Keeping your kids from becoming couch potatoes in the summer can be a real challenge. Allowing children plenty of opportunity to relax and enjoy their time away from school is vital, yet, so is keeping them productive and responsible. One way to allow kids to have free range to have fun, but also keep them on track is to create a summer daily schedule.
Talk About It
Open a dialogue for ideas on creative ways to create a summer daily schedule. Brainstorm as a family the things you want to accomplish during the summer as a whole. Do you have travel plans? Are there things you want to get done around the house and want the kids help with it? Once the big ideas are on the table, the smaller/daily tasks won’t be so hard to map out.
What Needs To Get Done
Top priority on the daily schedule should be items that have to get done – chores, summer reading, etc. Be sure to get your children’s input on this, especially on time of day they are going to be doing these things. For example, certain chores like walking the dog are better done in the morning. But also, they may prefer to have time outside in the morning before the sun gets too hot as well. Finding a balance between work and play is going to be the key to success when scheduling out summer days.
Another way to keep your daily summer schedule going is to do it day by day. Use a dry erase board and sit down with each child the night before to decide what activities they will be doing the following day. If you will not be the one caring for your kids because of work, encourage their care provider to do this with them. Or at least ask for their input! Anyone that will be spending a lengthy amount of time with your family during the summer should always be involved in the daily schedule creation process. Ultimately though, the parent/caregiver should be the one steering the schedule based on the ideas of the crowd.
A dry erase or chalkboard will provide the opportunity to change items on the fly if necessary. So if a friend invites you all over for a spur of the moment pool party or the family decides to go get ice cream before dinner, allow some flexibility for such occasions.
Implementing and maintaining a daily routine during the summer will make the transition back to school easier. Setting goals throughout the summer that are achievable, will likely give your child a more fulfilling summer all around. The hope with this project is that your child will carry over a daily schedule into the school year. Also, having a visual for what is coming up for the day allows children to mentally prepare for what lays ahead. This will make for a better day for not only your child, but you as well.