It’s officially summer at our house. My kids are out of school for the year. We’ve successfully navigated our girls’ second and fourth grade years.
How is this possible?! They were just born… but I digress.
In the flurry of getting into a season of change… changing the daily activities, the morning rush calming down, the evenings not quite so tight for bedtime… it’s hard to know how to manage the day to day.
Now, I am a “schedule” person. If it were possible, I would plan out my day in ½ hour increments from 5:30AM until 10:00PM. And believe me, I did…
Then I had kids. With completely different circadian rhythms and personalities.
Yet, children (and most of us!) thrive on some sort of routine, some sort of “expected”. So, what can we do?! Telling a three-year-old that she can’t play Play-Do because it’s time for bubbles just doesn’t work. At least not at my house.
Enter, your friend and mine, the “routine”.
Now, what is the difference between “schedule” and “routine”? Simply put, grace.
Not only did 3 kids wreck my ability to “schedule” my day, living in a Latino country also threw any sense of control over my day out the window. I’ve learned to “flex”.
And, frankly, that schedules don’t really make much sense in the real world.
SO… here’s our take on life this summer. An attempt to keep the kids busy, keep my workload to a fairly even frenzy, and normalize life in the midst of yet another change.
I’ve broken our day into 4 sections:
Within each of those time periods, we have a short list of things we aim to complete. Not so much a checklist, as a suggested flow of our daily activities. Before breakfast is TV time and personal care (dressed, beds made, etc.). Before lunch we try to have our summer learning tasks (reading, math practice, etc.) as well as some outside time before we hit the hot part of the day. And on goes the day from there.
I decided on those time breaks because they’re natural pauses in our day. Things we always do, regardless of the difference in our plans. For you it might be “Before Work”, or “After Yoga”. Whatever it is, this gives a nearly effortless accountability for me.
The point is this… a schedule creates something to which you feel tied, something which demands rather than flexes. A routine allows flex, interruptions, diaper changes, phone calls, etc. Below, you’ll see an example of our summer routine. Check it out and then download the blank version to draft your own copy!