Summer will be here before you know it, and I understand how hectic that summer schedule can get. From arranging child care to keeping the kiddos entertained, summer can be far from a break for us parents. After doing a bit of research and talking to several other parents, I have found a few ideas that actually work to keep your summer schedule in check. Continue reading for some awesome Tips to Organize Your Family’s Summer Schedule.
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Consider the change in routine
Of course school is out which opens up the day quite a bit. However, are there extracurricular activities that will be added or eliminated from the equation? For example, maybe there are weeks where the kids will be away at camp or attending summer school. Perhaps you signed the family up for a six week swimming lesson. Whatever the case may be for you, make sure you add all of these activities to your calendar as soon as you register. This makes it easier to block out certain dates and times.You may even find that there are activities that will be ending along with the school year, leaving an opportunity to try something new.
Create a Summer Bucket List or Goals Sheet
Get together as a family and build out a list of things you would like to do over the summer. You don’t have to think of any dates for this step. Just simply let the ideas fly. Wanna go to Disney? Add it to the list. Been thinking about taking the kids fishing? Add it to the list. Maybe your goals this summer simply include spending more time together as a family. If that’s the case, come up with a list of things you can do to make that a reality. Creating a summer bucket list is a seriously underrated step in preparing one’s summer schedule. Don’t skip this step!
Use a Color-Coded Dry Erase Calendar
Each month, make sure you completely fill out your family’s dry erase calendar with each of your activities- include specific times for activities as well. This helps everyone to see what to expect for the month ahead. I like to color-code it by family-member. So, my Husband’s activities are in green. My activities are in blue. My eldest daughter’s activities are in red, and my youngest daughter’s activities are in purple. I use black to indicate the activities we are doing as a family.
You can also use this method in a Google calendar to pull up on your phone or other devices. But having this dry erase board posted where every member of the family can see it is highly effective. The extra step of color-coding it also helps to see where a particular individual’s schedule may be becoming too overwhelming. This helps you to cut out some of the chaos by minimizing the planned activities. It can also help you determine where you have space for last-minute vacations, an extra class, another camp session, etc.
Don’t sacrifice your values
I know the summer “break” is a time to loosen up and have a little fun. However, this should not come at the expense of things you truly value such as quality time, sleep, exercise, education, or sticking to a budget. In our household, we still adhere to a bedtime in the summer although it is slightly (very slightly) later than what we follow during the school year. We also make time for studying so that the kids aren’t totally brain dead by the time school starts back. There are plenty of ways to have fun while maintaining your family values, so do keep this in mind.
These are just a few of the ideas that I have found to work with not only myself but many other parents as well. I know some also like to have a daily schedule that breaks down how the entire day will run. I personally don’t like to follow a super strict schedule in the summer like Wake up 7:30 am, Breakfast 8:30 am, Study time 9:30 am. I like to have a little more flexibility in my daily schedule, but go with whatever works best for you and your family.
Feel free to share some of your best tips for organizing your summer schedule in the comments below. This is a great opportunity for us to all learn from one another, so have at it!