Good Morning Friends!!
Welcome to “Koffee with Kelli”, I guess that means coffee with me!! I’d be so honored to have you join me each week; pour yourself a cup of coffee and let me share a short morsel about mothering and our families! My desire is for you to be encouraged and excited to be with your kids! Thank you for inviting me into your lives!!
Enjoying the summer with some of my kids!
After spring vacation each school year we start counting “get up days”(the number of actual days that we have to get up for school) at our house. This accomplishes a number of things for our family: 1) it reminds us all to finish strong…if we are a little behind, we have time to step it up and finish well or if we are really on top of things, then just keep it up until school is out!! 2) It is a subtle way for me to tell the kids, “I am soooo excited that summer is near and I get you all to myself!!” I always say “I had you to be with you!!” and 3)We all gear up for a change of pace…some down time…some margin from “get up, go to school, get ready for practice, eat dinner, make lunches, get your homework done, go to bed” kind of schedule!
I want our kids to know we are happy school is out!! Some are advocating for year round school and others do not look forward to kids being home because it creates problems logistically for the family. I understand there are valid reasons for both these thoughts. But, I want my kids to remember I was as excited about summer as they were…yes…it does cause some problems…the house does not stay as clean, people want to eat all the time and boredom sets in quickly because kids are not used to entertaining themselves. But I still want them to know how fun it will be to have them home!! So, how do we prepare for a season that has the potential to be very awesome or to unravel and ruin all that is wonderful about summertime?
A little Slip N’ Slide
Here are just a few thoughts from my 25 years of kids and summertime:
Celebrate the last day of school!!! One year I picked everyone up with all the windows down blaring the song from High School Musical, “School’s Out”!! Go out to lunch, have a picnic, or surprise them with a special activity!
Have a family meeting right away with great treats. Kick off talking about how everyone wants the summer to go… technology privileges, chores, sleep, reading, field trips, jobs, money, calendar of events, friends, school shopping, serving the community, workouts, devotions etc. Listen to everyone’s input and get excited about making it a great 11 weeks!
Give everyone a chance to do some research about what is going on locally that is inexpensive and fun. Here are some examples of what we’ve found over the years:
- We have taken a city bus field trip (yes with all 8 kids and the stroller and lunches).
- We’ve joined the local library’s summer reading program.
- Our community does free concerts in the park during the summer and they also have several festivals that are fun!!
- Lowe’s does a great woodworking project on selected Saturdays.
- Around the 4th of July we do some teaching about America and the importance of knowing our country’s history. One of our favorite ways is to use Adventures in Odyssey.
- We plan for spontaneous (how’s that for an oxymoron) Smore’s nights
- We try to have our swim stuff ready in case we get invited to the lake.
This particular summer is unique for us. We need to do some catching up with our new children in the areas of reading and math facts. It is really interesting because they don’t want school to be over!! They love school!! We encourage lifelong learning and lifelong reading in our family so we all try to keep our minds challenged. We have tried many ways through the years to tie technology privileges with reading time or other work I may have children do.
Also, I recognize many parents work through the summer and makes this conversation different… the planning and managing of schedules changes. In that case, you get to maximize your evenings with them. Our church runs a great VBS program in the evening each summer. Kids can stay up a little later with parents without the pressure of a school day schedule.
We try to come up with a summer schedule that allows us to be flexible and fun but still gets the work done at home as well as the learning, the reading or the enrichment activities.
Some fun at the Seattle Center
Mostly, summer is a great time to let everyone change gears and enjoy family time, BBQ’s and the sound of kids laughing while they play on freshly cut grass!! Please invite your family into a great summer…it doesn’t always go exactly as you plan, sometimes it’s way better and other times we run into the unavoidable and have to adjust.
Send the message loud and clear to your kids ~ You are excited to have them home for the summer!