Schools are closing for summer across the U.S., and parents far-and-wide are fretting about what exactly they are going to do with their kids for the next three months.
Oh boy, are we in trouble. But perhaps, this is better reframed as a question: Are we in trouble? Let’s all take a deep breath and remember our own childhoods. Long days at the pool. T-ball games. Snow cones. Bike rides. Family vacations. Fireworks. Fireflies. Picnics with books.
These weren’t fussy times. We didn’t need screens of any kind. Nor did we need a full-time activity director. We explored. We relaxed. We bonded with our parents and siblings and neighbors. Summer should be all of these things. It is a beautiful change of pace.
But, we also cannot ignore the fact that the long days of summer are indeed often looooooooong. So, how can we make the most of this precious time without jamming in too much activity and zapping the spontaneity?
Enter Nadia Swearingen-Friesen – author, speaker and intentional parenting advocate. Nadia recently spoke to a room full of moms at an event I was lucky enough to attend. In her presentation, Nadia said there are 4 Keys to Planning an Amazing Summer:
- Allow for downtime and rest
- Organize activities
- Do things you can’t do in other seasons
- Make goals for (and with) your kids
I chatted with my husband about goals for our three girls and landed on these:
- 5-year-old with special needs: Increase mobility, work on therapy objectives, expand communication
- 4-year-old: Support her hunger for academics/learning, increase personal responsibility
- 2-year-old: Work on gross and fine motor through play, make progress in potty training
To meet these goals, this is how we plan to approach each summer week. (For us, it works best to have at least one focal activity per day.)
And these are the things we will require the girls to do each day before screens are allowed:
Congrats to your kiddos (and you) for a great school year – you made it! I hope you have fun mapping out your summer plans.
Anitra Rowe Schulte has worked as a writer for more than 15 years. A picture book creator and blogger, Anitra is represented by Stephanie Hansen of Metamorphosis Literary Agency. She is a member of SCBWI Illinois and the facilitator of a support group for moms of children with special needs. Anitra lives in suburban Chicago, Ill., with her husband and their three daughters.
Link to Twitter: @anitraschulte
Link to Blog: https://www.anitraroweschulte.com/blog/