Dreading the End of the School Year {Summer Schedule to the Rescue}

I’m not gonna lie. I love the last day of school. I’m probably more excited than my kids are. I start a summer countdown when we are about 25 days out and it gets me out of bed in the morning. Unlike most parents, I welcome school breaks and a summer schedule with arms open wide. I can literally feel the stress releasing itself from my body when June hits.

I know, I’m either crazy, or I’m a teacher. My husband would argue the first, but it’s really the latter. This teacher mama has sunshine, mixed drinks, and swimming pools on the horizon. But I also have three school-aged kids to entertain ALL SUMMER LONG. I do love spending the long summer days with my kids, but I have learned that structure is still the key to our sanity. We might take the first day off to be completely lazy, but once day two hits, we’d better have a plan.

Structure + Flexibility = The Best of Both Worlds

I ask my kids to help draft a summer schedule so that they feel invested. We throw out a bunch of ideas and bucket list activities to make sure they get on the schedule. We have some must-do summer traditions, including: fire pit s’mores, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer movie night, Sonoma County Fair, Camp WaTam, night swimming, and fireworks. Those are non-negotiable. Summer will not count if these events aren’t completed. Whatever your must-do activities are, make sure they are on the calendar well in advance.

To start, I like to do a rough monthly summer schedule as well as a general daily schedule. Of course, flexibility is key, so be ready to scrap the schedule if something unexpected or super fun comes up. My advice is to keep it simple and general, and be creative with how you fill the time. This schedule is mainly for days that you or your caregiver are home with the kids and want to maintain some sense of order.

Daily Schedule: {You can tailor this to be age appropriate}

Morning: 7 – 12pm

Breakfast

Get ready for the day

Chores

Laundry and tidy rooms

Outdoor activity with physical exercise

Errands

Afternoon: 12 – 4pm

Lunch

Learning time (read, puzzle, science experiment, typing practice, music, online educational game, art project, etc.)

Bucket list activity 

Quiet time / Nap time for littles

Screen time / snack

Dinner prep

Evening: 4-8pm

Dinner

Family time (neighborhood walk, bike ride, scavenger hunt, play a game together)

Free time (kids choice)

Clean up

Bedtime

Beating Summer Boredom: When in Doubt, Stay Local

In my experience, having a little structure can help kids to know what the expectations are, and helps reduce the anxious feelings of boredom or inactivity. It also provides a sense of accomplishment knowing the day wasn’t totally wasted in front of the TV (although some veg days are totally necessary).

Alternatively, we also love all the camps and programs and summer deals available to fill the days. Some of our favorites include: the library summer reading program, park and rec camps, the Humane Society animal education camp, Kids Bowl Free program, $3 movies at 3rd Street Cinemas, outdoor activities at Spring Lake, summer movie nights at Howarth Park, Vacation Bible School events, and the summer park concert series. Sonoma County does not disappoint, there are so many wonderful events to explore all summer long. Once you have some events penciled in, the only thing you’ll need to consider is which cold beverage to enjoy as you watch your kids do summer schedule right!

For a complete listing of things to do: check out our Summer Bucket List!

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