5 Things in Summer

I am all about structured freedom these days, for myself and for the children. Menu planning and my grocery shopping system have totally changed my life, and more order in other areas has been very liberating.  I will have lots to say in the coming weeks about the new way that we are structuring household chores, but in the meantime, what about a little structure for summer?  I know that summer is the best time for my kids to have lots of free time, but I also want them to use that time pretty well, and stay out of my hair for some part of each day.  Our main summer activity is neighborhood swim team, which just has one hour of practice a day.  Two of my children have a teeny-tiny bit of school work that still has to be finished, one could use practice in a particular area, and another needs to write an essay for CCD.  Over the years, I’ve learned that the simplest way to structure my summers, and still have plenty of freedom, is to give each child a list of 5 Things which they must do every day before they are free to choose their own adventures.  Read more here, please.

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  • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com/ Kellie

    Nice Alice!

  • J’

    Tucking this away for future reference…

  • Katrina

    MaryAlice, great article, thanks for providing the link! I really like the simple idea of having a predictable list of 5 things to do each day, and the phrase that you use with your kids, “Are you free?” I’ll also have to give some idea to the “special project” – out of curiosity, do all of your kids respond well to this idea since it is tailored to each child’s interests/needs, or do some resist?

  • Juris Mater

    You are great at planning ahead for summer. We seem to tumble breathless out of May and into the summer each year, and so I scramble to find some order once the summer is actually underway. I am going to get out a notebook and make some plans based on your suggestions here. Thanks girl!

  • Queen B

    Structure has saved us so far this summer. I am learning a lot from your experience. Thank you!

  • Kathy

    Hi Builders!

    I know this message doesn’t have to do with the topic at hand, but just wanted to share with you that Msgr. Mullelly (aka Fr. Tom or FT) received an award. Thought you and your fellow tigers would like to hear about it.

    Here is the link to the Trenton Monitor news article:
    http://www.trentonmonitor.com/main.asp?SectionID=4&SubSectionID=36&ArticleID=7762

  • Mary Alice

    We’ve had good luck with all of the children, and the “special project” might be a short term one that changes from week to week. Right now one daughter is sewing teddy bears, one son just (finally) finished his last bit of 3rd grade school work, one son is learning JavaScript on Kahn academy, etc.


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