Swimming! The beach! Watermelon!! Ice Cream! …What comes to your mind when you realize that summer is upon us? Do you think about lying on a beautiful white sandy beach while sipping your Mint Iced Tea? Or do you think about the endless summer hours filled with active children without anything to do?
One secret to a successful summer with children is scheduling. Give your children a track to run on; that’s called training. No pun intended.
How does scheduling help?
- scheduling brings an inner order to the day
- scheduling helps your children have a purpose and direction for each day
- scheduling eliminates the “I don’t have anything to do syndrome”
- scheduling helps children appreciate the time that is unstructured
- scheduling is productive
Scheduling is a Time Skeleton. It becomes the framework for your day. Specific activities put flesh and muscles on your skeleton. Planned activities build anticipation in your children. Most children do not plan well by nature; you do it for them and you both will reap benefits.
Scheduling doesn’t have to be rigid, just let it give shape to your days.
How to schedule?
· list all the areas of activity/growth
· organize the activities with certain criteria in mind:
harder things while they have more energy
alternate high energy and quiet activities
· determine the time frame: how long for each activity
· plan activities that will keep to the time frame you established
· post the schedule; if the kids are not yet readers, post the schedule in pictures
· be flexible
· plan some free time
· build in some choices for the kids (consider their ages; the younger they are, fewer choices).
Summertime can be a time for regrouping, for gathering your kids back in to your ways, your thoughts, your philosophies, a time for emphasizing what is important in life, a time of building, of securing the foundations of your family.
This week, take an evening and plan a typical day for your summer. Write it down so that you can look at it. Try it out this week just one day.
Next week we’ll share some things that we did during our summer days with six kids.
Tips: Proverbs says “A man makes his plans and God directs his steps.” Keith likes to ask the opposite: If we don’t make plans, who will direct our steps? The answer may not be what we want.