It’s the time of the year when kids are awaiting their break. With some of them, like us, the break has just started while other children are counting days. Either way, summer breaks are here for some odd 50 days. And that’s exactly why you and your kids need a Summer Break Schedule. Only a few days into the break, my 5 year old has already starting saying “I am bored”. Today itself, on lunch outing, I heard it at nearly 10 times.
Now, I know its good for kids to be bored and all, but when it comes to summer break, it’s the schedule they need. And more than them, it’s us – the moms. It really helps keep our sanity, do chores and for those working from home manage their time.
Having a bunch of learning-and-fun activities ready is important if you don’t want your children to run around aimlessly and be bored with that extra freedom. In our case, my hyper active child really needs some reins else all that freedom gets too overwhelming for him.
The idea behind a summer schedule is to keep a bit of structure while maintaining the liberty that comes with the break. A good start off point is to list all the activities you might want to include in the schedule like:
- Board Games
- Field Trips
- Learning Activities
- Outdoor Play
- Free Play
It is essential to include your child in making Summer Schedule as that will help both stick to it and avoid any conflicts if you do it all your way. After all, it is your little buddy’s break and she should have a fair say in deciding how to schedule her days. Another thing to remember is to have free time and free play. This helps maintain the balance between freedom and structure. We surely don’t want to schedule our children down to every activity, every minute.
After you and your child have decided on the activities, it is relatively easy to make a schedule. For a family like ours, we like to keep structure with our meal times while maintaining freedom around activities. So, for us what works best is to time-slot activities which need adult supervision and help like bathing (I still don’t leave my 5 year old unattended at bath for the fear of dry drowning and neither should you), getting meals ready etc. For the rest of the activities, we divide them into broader categories like morning activities, afternoon activities and evening activities.
This helps me align my work with activities which don’t need my help. Like I would keep the morning activity slot for free play and doodling while for the evening slot, when I am free, for structured activities and reading.
A look at our summer schedule will make you realize that I keep good liberal time slots for morning chores like bath and brush. That’s because I do not like to nag and want my child to understand some time management himself. The idea is to be ready and be at the breakfast table at 10:00 a.m.
Most of the days, he wakes up somewhere between 7:00-7:30. So till 10:00 a.m he is basically free to do anything…chit chat with family members, take a stroll in the garden, play with his figurines basically do anything to keep himself entertained. This is the time when I do my household chores like laundry, meal planning etc.
The time I reserve for my personal and office work is between 10:30 to 13:30. That is the time when my child knows he cannot disturb me or run to me for small things. He has to take care of himself and be in charge of keeping himself entertained. Post lunch I am a hands-on mommy. While I continue to work, I keep myself available to him. This really helps us both in setting up our expectations and leads to less chaos.
You can make your own summer schedule keeping the needs of your family in mind. And I am sure with a few iterations, you will be able to find one schedule that will work best for your family. What we love about summer schedules is that they bring a sense of organization within the chaos that comes with summer break. Children too benefit a lot from them as they thrive on routine. Once they know their routines and roughly how their day is planned, their expectations and mood is relatively set that leads to less ‘I am bored’ state.
The basic premise of summer schedule for kids is to help you and your child have fun and make the best out of the summer break. Make sure you keep ample free time and free play to help your children relax and truly enjoy. Lastly, remember to keep your summer schedule little flexible when it comes to structured play. HAVE FUN!