Friday, June 14, 2013

summer schedule

It always blew me away when I lived in Arizona how early kids finish the school year, though it makes sense since the summer is nearly uninhabitable. At least, the kids have a month of decent weather. I've been reading all my West Coast friends talking about summertime schedules and fun trips. Here on the East Coast, my baby girl is still in school until the 20th of June. It seems to drag on and on, but it has given me time to prepare for having her here all day. I just cannot wait for her to be home all day. Thor and I have so much fun with her. We miss her when she's in school, and next year she is in her first full day class. (gulp.)

Thomas Harry and I are going to be staring at each other for eight hours, constantly contradicting one another.

"Mama, me eat popsicle."
"No, my love, it is 8am."
"Yes, Mama."
"No, love."
"Uh, no."

This is what we currently do for the two point five hours she is gone to Kindergarten. Obviously, we will be looking for some activities during the day. I'm thinking one of those classes with mixed sports at a little gym or something. Library series of storytime. Maybe music class. But I'll worry about that as we get closer to September, and Bea being gone all day settles in my bones and heart. (gulp again).

For now, I am anticipating the summer will be filled with fun and laughter and water and all kinds of artsy things. This year, our family is taking our first vacation without any other extended family members. I know it sounds funny, but because Sam's family is scattered all over, and his mother lives an airplane ride away, we always schedule our vacations to visit his family. I adore my in-laws, and my family of origin too. But this year, we just wanted it to be the four of us for a week, particularly because Sam has been working, come August, 60 hour weeks for an entire year. We have missed him terribly. We have never just gone on vacation to a place we both selected alone with our children and dog. It is strange to think about that, but it just never happened. We rented a lodge in the Adirondacks in Upstate New York. CAN. NOT. WAIT. It is actually a totally electricity-free place. There is a propane generator for hot water and cooking, but otherwise, no technology. No television. No phones. Just hiking, fishing, canoeing, spinning yarns, is like a dream vacation to me. I am bringing my guitar, per my husband's request, for nightly entertainment, along with games and crystals. So cool.

Beatrice is signed up for a few camps--soccer, yoga, and swimming. Thomas is also in baby yoga, hopefully. I also decided--to keep us on track with school and writing/reading for Bea--to create a schedule for each day so the kids don't lie around all day waiting for something to happen. I also can busy myself quite easily for ten hours with art, writing, reading and forgetting to leave the house.
I hate what I wrote about bedtime. Ignore it.

I tried to give us some prompts through the day, rather than think of it as a carved-in-stone schedule. I also created each day to be a theme of the day--Make It Monday, Take a Trip Tuesday, Wind Down Wednesday, Thinking Thursday, and Fun Friday. I pulled so much of this stuff from Pinterest, I can hardly take credit for any of it. But the idea of the theme of the day is to have a focus for each day. I also amassed some books/journals for our days. The kids each have an art journal, and now a writing journal. Bea is writing like a fiend, and I want to continue her obsession with writing stories. And to do that, I factored in time every day to write and journal. I pulled together some of my meditation and prayer books for children to have a meditation time daily. I also grabbed a cool book to teach little kids Spanish, since I currently only sing to them in Spanish. And another book of cool Science Experiments for kids aged 2-6--PERFECT.

One of the things I absolutely love is this book called the Nature Book. This book is for kids, and it is designed to get them to pay attention to the seasons and the way nature changes throughout the year. We have gone through phases where we use it every day. I put it in our schedule so we get back in the habit of it.

