Do You Need A Summer Schedule For Your Kids?

We’ve been on summer break for a mere two weeks and already I know we need a summer schedule in place if my sanity is going to prevail over the next couple months!  I am a home schooling mom, so I’m used to having kids at home.  I love having my kids at home.  But what I’ve found is that my kids, when left with 12-14 hours of unstructured time, will essentially complain that they have nothing to do OR they will actually do nothing all day long.

My youngest son has ADHD, and unstructured days cause him severe frustration and usually end with an emotional meltdown.  Yes, I’m afraid even in summer we need to have a workable daily schedule.  But keep in mind that we are very flexible with our days, even within the boundaries of our schedule.  We can tweak it as much as necessary to make room for spur of the moment fun activities, or on those days when dad wakes up and decides to take a day off, we’re able to enjoy the spontaneity of the moment. For us, the schedule is more of a guideline than anything else.   It also makes the kids feel as though they’ve accomplished things throughout the day.  Whether they agree with this or not, I think it also helps them sleep better at night…of course that could be all the swimming, too.
The Bible teaches that we are to surrender all things, even our time, to God. When we submit ourselves and what we think are our priorities to God, we become available to focus our attention on what matters most. What is it that YOU value most? “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”  (Proverbs 16:3)
For those of you who are facing the dog-days of summer and wondering how you’re going to get anything accomplished, fill your kids’ days with fun activities and still work around nap times, a schedule might be the answer! Here’s the schedule that we are currently following.
7:30- 9:30  Wake up, breakfast, make up bed, get dressed, bring down laundry.
9:30- 10:30  Outside playtime (I clean the kitchen and start laundry)
10:30-12:00 Activities (pool, library, playground, clubs, etc.)
1:00-2:00  Silent reading time.
2:00-3:30  Snacks and Creativity time (art projects, planting, cooking, music lessons)
3:30-5:00  TV, computer, video game time, karate, fencing practice
5:00-6:00  Dinner time and clean up
6:00-8:00 Free time (my kids go outside and ride bikes, swim, play with friends)
8:00  Shower time
8:00-9:30  Family time (read books, watch movies, games, ice cream time)
9:30 Bedtime routines start
We’ve just started using a schedule, so I’ll let you know how it works for us.  If your family has benefited from summer schedules, let us know!  Also if you have good ideas that I’ve missed, please share with us in the comments section!
Originally published in May of 2012.
About the Author: Lisa Strnad is a freelance writer/blogger, who regularly contributes to What’s in the Bible? and Jelly Telly.  She is a homeschooling mom of two, who works independently in Christian media in the areas of writing, promotions and marketing. She lives with her husband and children in Nashville, TN. You can follow Lisa at her personal blog, Talking Like A Girl
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