Monday, June 4, 2012

V and Co: what our summer looks like

please excuse the fact that real life paper does not have spell check and i spelled vacuum wrong :)
last year our summer was all kinds of crazy and no schedule was had. i hated it. i am reminded that work well with schedules, and the best way for me and my children to keep to a schedule is to write it down and have it up and accessible for all to see and to be reminded.

so this summer we are incorporating what we've done summers past:

a pretty scheduled summer.

oh now don't roll your eyes at me and say "yeah, well, what if you can't stick to a super tight underwear up in a bunch kind of a schedule? i mean life happens!"

yes, i am the first to say " i KNOW life happens." oh man does it. like at least once a day if not once an hour life happens.

so here's the secret to my success:
i only stick to a super tight (well sort of tight but not really) schedule everyday, monday through saturday UNTIL 11 AM.
yup, after that its pretty much free for all.

but i try to be smart about it.
after our chores we have lunch...and then  because after lunch i kind of want to keep all the work we just totally did for the day still reasonably done longer than say .5 seconds after i say we are done, i pick one thing that we will do for a few hours away from home.
 like for example i buy a summer pool pass, make sure i stake out all parks (maybe even take a bike ride to the closer ones), and check out the free things going on during the summer that happen AFTER 11 AM.
oh and of course
and i threaten my children that if the chores on the schedule aren't free time later on. oh and they know i will make up "crap work" just to keep going, that only had to happen one time for them to know i was serious. it.sucked.royally. (for all of us!) for a whole day. 

most of my kids are still in the age that i can totally rule over them (ie. none of them can drive and if they want anything i still am the ruler of their world muwahahaha.) and because they are all reasonably young (12 and younger) they totally still are excited to go places, like parks, and pools, and places with friends. normally i have just one that likes to throw a hissy (the oldest one, but he's been like that since birth, and pretty sure he'll be like that for the long haul) so i'll keep this going and adjust it as they get older.
but that's how i do it.
that's like the #1 thing i get asked: how do you schedule your summers?
then the second one is: how can you eat so much chocolate?  the answer to that one is a mystery. i just really like chocolate, and the darker the better. hmm. maybe i should get some right now. :)
happy sigh.
i do in fact have plans to sew. maybe today. but first we need to get past our chores, then go to the pool (YAY ITS OPEN!) then, maybe i'll get some sewing done when we get home and all the noisemakers are tired.

so? you think you can follow a schedule like mine? i swear it works for us. but maybe you have something that works better for you? please share. i'm always open for more ideas.
k. we'll talk soon. :)


Laura said...

It sounds like you have covered all the bases!! Hope you all enjoy your summer!

trish said...

When our children were younger, I did something very similar to you. And yes, it works. And there is so much more order to the day. I actually felt like something was accomplished and then the fun was a great reward. :o) It is totally doable. :o)

Anonymous said...

That looks great! I have a question though. What time do you all sleep and wake in the summer?

Tennjenny said...

Fantastic ideas!

Anonymous said...

i would start by spelling "vacuum" correctly :)

ergillmore said...

One thing that I added when my children were young (they are all learning how to "summer" with their own children now)was to go to the local school supply store and get reading and math workbooks for their next school year. They had to spend time each day working in the workbooks before they could go and play.

Julie Snow said...

I do the same thing! I love that you do too!

Jenn said...

We totally have a schedule!! Breakfast, scriptures, chores, reading time/art time, lunch, etc. I don't know how you can do summer without one :)

sewfarandaway said...

One day into the first week of summer and it's clear that chores are a must, as is a routine! Last week after school finished i had the kids take the white board, markers and told them they had to make their proposed chore list. ( I was holding my breath the entire time) In came a white board color coated per child and a list of what to do and what day for each of them. I'd barely make a change.

Now to make the reward system/chart because last summer it was all about seeing who had how many stickers at the end of summer.

trish said...

Vanessa, the best part about my summer schedule - like yours - includes a lot of pool time. Funny how everyone - and I do mean big kids, little kids and even the husband - all fall asleep after a few hours at the pool. Blissful quiet afternoon for mama and time to sew. I'm with ya!

vonFRINKenhagen said...

How early do you start something like this? Mine are young, 3 and 19 months. Hard to imagine them doing chores for 4 hours. I can see doing something like that, but not that long. What would you suggest for the young'uns?

lisa said...

we are not so good about scheduals yet, but routeens are huge here. (similar but not the same) I think when both girls are in school next year (oldest in am K w/extention care plus afterschool care, littlest in am preschool 2 days a week until feb then 3 days a week, and me thinking about going for a post graduate certificate at the local school) we might change. Especially so I can have some time the girls know is my "gown up quiet time" (and sew, or read, or just BE for an hour a day or so that's not past bed time since I tend to work at 4:30am!)

Ale jc said...

Hi, great write up at are an absolute delight, you are brand new to i will be back, your style, family, conviction all to be admired... To more creativity and inspiration...

able mabel said...

We try to stick to a schedule for the most part. It gets thrown off when we get out of town visitors every month. :)

Bonnie Weeks said...

This is what I need to do for the summer as well. One thing though, I was planning on putting "homework/reading" in the schedule in the morning. Do you try to do worksheets/learning time with your kids at any predictable times that have worked?

V and Co. said...

good questions:
okay for how young, i started while my kids were in 2nd grade, kindergarten, 3 and 1.
i started by showing them what i meant when i said "clean up toys" i would have them mirror me putting all the legos or truck or whatever in the box they belonged in. but i also at that point didn't bring out too many boxes at the same time because it would be too overwhelming to have so many toys out at the same time.

as they get older they know how to fold, or whatever it is that you are having them do because you've showed them.

i do add reading time but that's at night, they have to read at least 20 minutes but most of them read more than that. minus the 5 year old because we read to her in bed.

i just added "school work" but i only do about 20 minutes and that's part of the "chore" time because the rest of the day is supposed to be just as a reward.
hope that answers some questions!

Callie B. said...

I love your schedule - I'm working on our "plan" for my 3 and 5 year olds this morning. Thanks for all the ideas.

On another note - I got your book from the library and already there are bits of hot glue stuck to the back. I'd say that's a good sign! :) I'll be returning this copy shortly because as soon as I got it out to my car and flipped through it, I decided I need my own copy! Thanks again for all your creativity and inspiration!

Kati from Kati's Quilting said...

Love love looove the fact that you have a schedule like this. And discipline with the kids to follow through. If you think about it the reason why people can't follow a schedule like this with the kids it's because they're not strong enough to require things from them when they don't want to do what they're told. It's always easier to give in and just don't give a damn! And of course to whine about it later on... Rock on! :)

Andrea said...

I totally need to do this! Would make life sooooo much easier.

missavene said...

We just did up our summer list today :) We're a bit late, but knew we needed it, just weren't using our days very well.... and not working leads to grouchy kids and parents.... oh and the way you spelled vacuum is totally the way I want to spell it every time. I have to remind myself how it should be spelled.... such a unique word isn't it :)

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