Thursday, June 05, 2008

Preparing for Summer ~ part 3

I mentioned here my desire to make memories during the summer months and I shared here that having a plan is more for me than for my kids.



Summer provides us with lots of time with our kids. And the question for me becomes, "how am I going to use it?"



One approach may be to schedule our kids with lots of organized activities. There is certainly no shortage of camps, classes, groups, and other events that compete for our sign-ups. It is literally possible to keep your child very busy through organized group activities all summer long.


Our personal approach is to focus on just a few things. Each year proves to be very different depending on what is going on and what we are planning for vacation. One year our summer seemed to revolve around three pairs of black goggles. My three oldest kids received goggles as a gift and they became part of their sun kissed faces. They lasted all summer and went with us everywhere. They even had special hooks in the garage where they hung with their towel. They went with us to the pool, the river, and the lake. This was also the year we worked through a fun kids devotional. My kids were 11, 8, 6, and 3. The three older ones could sit and read together. It was a very fun summer.



This year my plan is simple. We will have daily bible study and reading. My girls are excited to do some studies with me personally. We have set aside time in our week to accomplish this. The kids are choosing one "classic" from our own collection to read this summer. My husband bought this book to read in the evening before bed with everyone. This is a favorite summer tradition. Hunter will be making his way to the library to join the Summer reading program.

The kids made a list of potential summer activities . My only request was that they couldn't cost anything or very little. This became a fun exercise in creativity and an opportunity for us to talk about saving and spending with our kids. We have set up simple ways the kids can earn money this summer. We have made envelopes for tithing, saving, and spending. They will have to earn all their own money for treats at the pool etc. I think we have a theme here. The kids want to clean out toys and other stuff and even hold a garage sale.

I don't have a calendar filled with activities and places to go. I want the kids to hop on their bikes and ride to the community pool most days. I have not signed them up for any classes, but I do hope to see them grow in their relationship with the Lord. They are not taking any type of lessons, but we hope to learn a lot about saving and spending.

I have a plan. The plan should allow me to make the most of my time this summer with my kids. It is my prayer that many days will be spent relaxing, sipping ice tea and enjoying the fellowship of one another.

10 comments:

secondofwett said...

Oh my...you remind me of myself when my oldest kids were young and summer was coming....I would do a slow panic of 'oh no, they're going to be home all day., I must do some planning' and off to my books I'd go to get some ideas and start setting up a 'plan'. Now I just have four teens at home and you have really given me the urge to plan something concrete here and not just let the summer days 'drift' along....thanks for the nudge!

Diana said...

Sounds so great, Chris. Brings back memories of when my bunch was young. A favorite pastime of theirs was collecting cans for the 5 cent deposit. They scoured the little league diamonds for cans while siblings were at their games. We did the tithing, saving and spending thing with them. Much of their spending went to buy Lego sets. I still pause in the store when I pass the Legos...

Cyndi said...

Your summer plans sound wonderful! I am looking forward to a more relaxed pace, but trying for us all to not get too idle, which can happen if I'm not careful. (It starts with me!) I think it's great to let the older kids plan, which is what I'm in the midst of doing right now. It's hard, since I'm in charge of their school and, well, *life*, I have to remind myself to let them set goals and plan for themselves now that they're older. My daughter would schedule herself crazy every day of the week, though, and that's provided some great opportunities to talk about not overdoing it.

melanie said...

I love the fact that you have thought this out so intentionally, that it is a time to cherish and to make memories, and not survive then before you know it is gone. It makes me remember what a blessing summer is! It's what I need today!!! Love to you!

Heth said...

I love this series on preparing for summer. The google calendar is SUCH a great idea. You have given me some ideas. Heading to the pool today despite the clouds, maybe you'll be there?

Susanne said...

Summer for me has always been a bit of a hard time as I would rather be doing lots with my own kids yet I still have to keep my dayhome running. I've gone through lots of guilt feelings and issues, so I've always tried to make sure that the weekends were spent doing what they wanted no matter how tired I was. And of course, when they were little, they just became part of the dayhome and all activities always included them. It was just hard not being able to be spontaneous which in my mind is what summer was all about.

momzie said...

Love the reading ideas. What a great plan. Soak in the summer and keep the camera handy.
We did the pop cans one summer long ago- it bought all the kids a ticket to an amusement park. We woke them up early one morning and surprised them. Good times.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

I'm making a list of your ideas and IMPLEMENTING! THANK YOU!

Mocha with Linda said...

Wow. I am impressed with your organization and intentionality.

Kelly said...

I have enjoyed your summer prep posts--great perspective to model. I love the focus on making memories. I still remember so vividly fum summers at home. What a gift to give our children.