Summer vacation is just around the corner for our family. I’m excited, but there’s some work that needs to be done to make this a successful summertime.
1. Allow for one or two lazy home days
If my son was responsible for planning our summer, there would be movies in the middle of the day and endless amounts of computer time. He would hang out in his pajamas until the days just blended together. Because of this, I let him have the first day or two of summer as hermit time. While he is “chillaxing” around, I search the internet for science experiments, places to visit, and ways to include academics without it looking like “school work.” Honestly, he isn’t the only one that looks forward to these days.
2. Make a plan
The daily schedule that works well for us, is a slower morning and then something scheduled in the afternoon. Take Spring Break for example, each morning my son could play video games and watch tv. We would eat lunch, and then the afternoon was filled with various science experiments. One summer, I made the schedule too structured and I was met with resistance every day. Because of this, a looser plan seems to work best. While making the Summer schedule, I take into account special activities. I won’t plan anything the morning after his party or Fourth of July. If we go out-of-town on vacation, the next day is left open.
3. Set up expected academics
I have found that we must continue academic lessons, so that the return to school goes smoother. We will continue to read and discuss books every day and then I add other activities that are not as obvious to be “homework.” This summer, I plan to continue our science focus and hope to encourage more cooking. I did the mistake of asking him if he would like to research something over the summer and he replied with, “Research?! That sounds like too much work for the summer!” Obviously, I have to be more subtle.
4. Ask for a few “must do” ideas from my boy
One thing that works well, is to ask my son for a few ideas that he would like to do. I remind him of things that he enjoyed last summer. The timing of this discussion is crucial. I must wait until he is focused and listening, like a walk or snack time.
5. Devote sometime to be focused 100% on my TBP
My son wants my undivided attention at certain times of the day. If I get too busy and distracted, he will get my attention through negative ways. Because of that, I plan times throughout the day where he will get 100% of my attention. It might be during lunch or playing legos together, but during this time…my phone is away and I am there to listen. On tougher days, I will do this more often, even though my tendency would be to stay clear of him.
So, now that you have seen my list…what’s on your list?