Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Summer Schedule

The pic below SPEAKS TO MY SOUL! How about you? 

I typically don't run too tight of a ship during the summer months because by the time Memorial Day comes around we all need at least two weeks to do NOTHING and then sports camps, science camp, and VBS start and toss in a handful of day trips to museums and parks our days are the perfect combination of lazy/full.

This year though... the story is a little bit different.  After 10 weeks at home with no camps on the horizon and the possibility of day trips looking slim we're needing a tiny bit of structure around here and here's what we're doing.

Ignore the fact that these are post-its taped up in a closet :)  I wanted them downstairs, but didn't necessarily want 24 post-its on our fridge at all times.  I'm planning on grabbing a poster board to stick these on (since they won't stick to my wall) and here's the plan...

Typically we have two opportunities for screen time... one after lunch and one after dinner.  My kids generally play really well in the morning - we swim, hangout, play games, etc.  After lunch (usually around 2:00) they have some quiet time in their rooms and then some screen time - that could be X-Box, iPad, a movie, etc.  That block of time is when I read, work on my blog, sit in silence and stare at the wall (kidding), eat my lunch, etc.  Then in the late afternoon they're usually back in the pool or playing outside until dinner.  Then after dinner we'll usually play games and then watch a movie together OR on nights when Dave's working they'll have some iPad time while I clean up the kitchen.

NOTE! Some days we may have no screens... some days they may have WAY MORE.  Some days "screen time" may be 30 minutes and other days it may be two hours while they watch a movie.  We don't have hard and fast rules - we keep things flexible ;)

The general thought here is that before they can have afternoon screen time they have to have 4 of their tasks completed and then the other four by evening screen time.  They can do them in whatever order they want and if they're just not feeling it they don't have to do any of them.... but then they won't earn screen time.

When Dave and I were talking through what we wanted to focus on and how we wanted to set this up we knew it wanted to be meaningful but not overwhelming and flexible enough that it wasn't more work on us.  So here are the 8 tasks...

TYPING: It became pretty apparent during distance learning that all three of my kids could use some practice typing.  I downloaded "Master of Typing for Kids" (it's a free app that I installed on my iMac) and we'll see how it goes.  Mason is VERY HESITANT about doing anything "too babyish" so I may be in the market for other practice apps.  My thought is that they spend about 20 minutes on the app... or as they become more comfortable with the app we may do "two lessons" a day or something like that.  Again... keeping things flexible.

WRITING: This will vary day to day.  It could be a page or two from one of the workbooks we have on hand ( check out my post  HERE for several of our favorites), it could be writing a letter to a friend, writing a letter to a serviceman/woman through Operation Gratitude, writing in our "summer journal", etc.

MATH: This will also vary on the daily.  This is the area that I feel most comfortable in... especially now that Luke is approaching middle/high school level math and so while it could be workbook pages, it's probably going to look more like one-on-one time with me to work on things that they were working on last quarter with their class.  Mason needs to work on multiplication fact memorization and I want to reinforce some of the fraction concepts he ended the year on.  My goals for Griffin are to work on her number sense (sometimes she gets caught up in the problem and I want to help her focus on concept) and multi-digit addition and subtraction.  Luke is going to be working on equations.  EEEK! Can you tell I'm excited???

PUT AWAY LAUNDRY: Laundry can quickly become my arch-nemesis so my plan is to get everything washed, dried and folded at night and then in the mornings they'll each have to put their things away in their room.  That will be an easy post-it to move :) 

READ 30 MINUTES (x2): In the summer we typically do our family reading time in the afternoon, so I'm thinking that'll be an easy one for all three of them to check off their lists and then the second 30-minute segment will be whenever they choose... in their bed in the morning, out on the trampoline, in the hammock after dinner, etc. 

CHORES (x2): So these are going to be based on what needs to get done on any particular day but here are some things that I would typically ask them to do...

