The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Sharon at Mom of 6.
On Momof6 I write often about the importance of creating routines in your household which helps to set up expectations for both you and your children for what needs to happen at certain times of the day, as well as outlines any tasks that you want them to regularly complete. I feel strongly that households function better when there are routines in place!
But when those first few weeks of summer vacation hit, quite often it’s the absence of routines that is so appealing to everyone. The sleeping in, the lack of a schedule, and the just getting to do what you want to do when you want to do it. But after about a week or two of downtime, I usually feel the need to get a routine back into place- otherwise the kids are likely headed down the path of far-too-much-time-spent-with-electronics and not enough time helping out around the house and keeping up with other activities that are important to our family. So here’s how we handle summer routines for kids at our house:
Mom’s Summer Work Routine
If you happen to be a blogger or perhaps work from home, summers can wreak havoc on your own personal work schedule. While during the school year you likely focus on getting your work done while the kids are in school, during the summer you might not have that big block of open hours in the middle of the day anymore. You might find it beneficial to change your work routine, and get up a little earlier so that you can put in a few hours of work before the kids are up and moving. At least that’s how I do things in my house- I rise about 5 AM and I may write for a couple of hours or do other work-related tasks that I need to do, and then hopefully hop onto my elliptical machine and get a workout in before I meet the kids for breakfast downstairs around 8:30 or 9:00 am.
Morning Summer Routines for Kids
My kids know that once the clock strikes 10:00 am, breakfast time is over, the kitchen needs to be cleaned up, and electronic devices are off for the day! They should also have their teeth brushed, their hair combed, and be dressed by this time (and I swear if I didn’t make this a rule and remind them to do it each morning, my kids would not brush their teeth or comb their hair all summer. And they would wear PJs anytime when they were not in their swimsuits!) At 10am it’s time for us to get outside and to engage in some fun summer activities as a family!
Evening Summer Routines for Kids
If your kids attend a summer camp you might want to use a “coming home routine” where they need to unpack the camp backpacks, unpack any lunch bags, put their wet towels and swimsuits in the laundry room- whatever it is you need for them to do to help you around the house. Since we like to do “summer camp at home“, we usually clean up our activities and crafts during the day as we go along.
For us, our routine picks up at around 5 PM when I will allow the kids to once again enjoy time with their electronic devices or watch TV, and I will focus on preparing dinner (and maybe even get in another hour of work if needed). And even during the summer months we so follow a bedtime routine too! Now it’s not the same bedtime as we had during the school year- we usually allow the the kids to stay up an hour later in the summer, but there still are set bedtimes even for my preteens!
Do you believe in summer routines in your household? If so, please share them with us!
If you get a chance, I hope you’ll stop by to see me at Momof6 – a place where I write about organizing your home, using a family calendar, creating household routines, hosting at-home birthday parties, and holding a DIY summer camp! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter (@sharonmomof6), and Pinterest!
For more ideas on how to have an organized summer, please visit my Organized Summer Pinterest board.