Today, I’m so excited to be participating in the Grow.Swap.Share blog hop. A blog hop is a chance to trade blogs for a day. I’m posting over at Confessions of an ADD Housewife about how to get the most out of your blog browsing. Who doesn’t want more time to read blogs?!
I’d like to welcome Micki from Confessions of an ADD Housewife. She is sharing scheduling strategies to survive summer. Whew, say that 7 times fast! Micki has some great tips to share. She has 6 kiddos to keep up with and I think that can safely qualify her as an expert! Her tips keep things simple yet just organized enough. Welcome to Space for Living, Micki!
How do you manage?
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve been asked how I manage a house with six children.
Truth be told, I consider the school year my “time off” from managing the kids. During the school year, that’s my time to get the house in order to really run smoothly during summer vacation. It’s certainly not a vacation for mom! That’s when the real work begins.
Sure, it takes a certain amount of organizational skills to run things during the school year, but for the most part it takes place after school hours and before bedtime.
During the school year, our Chalk Board Wall gets a lot of use. It reminds of us meal plans, what I need to get from the store, the ever popular chores list and appointments.
But when it comes to summer, the little reminder board takes on new life…as our daily scheduler.
It’s my experience that bored children tend to make more messes, get into more trouble, and eat more food than children who have plenty to do. The last thing I want is more mess, more trouble and my food budget going through the roof!
What I do during the summer is an expanded version of what I do with my non-school aged kids during the rest of the year.
First, designated eating times
10 a.m. Morning snack
2 pm Afternoon snack
On the chalkboard, each day I specify exactly what those snacks and lunch items are. I go one step beyond that, and have a weekly rotation. Every Monday, for example, will be cut up fruit for morning snack, tortilla wraps for lunch, and giant pickles for afternoon snack.
Second, a loosely defined activity schedule
In the past, I tried scheduling the activity types by the hour, but the children (and the husband who is also home all summer) really complained and had a fit resisted. Instead, I went with this basic routine:
Breakfast until Lunch: Play outside
Lunch to Afternoon snack: chores & games
Snack to Dinner: TV & computer time (as a reward for doing the chores)
After Dinner to Bedtime: reading or outside
Third, planned outings!
We also go on trips during the week to take advantage of the various free activities in our town. This can range from the summer reading program at the library, to free movies, to an afternoon at the splash pad downtown.
Our planned outings also include times for my husband and I to get away together, even if it’s just a trip to the grocery store. When mom and dad are rested and happy, it’s much easier to address the needs of the kids.
Happy mom+ Happy Dad + Happy Kids= Happy Family