I am beyond excited about some R&R, including sleeping in a bit and not chauffeuring kids here, there, and everywhere. However, all this time on our hands can be good and bad.
I truly believe t i m e is one of our most valuable gifts - truly priceless. Summer finds us with lots of time on our hands. I would hate for my children and myself to get to the end of this summer and think back on how we spent our time and consider that it was wasted. Or worse yet, not even be able to remember what we did with the time we had.
Now hear me on this... resting and pulling back from the norm is not wasting time. God established the whole notion of rest. It is important and necessary. However, there is a difference between being purposeful in choosing to rest and letting summer get away from us. There is a difference between over scheduling every minute of summer and wasting every minute of summer. Balance.
I personally feel strongly about not over scheduling and entertaining my kids. I want their minds to grow and explore, but that will not occur in an environment without downtime. With that said downtime can also lead to a curse word, often used in summer - " bored." My kids know better than to say that word near me. They will quickly be assigned a hard core chore. Like cleaning toilets. I want them to enjoy summer and they do too, so we sit down each year as a family and come up with a list of what would make an awesome summer.
I asked my kids if at the end of summer we look back, what would we want it to look like. I asked if God asked us how we used the gift He gave us of summer 2017, how would we want to answer. My concern was that technology would take over most of our time if we didn't sit down and figure this out. I explained that this is like setting a goal. If we don't set a goal, we will be aimlessly roaming through this season. Successful people set goals, so we were going to set some goals. I'm hoping this habit we are forming now continues for them throughout their lifetime.
We created a list of things we can do throughout summer. Before saying they are "bored" they should consult the list. In addition, we set some guidelines. There will be days the guidelines go out the window. After all, it is summer. However, I find children thrive with boundaries, so we have some to help guide them in what is best. This will be a fluid document, adjustable throughout the summer. Also, every family is so different, and different things work for different families. I encourage you to sit down as a family and come up with a list. Kids will own it better when they had a part of it.
|Add Dancing in the Rain to the list!|
Here is ours.
Amazing Summer Goals
Dog (walk/play with)
Practice (something I want to get better at)
Go to a Park
School review work
Time with God
Movie Nights at home
Beach Night w/friends
Summer Fun Bunch
Build a fort
Build a Fort
-up to 10 minutes of technology before breakfast
-resume technology (2 hour max per day) after lunch once the following is completed...
-clean a room
-help family or a friend
-do something creative
-read for 20 mins
-chores-Summer bedtimes (vary per child)
You can also check out some posts from previous years when the kids were much younger:
2012 - http://markandchristierainwater.blogspot.com/2012/06/summer-activities-with-kids.html
2010 - http://markandchristierainwater.blogspot.com/2010/05/things-to-do-this-summer.html