Apparently a week of our Summer Break flew right out the closed windows. First the windows were closed because the temperatures hit freezing two nights in a row. Now they’re closed because the temperatures hit the 90’s today, thus we have the air conditioner keeping us from melting into angry puddles of hot goo. Wherever the first week of Summer Break flew, here we are — finding our groove.
I became one of those moms and whipped up an easy to “edit” summer schedule.
Idea gleaned from Rachel at Thriving Home.
The need for the schedule became apparently last Thursday afternoon-into-evening. We had to call a Family Meeting after BigBrother’s baseball game, because just hours into our official Summer Break, things were going poorly. The two adults used firm but not angry tones to remind the two children about the importance of listening, paying attention, and so on. We talked about expectations for the summer, both for fun and for responsibility. We explained that yes, there would be chores and learning and reading, but there would also be lots of time for playing, inside and out. Then I made root beer floats for everyone to kick off summer. We realized it was their first root beer float — and my first drink of pop since October. Everyone was overjoyed.
The schedule didn’t kick off until Tuesday as we spent Memorial Day weekend being schedule free, crazy busy, but also relaxed. By the time Tuesday rolled around, the boys could hardly contain their excitement. To do chores. Kids are easy to brainwash, I swear.
BigBrother learned how to do the laundry from start to finish.
Both boys have learned how to feed the dog this week. Both boys have learned how to load the dishwasher in a way that doesn’t make me twitch. Too much. They’ve cleaned things and put things away and generally been awesome.
They’ve also played harder and longer together than they have in eons. I mean, obviously, because there’s no school to get in the way of playtime. But not only are they playing during their free play time, but they’re playing so well together. Yeah. I know. Three days of it. The wheels will fall off at some point, and yes, there have been a few time outs and reminders not to be total boogerfaces to one another. But mostly, they’ve been playing — everything from board games to LEGOs to baseball the sprinkler to football to games with the dog to hide and seek to freeze tag to bike riding to all of the costumes to scooter riding to imagination games to cars to swords to bubble guns. I’ve seen more of their toys in the past three days than I have seen in years. It’s awesome.
Another amazing bonus of the schedule is the massive amounts of reading going on in this household right now. Each day, the boys have 40 minutes of dedicated reading time. BigBrother chooses to read on his own right now, which makes me kind of pouty. But LittleBrother sits with me and reads to me while I work. And boy, does he read. I thought he’d pick shorter or easier books. Nope. He goes for the bigguns. My favorite is when they choose to read more during any given free play time, sometimes reading aloud to one another. It’s just awesome.
Next week, the schedule will be a bit different as LittleBrother will be off during the mornings to his Safety Town program. We have more baseball games in the evening and maybe a few surprises up my sleeve(less shirt)s. I’m hoping the joy of twice daily chores won’t have worn off just yet and that we’ll still be in a groove.
As long as I can keep us from melting into puddles of angry hot goo.