Summer vacation! Woo-hoo! My kids and I get to spend every waking minute together for three whole months. Sounds great, doesn't it? Actually, it is great! But... The long break quickly turns ugly if I slip into passive mode.
I have a plan. I came up with it about four years ago after a particularly annoying start to a much-anticipated summer break.
Photo by escariao
Here is my personal, proven plan for a successful summer vacay.
The first two weeks: TIRE THEM OUT.
Let them sleep in. Then get them out of the house! We take a lot of mini-trips the first days of summer vacation. It's difficult for my kids to adjust from a jam-packed schedule to a non-existent one. (Difficult translates into they get bored and pick at each other.) So we'll spend a day at the zoo and another at the art museum. We'll ride bikes, visit the library, lounge at the pool and swim at the beach. We'll break out the markers and drawing pads. In essence, we will not stay home much.
The middle weeks of summer: LAZY MORNINGS; ACTIVE AFTERNOONS
Their bodies have adjusted to the slower pace. They actually want to stay home more. Activities long forgotten are unearthed from the basement and enjoyed. We still take day trips, though not as often. Every afternoon we get active. We may take a long walk, ride our bikes through a metropark, swim, make sandcastles at the beach, play catch, or garden, but we will be outside and moving our bodies.
There are so many things to do in our area. The county fair is a highlight--hello, junk food!--as is spending a few hours ambling about in downtown Ann Arbor. I'll drag the kids to a few historical sights, which they'll complain about but secretly love, and I'll probably buy them an ice cream cone on the way home. Hey, I never claimed to be Super Mom!
The final two weeks of summer: BACK ON TRACK
Bedtimes slowly get pushed back to normal. We try to cram in our favorite activities--especially the zoo and swimming. Excitement over new school clothes, supplies, and seeing good friends permeates the air. I wish I could say I relish these final weeks, but I usually am more than ready for school to open. Again, never claimed to be Super Mom!
If you have children at home, how do you handle summer? Business as usual, or do you adjust to your kids' temperaments?
Join me on Wednesday for a peek at my summer writing schedule.