The Daily Theme thing is centered around the daily activity between 9a-12p. So Make It Monday says, "Craft. Art. Paint. Build. Create. Design. Sculpt. Draw. Make a Recipe. Sew. Sketch. Sing. If we can't make it, let's read about art, poetry or music." Take A Trip Tuesday says, "Zoo. Movie. Aquarium. Museum. National Park. Hike. Outing. Beach. Train. If we can't take a trip, let's draw a picture about somewhere else." Wind Down Wednesday is our errand day so it says, "Look at the clouds. Run errands. Laundry. Play at Home.Giggle. Let's make errands fun. You make the list, and you look for things." Thinking Thursday says, "Library. Research. Science experiments. Science museums. If we can't do science, let's read about scientists." Fun Friday says, "Play dates. Rollerskating. Biking. Visiting friends. Find a craft. Fly a kite. Have a picnic. PIck out of the jar. We can make any and everyday fun!"

I also added daily chores for the kids and daily chores for me, since I am constantly behind on my cleaning. Le sigh.
For each kid, I pulled together a basket with their journals, a workbook (Bridge from K to 1st for Bea, and for Thomas a Brain Quest Pre-K) to work on a page a day, Taro Gomi coloring books, watercolor paints, activity fun book, journals, crayons, smocks, and colored pencils.

I am keeping their baskets centrally located, so they will go in them throughout the day.
 I also pulled together a Mama basket with a dry erase table top easel, Teach Them Spanish, Science book, Science experiment cards, Mindful Movements by Thich Nhat Hahn, Kid's Nature book, two additional kid's meditation books, the daily prayer and affirmation book, a bin with pens, pencils and markers for only Mami, and a jar of activities to do when they are bored.
I have to admit that one of my favorite things to do is hit Container Store for our organizing. Love these baskets.

Activity jar. You can add to it when you do something fun that you think, let's do that again some time (but not always.)
In the activity jar, I wrote out fun little things I think the kids would love to do. Here is my list, if anyone is interested. My idea is that when the kids mope around, or on Friday when we have Fun Friday, the kids pull one of these out of the jar and we go do it!

  • Let's make a blanket tent
  • Let's pull out our watercolors and paint outside
  • Let's bake a batch of cookies
  • Make Japanese Heart Cut-outs
  • Let's knock down some dominoes
  • let's go for a hike.
  • Let's pick some flowers
  • Let's play dress-up
  • Let's have a tea party
  • YOGA
  • Let's write a letter
  • Let's make a self-portrait
  • Hopscotch
  • Let's Dance to Hare Krishna music
  • Pick a Recipe
  • Let's have a water fight
  • Let's go for a scavenger hunt
  • Let's take a bath
  • Let's go to the pet store
  • Let's do sidewalk chalk
  • Let's go to the playground
  • Let's do a cool photoshoot
  • Let's make paper airplanes
  • Let's paint our faces
  • Let's make a book
  • Pick an animal, and let's find out everything we can about it.
  • Let's go to a craft store and get inspired
  • Let's play with stamps
  • Let's play doctor
  • Let's draw each other

Most of what I pulled together was from different sources on Pinterest and the internet, as well as things we just love to do, or I'd like to see happen, this summer.  I'd love to know your parenting summer ideas. Link up here if you want.


Shannon Ryan said...

How fun!! You are so inspiring!! I've now got a few new books in my amazon shopping cart! :)

JoyAndSorrow said...

Um, can you make a schedule for my 2.5 yr old and my 5 month old? lol
This rocks. I have only been on vacay for a week and still am finding my way. It rained ALL week so I have cabin fever so bad and spent the week just grumping around. Not sure if that's a word, but it is now. ~Lindsay

HereWeGoAJen said...

You are going to have the best summer.

School has already been out here for almost a month. One year, we moved during the summer from a place that got out early to one that went back late. My sister and I ended up with like a four and a half month summer. It was pretty great.

Rachel said...

This is very inspirational...the only thing I have planned each day is to go get the mail. I may have to try to be a bit more "schedule" so we don't become slugs!! Love your thoughts and hope you and the kiddos have a great summer together :D

TLC said...

I have just been reading your beautiful blog... had trouble properly commenting but found a link that led me to this (though it's from June). Would love an angel if you are moved to paint them again... We had our loss in March. Peace to you, and a happy fall!

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