Happy May! Today is my official summer planning day and wow… I feel like I’m running behind. I’m trying to plan out blogging, vacation, summer camps, budgets, business, and menus all in one go.
Fortunately, I’m not starting from scratch. I’ve done summer before. Some of them were better than others. I tend to keep a log of lessons learned. For each major holiday or season, I jot down what works and what doesn’t. Today’s post is inspired by lessons of summers past.
10 things NOT to include in your summer planning
1. Big Projects. Summer is not the time to plan on reorganizing the entire house, remodeling a kitchen, or launching a new home based business. Your kids are not going to give you large blocks of uninterrupted time to accomplish those big goals.
2. Complicated Systems. Your kids get enough rules and structure and complexity at school. They want and need a break from that. Keep summer rules simple.
3. Over Scheduling. None of us need to be so busy that summer vacation leaves us drained and exhausted. If you need a vacation to recover from your vacation then maybe it’s time to scale back.
4. Large blocks of uninterrupted screen time. A few years back, I realized I was counting on a FOUR HOUR block of cartoons to get us through the day. It wasn’t pretty. I try to be strategic about screens and limit their use, but at the very least I stick a chore between each show (or at each commercial).
5. All-You-Can-Consume mentality. It doesn’t matter if its sugar cereal, television, or craft supplies – there have to be limits to how much can be consumed each day (or week). Help your kids find a balance everyone can live with.
6. Big thick adult books. I love to read. But summer isn’t the best time for me to curl up with a big thick book. I end up grouchy when the kids interrupt me, or I stay up too late reading. Summer is a great time to re-read an old favorite. I’ve also found it to be a good time to read middle grade or tween fiction. The short books and simplified plots make them easier summer reads. My kids love that we can share books and discuss them.
7. Isolation. I don’t think anyone intentionally plans for isolation, but it happens. By mid-August you realize it’s been WEEKS since you spent time with other adults. Prevention is as simple as scheduling some playdates and lunch dates now.
8. Spiritual Drought. I struggle with this every summer, but last summer was particularly bad. It’s isolation combined with a lack of quiet time. Be intentional with your spiritual life – it isn’t something to take a vacation from.
9. Unrealistic Goals. You can make a list of 100 ideas for the summer bucket list but you won’t actually DO them all. You could set a goal for your kids read two books a week, but you know you’ll struggle. There’s nothing wrong with goals, but they need to be realistic. Go ahead and set them, but then cut them in half.
10. Pinterest Induced Stress. Need I say more?
So what does belong in the perfect summer plan? I wish I knew.
Care to share? What else should we leave out of our summer planning? If you were making this list what would you include?