Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer lovin

Summer vacation has been in full swing for several weeks now. I have conflicted feelings about summertime. I love having my kids around and the slower pace, but it is also hard to get my stuff done and I also want to help my kids be productive and content. In the past I have stressed about that. 

The past couple of weeks though I have decided to relax about it a bit. Yes we have days that have a lot of this going on:

But we also have lots of things like this: 

And this: 

Once or twice a week we have a Mommy adventure where we get out and explore and go to museums or hikes or swimming or the water park. I enjoy these days and love spending time with my kids. My oldest is 15 and in THREE short years he will be off to college or on a mission. I'm lucky he still likes to go on these adventures with us. The other days are spent at home or closer to home so I can get things done. My kids can find friends or do other things. I don't think it is my job to entertain them. 

I remember as a kid that most days I was riding my purple banana seat bike in my swim suit with a towel around my neck, to the local swim club (pictured above). I was meeting friends there and spending the day. My Mom didn't entertain me or plan grand adventures. My Mom certainly spent time with me and a couple of times during the summer we would do something big like an amusement park. Life is so different now, we feel like we have to have grand plans for our kids in the summer or we feel like a bad parent. I have seen online where people are saying their kids said the "B" word...bored. I don't think it's bad for kids to be bored. They need to learn to find things to do and be creative.

We aren't going on a big summer vacation. We are going up to a family cabin in August for a few days, and maybe a camping trip, but mostly we will be at home. 

Here are our summer job charts, we have a rule of no screens until after lunch. They have a few jobs that include practicing piano, for the younger kids they do some reading and math practice, their daily kitchen job, a couple of jobs that take about 10-15 minutes, their bedroom, working on scouting etc. My two older boys are doing their own laundry and helping plan and prepare a meal once a week. 

My older kids have had several opportunities to work for other people and earn some money which has been so great. I love that they are learning the value of work and money and learning to work for another boss besides me and my husband. 

Our family project this summer is this garden. The garden deserves a post of it's own, but suffice it to say it is a way to teach work and unity. It's not always pretty when we go and the kids are weeding and irrigating, almost always there is heavy complaining. However, that doesn't mean it isn't still teaching them and it's still worth it. 

So if my kids have a day here and there when they play screens for a few hours at a time I'm not going to stress. We are having a lot of fun together. They are learning to work hard and accomplishing good things daily. They are learning life skills that will serve them well in the future. 

Still to do this  summer:

Lemonade stand
Liberty park
Hiking and fishing
Fourth of July!! (My favorite holiday next to Christmas)
Natural history museum