There are six more weeks until school gets out for the summer. Woo-hoo!, right? Summer is the time for lazy days, swimming in the pool, no stressful structure, no schoolwork, right? Well...yeah, to an extent. Kids need freedom and the time to just do what they want to do. Explore, create, play. That said, I believe a little structure helps keep kids from getting bored, keeps us in a comfortable, loose routine, and keeps their brains sharp. Influenced by my amazing friend, Jill, I have tried to be a little more proactive the past few years about planning for the summer and being prepared with activities, challenges, incentives and rewards. It makes summertime even greater! Here's what poured out of my brain onto my paper when I was brainstorming about what I want to do with my kids this summer.
It will work like this. The kids will do a small amount of math, music, reading, and writing each day. They'll do their chores. Later we will do an extra activity or challenge, most of which will be short and fun, or broken into steps we will work at on different days. Sometimes the activity will take the place of their other work. Weekends will be more free, and we'll break things up with trips and outings. Some days we won't do anything at all but hang out in the pool.
This may be too structured and restrictive to many people, but I love to have ideas at my fingertips. It helps me to feel more in control. And an incentive program really works! It teaches how to set and achieve goals, learn stuff, and have fun while they're at it.
Now that I have a basic outline, next I will choose and overarching theme, assemble supplies for projects, and perfect an incentive program (prizes!).
Do you have any great ideas for summertime? I would love to hear them.