- run the vacuum either upstairs or down
- vacuum the stairs and wipe down the wood parts of our steps that tend to gather dust
- wipe down the doors with pledge
- clean the bathroom (I'd probably split this up between the three of them.... vacuum/mop, counters/sink and toilet)
- dust a couple of rooms
- wipe down baseboards
- empty the dishwasher
- wash/dry larger dishes
- empty the skimmer baskets/pool vacuum bag
- sweep the trampoline
- brush Rosie
- clean the litterbox
- vacuum car/clean the trash out that inevitably gathers in their cupholders
- clean the windows
- pull weeds in the front garden/side yard (until a grocery bag is full, half-full, etc.)

Again.... flexible based on what needs to happen but I'm hoping we can work on some life skills this summer with our extra time ;)

So there you have it!  I'll keep y'all posted on how it goes but I'm excited and ready for a teeny bit of structure to our days and maybe a little less time dedicated to leaving the door open - hahaha

Actually, I anticipate just as much door being left open as any other summer but maybe I won't care as much if they just cleaned a toilet :)

I'd love to know any and all ideas you have for summer at home with your kids!  Are you doing a schedule, free ranging it, something in between?  Let me know!

HAPPY TUESDAY, friends!!!


  1. I love this! My daughter is only three, and I definitely feel like we need a schedule! Some of my students, for OT purposes, use this website to practice typing. https://www.freetypinggame.net/ They like that it's set up in game/style. Have a great day!! :)

  2. We are going to have daily writing activities as well. I grabbed several writing workbooks from Amazon, and a couple of them look really great!

  3. If you could head on over here with your post its and sharpie, that'd be great... ;)

  4. Looks like a great plan! My kids are grown now and fabulous young adults, but I wish I had been more consistent with these types of things when they were younger. Totally my fault for lacking the follow though!

  5. I have been following your blog for years and have never posted! So I guess first of all, hello to you from California. Thank you for sharing your life us. I love your creativity, heart for your kids, and passion and love for others. The light of Jesus shines through you!!!

    I would love for you to do a blog post on multiplication/division fact memorization. Maybe some suggestions on how you do it with your kids or any other suggestions you have from your math background. I want to come up with some fun ways to boost math fluency this summer. I have one kid that memorized the facts quickly and my second child is struggling. My goal for the summer is to focus on fact memorization. I have started a list of ways to memorize facts and I want to switch it up so it is not so daunting each day.

    Thank you for all of your amazing ideas, yummy recipes, and sweet stories about your life and family.

  6. I feel like geography skills are really lacking in our school district (it's the first thing that got dropped with common core). I plan to work on some old fashioned geography skills with my kids: memorizing states and capitals, US and words maps etc. And because I have 4 boys, everything has to be competitive so I'll figure that out :) Thanks for your ideas!

  7. We homeschool and I really don’t like summer without any structure. I find the kids get bored and are more restless, not to mention the difficulty of getting back into a schedule in the fall. We usually continue with light school in the summer, too. And we follow a basic structure to our day, especially the much-needed room time. 😊 And chores are a necessity with a big family, so no problem enforcing that over here.

    Your kids are getting a great childhood, Andrea! You have such a good mix of structure and playtime. And I agree with the comment above-I need help teaching math facts and just overall math-minded thinking!

  8. This is just what I needed to help me find the best way to get through the summer and keep my kids on track. I’ve been back and forth on continuing to work through the summer (provide speech therapy remotely), this might help if I do decide to continue or don’t lol. Do you feel like your children will need your help getting them through the tasks? My fear with working is I’m not supporting them enough as it’s been an absolute horror the past two months, I’m really looking forward to a little break when we finish in mid June to spend more quality family time. My hours should be less but I really won’t know until I start back up in July. I want my children to have structure and have fun and I think this sounds like a realistic plan. My kids are going into 3rd, 6th and 8th grade next year; I want to make sure I am there for them and continue to guide them in growing up to be happy, able, good people ♥️ Thanks for this...really has my wheels turning of what summer could look like!

  9. Thank you so much for always sharing such helpful content. We readers owe you a great deal of gratitude for the inspiration. Happy summer!

  10. One of the websites our teacher signed our Kindergartener up for was typetastic.com. It's like video games that help them learn where the letter are on the keyboard 😁

  11. Andrea, I'd love your suggestions about math supplements or workbooks that are fun for 1st graders! We need some help this summer so my boys don't forget everything over the summer. And I don't LOVE their math curriculum so want to be able to help a bit!


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