We are just about crossing the half way mark of my first forever-long summer break. As my children’s former classmates in Michigan are getting their backpacks ready to go back to school next week, I find myself thinking: is it really that bad to have a bit over a month left of summer break this time around?
I gotta confess that I had a change or heart. Though I really would still like to have the option of a year-round schedule with a shorter summer break and more breaks during the school year, I would be lying if I said that I was unhappy of having more unstructured days to come.
From the list of things I wanted the kids to engage in weekly, I can definitely cross off all of them. However, my plan of attack did not really take the shape that I had envisioned in my head. Everything has just happened more naturally than I had expected it.
One of my friends even sent me a chore chart that was color coded and beautifully done after my cry for help during my previous post about my anxiety and the long summer break… but I never printed it.
After the first couple of weeks of letting them chill and play around as they wanted, I started involving them in the normal day-to-day chores of the house and even helped them come up with a schedule and a deadline for them to organize their toys and bedrooms.
I was a bit concerned with the summer slide, which was one of things I liked best of returning to school sooner in the summer. But someone mentioned how much her kids loved Brain Quest books. I got the summer ones for grades 1st going into 2nd and 2nd going into 3rd and gave them to the kids during a plane ride. They have been so obsessed with completing the different levels that I have not felt the urge to do extra math exercises with them.
Besides, between the coding apps, the Minecraft sessions, board games, card games and all the cooking we have been doing together, I think we have math (and strategy) covered.
We have been to the library a couple of times. One of them to pick up the local version of the summer reading challenge. We started it strong and then, who knows when, we begun forgetting to cross of the daily square indicating we had read. That is not to say we are not reading. We all are (myself included), but I think we no longer see it as “something that has to get done”.
Aside from keeping their brain active, the kids have also been getting more of a sense or responsibility (and pride) planning ahead for the day by packing snacks and water bottles before our outings. They really enjoy taking turns (including the 4-year-old) picking what we are having later and making sure there’s plenty for everyone.
All the wholesome activities have been going well but summer has also been days at the pool, picnics at different parks, rainy afternoons playing with play dough, play dates with friends, visits, exploring around, trips… so now the forever-long summer seems less daunting than I expected it to be, and much shorter too (how did 6 weeks fly by so quickly?).
Thanks for all the great tips experienced friends. I think longer summer breaks are something I can adjust to.