I love summer break! Without all the business that school brings (having one child in homeschool and one in traditional school can keep a family hopping), it seems we’re able to get so much more done and still feel more relaxed than we do during the school year.
This summer, for the first time, all four of us are home, since my husband is trying to launch a home-based business. And for the second time, we’re following a special summer schedule that makes the most of our time together. I thought I’d share this schedule with you, along with some thoughts about each element.
6-7 a.m. Mom’s morning worship
I like to get up before the rest of my family (when the house is still quiet) to connect with God.
7-7:30 a.m. Mom Wii-Fit
I’ve found that a little exercise each day helps me handle my emotions better, which makes me a better mother!
7:30-8 a.m. Family Worship
Some time to connect with each other and with God.
8-9 a.m. Breakfast and Morning Chores
In an effort to teach my children responsibility, while also getting the help around the house that I need in order to stay sane, I made a list of our daily household chores. Yesterday, we had a family meeting to divide them up. Each family member got three chores: one for each corresponding meal.
9-10 a.m. Garden Time
Last year, this was my favorite time of day. And this year, I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy it even more. Being in the sun and digging in the dirt extremely is therapeutic, (It’s been said that gardens save you the expense of therapy–and you get tomatoes!), I love getting fresh produce from our back yard, and it’s great to see the children learning a skill that will always be useful no matter what comes their way.
10-11 a.m. Household Chores
This is a time for those deep cleaning projects that we never seem to have time for during the school year. Today, for example, we helped the kids clean out their closets, putting away their winter clothes and putting their too-small clothes in the donation pile.
11 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch/Chore/Learning Time
While I’m fixing lunch, my kids are expected to spend 30 minutes on their learning task for the summer. My son practices his saxophone, and my daughter uses that time for reading. Today, while we were eating, my son said to me, “When it comes to saxophone, you guys treat me like we’re Asian.” He paused while I looked at him, then said, “I guess that’s why I’m the only kid in school who’s in book four.” My response? “You’re welcome.”
1-3 p.m. Dad Gets the Computer, 3-5 pm. Mom Gets Computer
While the kids have the afternoon off, my husband and I work on business and volunteer projects and other household tasks. Since we share a computer, we’ve worked out our schedule so that we’re not constantly having to fight over it. Meanwhile, I’ve tagged each of the items on my task list to let me know whether or not that item requires the use of a computer. (Many items I can do on the iPad, but items that require heavy typing, such as blogging, require the MacBook.)
5-6 p.m. Supper/Evening Chore
Dad fixes supper since I make lunch. (Breakfast is a free-for-all.)
6-7 p.m. Family Time
During this hour, we all gather in the living room or outside. The idea is that we’re welcome to do anything we like, but no use of electronics unless two or more people are doing something together. This was inspired, in part, by the Little House books where Ma would be knitting while Pa read and the girls did homework or whatever. While they spent time in the same room together, they would chat and bond. We have found that this low-key time has been even more beneficial to family bonding than the more formal “family nights” we used to have in which we planned activities for us to do together.
7-8 p.m. Reading Time
This is my other favorite time of the day, and the time when we read our Little House books. We’ve finished with Laura’s books and have even read about some of her ancestors. Now we’re working on the Rose Years. Of course, this is where much of the inspiration for this blog—and for how I structure our family life—comes from.