Summer vacation is a week away. Are you scared? Maybe just a wee bit? I am. Because if my two girls, who will now be home with each other 24/7, aren’t engrossed in something, spats will break out and I’ll most definitely get sick of hearing “I’m bored” by the time August rolls around.
Summer Goals: Fun and Educational
As a work-from-home parent, it’s super important for me to maintain an office schedule but I also want to give my kids an awesome summer too. So, I’ve come up with a plan to give them a summer-camp-like experience packed with new things to learn, do and see as well as skills I want them to master before the season is over (think: tying shoelaces, learning to ride a bike in the best ski resorts in the US and also helping out around the house).
Building an Activity Schedule
I took topics they already have an interest in and brainstormed activities, field trips, experiments and crafts along with books and TV shows that could teach them more about the subject. For July, I came up with theme for each week – mad scientist, olden days, dinosaurs and all-star athletes. You can do anything though based on what your child is into. A good activity for summer is ping pong that is also a sport, you can find about the best tables at http://pingpongtablereviews.com/ so your kids can also have a lot of fun in a useful activity.
Want my July summer camp schedule? I’ll email it to you to use as is, or use it as a launchpad for creating your own activity schedule. My July template is loaded with ideas for each week and additional weekly theme ideas. Just fill in the boxes below.
What Each Day Looks Like
Note that I don’t have the days scheduled out hour by hour. I’m just added one or two fun, focused things for each day allowing time for me to work and for them to go over to their grandma’s house, play on their own or with the neighbors, and for us to visit the park, splash pad or nature center whenever the mood strikes.
When is Work Time?
My kids are now six and eight years old which means no more nap time. Boo. But if your kids are anything like mine, they love lounging in their PJs all morning putzing around with toys, coloring books and their tablets. Summer is the season for mellow mornings and I plan to take advantage of that by logging hours on my laptop before my kids really get going.
Around 11 a.m. we eat lunch and then pack up snacks and water bottles, put on sunscreen and head outside for an outing – whether it’s a field trip or just going to the local park to burn off some energy. That’s when we’ll also do our planned crafts, skill building exercises, cooking and reading. If we’re at the park, the beach or the splash pad, I’ll bring reading I need to do for work or for career development with me. I always bring my laptop with me to the library to take advantage of free wifi and my littles being preoccupied with library programs, computer learning, searching for books and videos, or playing with the puppets.
Ideally, we’re back home by 5 p.m. in time to prepare dinner and get showers done with an hour or so of down time before bed. During that down time I’ll be on the computer catching up. And, let’s be real: I work evening and weekend hours in the summer too. It’s the tradeoff I make for getting to goof off with kids over the summer. It’s not fun to work those types of hours when I could be chilling on the couch, catching up on Netflix shows with my husband, but to me it’s worth it.