To Everything There Is A Season

A Time For Every Purpose Under Heaven

A blog about raising a young family and keeping Christ at the center of it.

The Cyrs

The Cyrs
Photo Credit: Rachel Dewhurst

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Time to be Organized: Surviving School Vacations

School vacations can be a really fun time with our kids! I for one always look forward to the break. Not only do I get to see my school kids more but I also get a break from the morning rush. Sometimes though, if we are not organized with our time, school vacation can end up being a dreaded time. Not all mom's get the luxury of being home with their kids during school and summer vacations, I realize this! But if you are one of the lucky ones then it might be helpful for you to have a game plan. You don't have to have every second of the day scheduled but having a plan that you and your kids can look at can be a huge help in making things run smoothly so that you and your kids can enjoy your time together!

My schedule is based on the fact that we spend a lot of time at home. Home is a fun and happy place for us so we all enjoy being here but in this season of life it is also out of necessity that I spend a lot of time at home. Not only is it not feasible for us to take day trips to amusement parks and museums but it's also challenging with a lot of little ones, on my own, to do some of the more elaborate activities. I had to learn to be content at home, especially as  we added more and more little ones to our quiver. It didn't happen overnight but now I can say that I truly am content being at home with my kids. I have, however, had to find activities that will keep them busy...not entertained 24/7 but just provide options of things they can do. I will provide you a break down of what my school/summer vacation schedule looks like to give you an idea of how things work here. This obviously is a very individual thing and if you find you do want to implement a schedule for your family you will be adding and subtracting things from this, you will be doing things at different times of day, you will be tweaking it to make it fit your life and goals. 

***This is the schedule we follow on days we are home. On days we have an outing planned things do not run like this. I implemented this to help me on the days (upon days...) we spend at home. ***

Vacation Schedule:

7:00- Okay to wake up (usually they start stirring around 5:30-6...I don't have sleepers. They know they have to lay quietly in their beds until 7, unless they need to use the bathroom.)

7-8 am- Play with Lego's quietly in rooms (everyone shares a room with at least one sibling and they all have lots of Lego's in their rooms to play with. Of course they can choose to read or do something else...they just need to be quiet)

8 am- Breakfast. (This might be too late for some of you but part of loving vacation is not having to get up and make breakfast right away and rush in the morning. Lazy mornings are what I look forward to most. I love having extra alone time with the baby before everyone comes down for breakfast!)

8:30-Chores, brush teeth, get dressed

9:00- Reading out Loud (I pick a book or two that we read together over vacations. We recently finished a story on missionary Eric Lidell. We will start 10 Boys who Changed the World during April vacation. I love this tradition of reading aloud with kids!)

9:30-Play outside (we have a swing set, bikes, trampoline, scooters, balls, bats, etc. There are plenty of activities for our kids to do outside along with the woods that surround us, which offer the perfect backdrop for exploring and imaginative play!)

10:30- Snack & read Bibles (for my younger ones who can't read we have picture Bibles that they can look at. This summer I am hoping to be more consistent about having them memorize Bible verses.)

11:00- Arts & Crafts or drawing at the table (I pick up crafts online or at the dollar store and save them for a rainy day. My kids also love to draw and we encourage this a lot at our house. I keep lots of supplies on hand so we always find something to do). 
Summer Vacation: Cursive writing practice (which is a Bible verse they are copying), math flashcards, worksheets (you can find free printables online that are great), etc. (during the summer vacation we spend some time three days a week on school related things)


12:30- Chores & put younger ones down for a nap

1:00- Quiet time for everyone. Reading in beds or sleeping.

2:30- Free Play (outside, playroom, Legos, drawing, etc.)

3:00- Snack & younger ones up from naps

3:30- TV or Video Games

4:30- Clean up and get ready for supper

5:00- Supper ( If its a really nice evening we might choose to go outside and play instead and eat later.)

Our evenings are not as structured, with the exception of family devotions after we've cleaned up from supper. Sometimes we go back outside and have a campfire, sometimes we watch a movie, sometimes we just veg and everyone does their own thing. 

I know for some of you you're thinking, "there's no way I could structure things like this". I get that, I really do. I have to do it this way for my sanity and if I want to make sure I accomplish things I feel are important to accomplish. It is so easy for me to get sidetracked and lose sight of time. Then before I know the day is gone and we haven't done half the things I had hoped and the kids spend way more time watching TV or playing video games than I wanted. This works for us. My kids are used to their super organized mom so they do well living like this. If you are someone who have never been very structured then it might take awhile to get your family on board! Do we follow it perfectly everyday? No, we don't. Some days I am not feeling well and I let them watch more tv than I would prefer. I'm not perfect and our schedule isn't perfect but it does help keep us organized, motivated and accomplishing things so for that I am thankful! 

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