Another school year is winding down. My daughters’ last day is Friday, then we’ll enter the summertime zone.
Summer used to mean a kiddie pool in the back yard, bottles of bubbles to blow, and a sand box to dig in. It meant trips to the park to swing and slide, and Popsicle juice running down your arm.
Now summer looks like my 16-year-old getting her first real job – one she can actually drive to all by herself. It means a week away at camp. It’s starting to plan college visits and looking ahead to ACT testing. Needless to say, we’ve moved into the realm of serious, grown-up-like stuff.
The summers of then and the summers of now are both fun in totally different ways. Yes, there are some sweet memories associated with the bubbles and sidewalk chalk and kids running through the sprinkler. And these days, I appreciate how my girls can entertain themselves quietly with a book or another project for hours on end.
Back then, it was me pushing the swing and blowing the bubbles in the 90+ degree heat and humidity, wishing I could be inside in the air conditioning. Now I get to sit in the air conditioning while I’m praying that she makes it safely to work or looking around an empty bedroom and missing her while she’s at camp.
Every summer has a different rhythm. Some have been loud and busy and long. Others passed quietly and all too quickly. The older I get, the more of a blur they are.
Yet there’s still the pull of that slightly slower schedule. There’s time to savor sitting side-by-side on the couch reading books, staying up late watching a movie, and sleeping in until the sun’s already been up for awhile.
I previously mentioned Katy’s post The Schedule that Saved Our Summer. Now I’ve decided to put her ideas into practice with my 14-year-old. (My 16-year-old may participate in some of this, depending on her work schedule.) I took the days of the week Katy designated (making a minor switch for Friday), and listed at least five ideas under each category that will work for us. We’ll likely add a couple more as the summer goes along.
- bake a sweet treat
- sewing project (she’s currently sewing a dress for her American girl doll)
- puzzles (she’s still working on a 1000 piece puzzle she got for her birthday…back in December)
- craft project (she has a large tub of craft materials)
- make fruit smoothies or milkshakes
- I might pull some ideas from 8 Creative Skills You Can Learn in a Weekend
- picnic downtown
- clean baseboards
- organize a space
- clean out closet/drawers
- dust blinds
- go through books/papers/music books and give away what we no longer need/use
- card for a church member who’s sick
- meal for a neighbor or friend
- thank-you note to someone
- collect items to donate
- write to pen pal
- at-home movie marathon
- get together with a friend
- swim at our neighborhood pool
- board games
- make a meal of all our favorite foods
Between vacation and camps, we have less than ten weeks of summer. Therefore, we won’t quite make it through each round of ideas twice.
In case you’re like my daughter, and a little stressed that too much planning equals too little down time, don’t worry. I’ll make sure to build in days with no expectations and just pure summer relaxation!
My goal is to send out an e-mail newsletter on Friday with a list of the books my girls will be reading this summer. If you’re not signed up to receive my newsletter, you can do that here. (Each summer we assign our girls a list of non-fiction books to read. After they finish the book, we pay them to write a brief report about it.)
For further reading on how I’ve planned out our previous summers, visit these posts.
How to Plan a Summer Learning Program for Your Kids
Summer Learning Program for 2016
3 Keys to a More Peaceful Summer with Your Kids
Are your children done with school yet? Have any plans for the summer?