Summer Planning Isn't A Pain, It's A Gain!

There may be some truth to the old saying that "when we fail to plan, we plan to fail". Good things can happen for us when we make a plan. We have up the odds of this when a plan is happily in place. Don't let it make you nervous to make a plan because you are fearful that you won't follow through. Plan anyway because it will actually reduce your stress, and put you more at ease to have a "script" (or if you are the adventurous type you can call it a "map") to follow even if it just becomes  just a reference for your summer days not necessarily followed to the letter. So let's plan, map, script out your summer with some fun things, and enjoy the longer warmer days that are nearly upon us.

Here are the Steps for Planning a Fantastic Summer (courtesy of Pam Barnhill and a few of my own additions)

1. Make a plan: Start here. Good things happen with a plan. Start writing down on a pad of paper of all the things that come to mind that you would like to do or are planning to do or already scheduled to do for the summer. 

2. Everything in Its Place: Keep a binder to hold everything; your daily schedule, daily chores, summer rules, brochures of places you would like to visit, summer movie schedules, camping info, VBS info, library events, etc. Keep everything in one binder and introduce the binder idea to your family so they can put things in as they find things. Try to keep the binder accessible on a counter or desk in the main area of the house for everyone to see for reference if needed. (also print up your daily schedule and monthly plan to put on the fridge for the family to see so they have some great things to look forward to.)

3. Have a Family Meeting: Decide together (ask everyone to give their input) what all would like to do or will do this summer from fun events and play time to organizational and clean out things that have been needing to get done. Summer is a great time to purge and refresh and renew.

4. A Bored Box: Pick up a basket from the local thrift store, and take the kiddies to a dollar store or craft store. Buy some new coloring books, games, kits, blank books, play doughs, to name a few. Refresh the bored box once a week, take a few things out and add a few as you are able by picking up items while you are out and about. Leave the "bored box" for when there is the inevitable groan of "there's nothing to doooooo". 

5. Training the Plan: Stick to your summer schedule as you have decided and planned. It make take a few days to get everyone settled in. There may be fussiness as everyone settles into the new plan, but don't give up, stay the plan, let your words be gold, and realize it will take a few days, but don't worry, it will take.  

6. Summer School: If you plan on doing "restful" schooling to keep everyone's minds limber during the warmer  months, school for under an hour and just choose a few subjects. Keep everything in a "morning basket" to make it easy to move from inside to outside if you'd like to enjoy the sunshine while you learn. 

Now that your plan is ready and maybe soon in place, you'll see summer will be so much more fun and don't forget to schedule in quiet times or days into your schedule so your summer is restful as well as fun. If you're hesitant about planning, consider that summer could be, maybe a drudgery if the children get too bored. So give it a try, make your plan, put it in place, stick to it, and enjoy some smooth and easy days of fun in the sun.