I've been counting down the days 'til summer for a looooong time. I could almost taste it well before it arrived.
And as fliers about every sports camp under the sun keep finding their way into our house and e-mails about various things to get kids involved in stare me in the face I ignore them. Every one of them.
Not because I think there's anything wrong with all that jazz...usually I like that stuff...I think it's great to help kids expand their horizons and learn new things. But this last spring we all had our fingers in too many pies. And we're just all ready for a break.
So I'm proclaiming this summer to be the summer where I get to take my kids back. (I can't remember who gave me that idea, but thank you.)
Usually we at least do swim team in the summers (I love swim team), and this year as a matter of habit I went through the whole rigmarole to finagle my kids in, only to promptly pull them right back out. Not only are we going to be gone too much to make it worth our while, but basically I'm selfish and I want my kids to be home for a while.
Now, when I say we didn't sign up for anything , that doesn't mean we're gonna be sitting around (much to my childrens' chagrin). The plan is to work hard (and play hard too), and do things together. Why sign them up for a sewing class when we can do a sewing project together at home? Why send them to a volleyball camp when I can teach them myself (I kid...I don't have coordination worth beans...sometimes I crack myself up...no volleyball this summer).
I have my summer bucket list all ready to go:
--paint the garage and put up some organizational stuff for each kid to have a "place" for their outside stuff out there (Max and I are doing this one together) --clean out and organize all the closets (the girls and I are on task on these) --watch Les Miserables with the older kids (check...did that last night...love that show and the message it gives) --sew aprons and pillows with Elle and Grace (teach them to really sew) --learn six hymns (I want my piano-playing kids to each learn six, but I'm planning to join them this year and to learn six myself) --potty train Lucy (I'm scared) --make a blurb book (this one has been on my summer list for the past two years, but man alive I want to do that this summer) --have our own science camp --Read "the care and keeping of you" with my older girls (I've heard it's good and I want to open an avenue for discussion about all that stuff) --make a volcano with my kids (I know, random, but got this kit at Marshalls and thought it'd be fun) --teach each of my kids to cook three new meals --do secret service projects for people we think of who might need help --start the kids on daily "tutor time" with Lucy (I'm having them each teach her something new this summer...things like how to get dressed by herself, how to hold her pen right, etc.) --read the parenting books I have gathering dust sitting by my bed --take each child on a special lunch date all by themselves at least once this summer
We have a schedule all drawn up and ready to go (at least for the days when we're home this summer).
No friends until after all morning routine stuff is done (practicing, swimming laps, goals worked on, zones cleaned, etc.)
This may sound too serious for lazy summer days, but I'm all about working hard. That makes the times when we are playing hard all the better. (And believe me, we have some fun things coming up this summer.)
At the beginning of each summer our kids set their own lists of goals (we did this growing up...another nifty idea from my parents). They work hard on them and earn something special they've been working hard toward at the end of the summer. They usually write these goals all dolled-up on poster boards to check off as they go (click here to see what I'm talking about).
But this year Dave is in charge. And you know what that means? It means they're ultra-organized. He took each of the kids aside for a little interview yesterday and had them make up their goals on calendars so they could keep track of what they needed to do each day through the summer, depending on where we are physically at the time. They can earn things depending on how hard they work, and how much they get done. Their summer goals are tough, and I like that.(Have I mentioned I love Dave? Just wondering.)
Every family does summer so different. I loved reading my sister's ideas here and here (she's chock full of all kinds of great ideas...I love how she really teaches her kids). I'd love to hear other ideas people have to make the most out of my favorite time of the year: summer.