. I know we still have a few toddler books hidden on the bookshelves that should be packed away or given away.
4) Clean Out Clothes Drawers And Shoe Cupboard: I want to go through the clothes drawers and shoe cupboards and pull out things that don't fit or are totally worn out after a hard year on the school playground.
5) Keep Learning: We also want to keep that cute little brain fresh this summer so it's time for me to investigate apps for third graders! We definitely want to keep support for math learning high and of course reading is a must. I also want to try to plan in some learning day trips and other hands on adventures.
6) Appreciation For Hard Work: Growing up as an oldest child and on a farm there was just no other option than that I was going to learn the value of hard work. And I will say I probably only worked about one-third as hard as my dad and his siblings did when they were kids on the same farm. But living in the city in a small apartment there are not nearly as many opportunities for hard work around our home: no yard work, no garden, etc. So I am going to have to get creative. One of my objectives is learning to do the work we do have here well. That means effectively loading the dishwasher, doing a thorough job of cleaning, mopping, sweeping, learning to cook, etc.
7) Service To Others: This is a great time for us to work on things like letter writing, visiting others in need, cleaning up the beach when we visit and other opportunities for our little one to think more about other people and their needs than just being purely focused on "I want" all the time. Yesterday we visited a man we know whose wife recently died. It was a great experience for us! He's going to be a great friend.
8) Building Friendships: We have a great group of families in our community and I want to get together in as many ways as possible this summer. Beach barbecues, Friday adventure days with other moms and kids and hopefully lots of friends over for pancake dinners this summer too.
9) Time With Family: Seeing family is very important in the summers because it's about the only time we have to spend more than a day or two with our families who all live far away. We have no family close so we have to make it a priority to see them now.
10) Rest And Fun: It's time for some rest and regroup and I want to make sure we do that. Downtime is important and when the school year is so busy I believe it's very important that we get lots of sleep and quiet time during the summers. It's being built into the days along with some work and study and fun. We need more trips to the park, more walks in the evenings, more bike rides and more time at the beach.
My plan is to make an action sheet each day with a few cleaning tasks, reading periods and study activities along with rest and fun planned in. Even though we want the summer to be relaxing, fun and less structured, I find I have to plan that all if it's going to happen in the most beautiful and relaxing way. So a little thought now should help make the summer a richer one in every way for us.