Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Daily Summer Goals for My Kids

I really like the idea of a schedule or plan.  But, if I'm going to be honest with myself and realistic, I need to look back on our homeschool year.  If we held down a tight schedule for school, it would make sense to keep somewhat of a schedule (albeit loosened) during the summer- after a couple weeks of free-for-all-yeah!-it's-summer.  Alas, we had no tight schedule.  There was a flow to our days but, with an infant-turned-toddler who made life wonderful but school difficult, a schedule was out of the question.  For us, anyway.

So, instead of a summer "schedule", I have some daily goals for Sam and Sadie that I plan to aim for each day.  I tried to include activities that are very similar to what we are used to doing- I want to be deliberate about doing them regularly.  I also didn't want the goals to be too lofty that we couldn't realistically follow through with them most days and there must be plenty of time for free play- it IS summer, after all :-).

Please don't laugh at my illustrations.  I once cared.

Have Them Pitch In  We think kids need to contribute to the family in more ways than increasing the amount of laundry there is to do and food there is to make.   They are getting old enough to really contribute.  This will make our lives easier which makes us as parents happier and with more free time to spend with them.

They already do a great job cleaning up all their toys and little chores when I ask, but they are ready for more.  I plan on enlisting their help with Miriam more, having them help more with freezing and canning (when the helping doesn't involve boiling water), wash dishes and help clean (vacuuming mostly).

Asking one of them to play with a fussy Miriam for a few minutes while I finish up dishes or get dinner in the oven is a huge help.  They can also help with her outside.  The other day I needed to pick the last of our strawberries before it rained, so I put Miriam in the baby swing in view of the garden and Sam and Sadie took turns pushing her while I picked.  This is how I plan on getting our garden weeding down this summer.

Silent Reading Time  They are too old for naps, but still need some down time.  Reading for Sadie will mean looking at the pictures, but that's just fine.  I'm going to announce silent reading time when they are getting on each other's nerves.  This gets them away from each other for awhile, makes the house nice and quiet and keeps their noses in books.  This may occur more than once a day.

Borders & Barnes and Noble have summer reading programs we're participating in that result in free books.

Outside Time  This may sound like a given, but when one of the kids would prefer to be inside, they need some encouragement.  This helps with boredom when they are inside,  leads to a different kind of creativity, often turns into physical activity and inspires interest in God's creation.

Now, I have learned that the longer they are required to be outside, the more fun they have and creative they become with their play, even though one in particular bemoans the thought.

Summer School  No, I don't mean we're going to do school year round, but I do want Sadie to finish learning her letters (this girl has one relaxed attitude when it comes to learning) and I don't want Sam to forget everything he's learned in school like I always did every summer.  I'm only talking about 10-15 minutes total.

Read Aloud Time  I love reading out loud to the kids, so what was part of our school will continue.  We have books lining many a shelf and so we'll go through and see how many we can read.

So, there you have it.  The kids are already helping me remember what we have yet to do each day.

What plans or goals do you have for your kids this summer? Pin It


  1. Monkey Boy doesn't know it yet but he will start his summer vacation off by shoveling 15 yards of bark :)

  2. Nothing firmed up. I need to get on that ASAP...

  3. Sounds like a great summer! I have a question for you about gardening, if you're looking for post topics. How do you manage the weeding? I hoed the empty garden all spring until the last frost date, then put down straw around all my seedlings when I planted. It was great for a few weeks but now the weeds are starting to come up through the straw and I'm wondering if there are any tips...besides getting down on your hands and knees and pulling them out once a week or so. I suspect that it just takes hard work but if you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!

  4. What a beautiful blog! Love your simple life and striving for the same here. Trying to keep our summer schedule too - I love schedules but somehow a schedule makes my kids think it is not truly a break from "school." We homeschool too!

    Happy day!

  5. LOVE your list of things to accomplish each day! I saw some of the Narnia books on your shelf. Have you started reading those aloud? I bought Owen his own set (I found a great set of hardbacks at the used bookstore for a steal!) and they sit on his bookshelves. But I worry he is still too young at seven. What do you think?

  6. LeighSabey, Great idea for a post- I'll write about it soon:-).

    Judi, Welcome!

    Kelley, Last year I read the whole series myself for the first time, then I read them outloud to Sam. Even though he could have read them on his own, I wanted to read them to him so we could discuss them. There were no parts that I skipped over, I read him everything. We loved them and since then Sam has reread the series at least twice. And I enjoyed reading them outloud even though I had just read them. They are hard to put down!

    So, I would suggest you read the first one yourself and see what you think. It really all depends on each child and as a parent, you know best:-).

  7. Sounds great! I think kids (and their Mommies and Daddies) do best with a 'routine'...we are all happier that way. I plan to keep it simple kids are older, so they have paying jobs to keep up (paper route, dog walking, and lawn mowing) as well as the required reading, etc...the change of pace is LOVELY!!


  8. We are in a time of transition right now and between homes. Thank you for posting this as it has encouraged me to make up my own routine for my two and four year olds for this time. I had a regular routine and plans when we were at home and figured I would have one again in the new home. We are in week 4 of staying with family and traveling and I may loose my mind. I think this will help me focus and not just let the days slip away.

  9. I just made lists for cleaning the bedroom and cleaning the bathroom. I put them in frames so they look nice and can be hung on the wall and not lying around. The kids know exactly what is expected of them. I go over the list with them step by step every or every other day for about 2 weeks, then they are on their own. I check afterwards, making sure not to scold if something is missed or not done to an adult standard. They have a seperate chore chart on the fridge which includes vacuuming, dusting,mopping, wiping off placemat etc. They love following the list b/c I show such excitement when it's completed, even giving chocolate chips as a reward sometimes (small but thye don't care the size, they care how many!) BTW- they are 4 1/2 and 7- they washed windows today!

    I came across this blog about a week ago and I'm hooked! We could be sisters!! Keep up the great work- Wendy, another homeschooling, canning, gardening, poultry raising mom :)


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