Well, it’s officially Summer as of today, and we have been out of school for a week now. Since we had a lame winter, we didn’t need to make up any snow days. I remember growing up and always enjoyed summer vacation. Summer vacation meant no homework, no teachers and just plain fun. I am a Generation Y kid so my summer vacations didn’t have iPhones, iPads, Xboxes or Wifi. My summer vacation included going to camp, exploring the neighborhood, staying out late, riding bikes and swimming. Today’s kids are so glued to their devices they forget to have fun without technology. They look forward to the same things as I did, no school, no homework, no teachers, unlimited screentime, wifi, and Netflix (wait what?). Yep that’s right, kids today love summer vacation because they get to have more time with their technology.

Well not in my house. Every summer vacation, my spouse and I create a daily schedule for the kids to follow. We found that having some structure allows the summer to not suck for us parents but still good enough for the kids. We are not their entertainers, we are not their sous chefs. Show of hands, how many of you have kids that all of sudden need 4 snacks a day? Well by having a schedule, you can indicate when a snack is allowed. See below a typical example of a summer schedule ( we have 4 kids so our schedule may have some flex with the littles.

Summer vacation is all about freedom, playing with friends and attending camp. This year, our second will be going to girl scout camp 3 weeks in July which is from 7:30-5:25 every day. Then a week of church camp that’s only half a day. Our oldest will attend the same church camp, 1 week of overnight boyscout camp, 1 week with his friend in PA and 1 week with his grandparents in VT. We still have about 3 more weeks to fill his schedule with stuff to do.

We also like to create a summer bucket list and try to complete as many as possible. Some of the things on the kids bucket list are:

  • Go to the beach
  • go to the movies
  • spend a day with no electronics (I need to see this to believe it)
  • go to a water park
  • have a picnic
  • cook a dinner (kids)

June is always a crazy month to try and start these so we leave them for July and August. Every summer, my second oldest always ask if I have the summer off. I tell her, only teachers get the full summer off. Cracks me up every time but its cute. I wish I could have the summers off and just do fun things with the family sometimes. As a blue collar worker, we work a lot just so we have those little moments on the weekend. Summer vacation can be relaxing or it can be stressful. If you introduce a little structure into the kids summer vacation, you shouldn’t want to run away at the end of it. Just remember, have fun.