Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Schedule for Busy and Happy Kids

Posted by Devin
 

I don't know about all of you, but this summer I am going to be ORGANIZED with our family's daily schedule. I have found that trying to keep four little boys at home without any clear direction or plan leads to zany, crazy kids running all over the house and one seriously grouchy and frazzled mama. Last summer I kept thinking "we just need to adjust to everyone being at home, we just need to adjust", but because I never got organized or made a plan for our daily activities, the "adjustment" never really happened and I was SO relieved when it was time for school to start. I am vowing not to let that happen again this year. I want to enjoy having my boys at home with me and make the most of our time together!
 
(Exhibit A: Proof of zaniness. Notice blurriness in trying to catch it.)

So to make this happen I sat down at my computer and started my plan of attack. Here is the schedule I came up with that I believe will work for us. I know how hard it can be to get organized and make a plan, so I thought I'd share this with all of you to provide some inspiration and possibly help you start your own summer schedule!
 
Our Summer Schedule
 
Monday – Work Day
7-8am: Breakfast and Getting Dressed
8-9am: AM Chores
9-11am: House Cleaning
11am-1pm: Lunch and Free Time
1-4pm: Laundry and Reading/Games/FHE Preparation (Cash’s Nap)
4-6pm: Dinner Preparation and PM Chores
6-7pm: Dinner
7-8:30pm: Family Home Evening and Baths/Scriptures/Prayers
Tuesday – Summer Movie Fun Day
7-8am: Breakfast and Getting Dressed
8-9am: AM Chores
9am-Noon: Summer Movie Fun
Noon-2pm: Lunch and Free Time
2-4pm: Reading/Games/Learning Time (Cash’s Nap)
4-6pm: Dinner Preparation and PM Chores
6-7pm: Dinner
7-8pm: Baths/Scriptures/Prayers
Wednesday – Craft Day
7-8am: Breakfast and Getting Dressed
8-9am: AM Chores
9-11am: Craft Time (Painting, Drawing, Coloring, Creating) OR Swimming
11am-1pm: Lunch and Free Time
1-4pm: Reading/Games/Learning Time OR Craft Time if we had am Swimming (Cash’s Nap)
4-6pm: Dinner Preparation and PM Chores
6-7pm: Dinner
7-8pm: Baths/Scriptures/Prayers
Thursday – Grocery Shopping Day
7-8am: Breakfast and Getting Dressed
8-9am: AM Chores
9-11am: Grocery Shopping
11am-1pm: Lunch and Free Time
1-4pm: Scout Activities/Reading/Games (Cash’s Nap)
4-6pm: Dinner Preparation and PM Chores
6-7pm: Dinner
7-8pm: Baths/Scriptures/Prayers
Friday – Swimming/Field Trip Day
7-8am: Breakfast and Getting Dressed
8-9am: AM Chores
9-Noon: Swimming OR Field Trip
Noon-1pm: Lunch
1-4pm: Reading/Games/Learning Time (Cash’s Nap)
4-6pm: Dinner Preparation and PM Chores
6-7pm: Dinner
7-8pm: Baths/Scriptures/Prayers
 
A quick disclaimer here: I know this schedule looks pretty rigid at first glance, but I am really more about a relaxed summer than I am an overly-strict one. If you look closely at the amount of time I have allotted for each activity, there is usually way more scheduled time than needed. This should make for a pretty relaxed feel to our days and provide for ample free time for the boys. But not too much (again, we don't want the zaniness to rule our home). Also, we control our summer schedule, it does not control us. In other words, if something comes up that we want to do but it does not fit into the schedule, the schedule goes out the window! We do not have very many trips or activities planned for this summer, so I predict we will be home a lot. If that is the case, we have a great schedule to follow! But if we have something else fun to be doing, we're gonna do it!

(Exhibit B: Cabin trips with cousins! Excellent reason to throw out the schedule.)

I think this schedule is going to be awesome for us. Here are some of the details about what our scheduled activities will consist of.
 
Chores
 
The boys' AM Chores will include feeding the cat, feeding the chickens, taking out the trash, unloading the dishwasher, making their beds, and checking the garden. Their PM Chores will include picking up the house, taking out more trash, loading the dishwasher, clearing the table, etc. They will also be helping me daily with preparing our dinners. I plan on making a chart for the boys that details which chores they are in charge of on which days so there will be no argument or question about who should (or shouldn't) be doing what. Fingers crossed this will make for whining free chore times! Here is our chore chart I came up with.

 
(Exhibit C: Celebrating finishing chores. Look how happy they are!)
 
House Cleaning
 
I plan on doing this with the boys and it will be a bit of a learning experience since I have not made them participate in house cleaning much before (I usually do it while they're at school). I'm hoping that making them take part in cleaning will be an incentive for them to help KEEP it clean during the week and think more about whether they are going to leave that spaghetti they dropped on the floor or pick it up (for example). Again, fingers crossed! Chores I plan on having them learn are mopping, dusting, vacuuming, bathroom cleaning, and in the afternoons, laundry!

Family Home Evening

This is something we do (or atleast tries to do) every week. It is a time for our family to sit down together and have fun participating in short lessons and activities that are centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. It builds family unity, helps the Spirit to reside in our home, and draws us closer to our Savior. This is easily one of the most important activities we have each week. To learn more about what Family Home Evenings are and why we have them, you can click here.


(Exhibit D: The way most of our FHE's end: with Ring Around the Rosie.)

Summer Movie Fun

Do you have this in your area? If you live in my area, do you do this with your children? I LOVE Summer Movie Fun. This is simply a weekly movie for 10 weeks at a super cheap price (less than $1 per movie). It gets us out of the house for a fun and cool activity for the kiddos every week. We all enjoy it!

Learning Time

This is pretty broad but it could be online math games, researching topics they're interested in, working in activity books, watching documentaries or educational videos, etc. I want to keep the boys learning about new things over the summer.

(Exhibit E: Chess. Counts as game time and learning, in my book.)

Scout Activities

My boys participate in Cub Scouts, but because our troop usually disperses over the summer, meetings become few and far between until school starts again. I have allotted a specific time to work on the boys' scout books with them so that we can still be getting some of their required activities done while we have all of the extra time during the summer. The boys love scouts and this makes for fun, at-home, learning activities.

Field Trips

Again, this is very broad, but basically it's anything out of the house! It could be a trip to the library, the splash pad, a museum or science center, visiting Dad's office, visiting grandparents... It doesn't matter what we do as long as it's not at home! Cabin fever can become a real problem in a place where summer temps average at 105 degrees.

(Exhibit F: The best reason to get out of the house: swimming!)

And that's it, folks! I am really excited to be starting our summer off with some kind of plan. The boys seem excited about our new schedule too. In fact, my oldest boys have even asked for pocket sized, laminated copies, ha! Honestly, if this schedule even gets us through half of the summer keeping our sanity, it will have been a success. Wish us luck!

Linking Up With: Link Party Palooza // Practically Functional // Just Us Four // Pink When //

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2 Comments:

At June 6, 2014 at 10:34 AM , Blogger Carbonneau said...

great post! we have a monthly moms group that just shared ideas last night and so this is perfect to add to my thoughts today. thanks! I like how detailed your ideas were, not just chores, but examples of chores too.

 
At October 15, 2014 at 6:52 AM , Blogger Narelle Cameron-Brown said...

Love your idea of keeping your sanity and your 4 boys busy throughout the summer, Devin. I have 3 boys 12 yrs and under and am a single Mum (Western Australia) who battles my way through 9 weeks of summer holidays! It's gruelling to say the least (as you already know). I am certainly going to enlist your guidance on this one.

 

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