School’s Out! Now what?

Author Headshot - Carmen
May 18, 2023

School’s out. 

Field events have taken place. Everyone has cleaned out their desks and teachers are signing off for the summer. 

There are camping trips to go on, gardens to tend to, “bored” school children that need your attention, and probably a whole lot more. 

So how do we find new rhythms for the summer days ahead? 

Sometimes when kids finish up all of their activities there is a “honeymoon” period of freedom and fun days. Then the boredom hits. 

Summertime birthday party with my cousin and friends. I’m on the far right in blue.

I can remember feeling so bored some days in during the summer and mom would force us to go outside. We learned to create forts in the woods, went swimming in the creek, and played in the haymow. We created stories that lasted for days. Summer nights were spent chasing fireflies and burning trash with dad. I’m sure these things didn’t happen everyday but they are the memories that stayed. 

We also were put to work. Mom gave each of us chores to do. Fix our beds, vacuum floors, water flowers, weed the garden, feed the dog, etc. We could go play as soon as those things were finished. I remember our days being a good balance between work and play. And I remember sleeping so good at night. 

Sometimes the missing link in the summer with children are balanced rhythms. Children need structure, just like adults do. Most people don’t like to be kept in the dark about what they will be doing for the day. We also appreciate being given a choice. Do the same for your children. Create a nice balance in your home between work and play. 

Now don’t go all Army Drill Sergeant on me. Summer is meant for long lazy days playing outside. Swinging, swimming, and everything else you can’t do during the school year. Also, kids (and adults for that matter) should be bored at times. So let them be, a little bit. 

Often I hear moms say they are looking forward to summer break but by the end of the short 3 month summer they are all breathing a sigh of relief to be sending their children back. 

Springtime cleanup and bonfire. We usually had a hotdog roast on these nights.
Back: Dennis, Jen, Me. Front: Carrie and Wendell.

What if the answer is a little balance? A little schedule so they know what’s coming. And guess what? You can throw fun into the schedule! 

Each morning get them to do little chores around the house. Johnny is in charge of loading and unloading the dishwasher. Susie sweeps the floors. Everyone fixes their own beds. And mom, don’t correct their messy bed “fixing”. Let them learn how to make it and make mistakes. 

Find a routine that works for you and your family. Do that thing. Spend all the time together that you can, because before you know it they will be 18 and have summer jobs. They’ll be rushing off to get married or travel the world. Let them learn a good work/life balance from you, at home. 

Have so much fun this summer finding your balance between work and play. And most of all, don’t stress. 

Rolling a watermelon up our hill. I don’t remember how it rolled down in the first place. Work can also be fun!

What is your favorite summertime activity that you do with your family? 

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