May 22, 2017

My Strategy for the Best Summer Ever

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When you think about your summers growing up, what do you think of?  What about today?  How do you plan to make this summer your Best Summer Ever?

The long lazy days of summer, those are what I wished for growing up.  I knew that I wouldn’t have any school responsibilities, I would go to camp and see my friends, my family would spend weekends at the lake water-skiing and swimming, and having such an amazing time.

As an adult with three little children, I still look forward to those summer days, but they are not long, nor are they lazy – at least not for me!  But, I do want to provide that same atmosphere for my kids.

My Strategy for the Best Summer Ever


Homeschooling plays a significant role in our summer plans, but even though we tend to do school on the hottest days of the summer, that does not mean that we are inside all day every day. 

Summer is a time when our normal routine and rhythm make their way out the window, and we have a lot more freedom in our days. 

But, how do you make sure that you are able to have a relaxing and fun time when you have children with you all day every day?

This is where my summer Power Sheets come into play.

Last year I was lucky enough to order Lara Casey’s 2017 Power Sheets Goal Planner early enough to receive all twelve months, but I know that a lot of my readers did not order in time and she sold out – she always sells out quickly.  But, right now she does have 6 month Power Sheets available, so if you were thinking about getting them, you definitely should.

Last Wednesday when I talked about margin, and making sure I have margin in my days and weeks, I said that I was going to deliver some tools in order to help you.  These are those tools. 

Goals always were something that I thought of as a New Year’s activity, but throughout this year I realized that is not true.  We can’t just set all of our goals at the beginning of the year, even if they are SMART goals.  We need to continuously revisit them month after month, and that is what I am working on now.

We are shifting gears in our homeschool, moving to our “summer schedule” where it is a lot more interest-led, and a lot less seatwork.  But, I am not only planning our summer school schedule I am planning the rhythm that I want to have throughout the summer, and as an extension of that, the rhythm my kids will have as well.

Taking the time to write down what you want your summer to look like will keep it fresh in your mind.  It will allow you to say no to the activities that will not necessarily benefit your family, or may hold you back from something that you really want to do.

When I see parents plan every bit of the summer, I feel for them.  I know that it is important for kids to still have a routine – they do thrive in routine after all – but allowing them some freedom to explore, to be outside, to be bored, those are things that children seem to be missing out on in today’s society.

Now, if you want to have your child involved in a lot of activities, I get that, it certainly helps with sanity, but perhaps allowing for a Sabbath rest one day a week, where you are able to get out in nature and observe God’s creation.  Take that time for you to slow down as well. 

I have seen a lot of people that make a bucket list for their summer – if that is something you like to do, definitely go for it.  However, make sure that when you make that bucket list you don’t put so many items on the list that you may not be able to finish it.  There is nothing worse than having a wrench thrown into your plans, and I definitely ere on the side of less is more.

Practicing mindfulness while including margin in my calendar is what my family will be working on this summer.  It is something that will help me to cultivate the simplicity I desire in my home, and hopefully give my children the same love of the long, lazy days of summer that I remember having when I was growing up.

If you are looking for further reading - a book that I really love to recommend when talking about slowing down and savoring life with your kids is Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne.  



What are some of the goals that you have for your family this summer?

49 comments:

  1. That sounds like a great read. I feel like I miss a lot of the little moments with my kids, so I need to be more mindful of that.

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  2. Ok, I really like this idea. Sometimes it's really easy to lose focus on what's important. Thank you.

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  3. I love this because It always feels like you don't want to plan too much for the summer. you want it to be fun and not overwhelming. We like to do one vacation and then wing it the rest of the summer.

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  4. I love the idea of the power sheets. I am someone who has made that summer bucket list in the past and didn't have enough time to get to everything on it.

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  5. Its very important to regroup as family for some really fun things..it builds bond and helps to cherish moments!

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  6. I love this article and timely for me. I'm trying to make this summer great!

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  7. Such a clever (and efficient) way to get your summer plans and goals in order! I do not have power sheets but am going to check them out because I think it would be welcomed in my life!

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  8. I love this idea and will have to implement it. We seem to going to extremes here – either a completely wasted day or a day filled with so much that were completely worn out.

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  9. Last year I made a bucket list and completed MAYBE three things. It was discouraging. This year i'm just going with the flow!

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  10. When I was a kid I still love some of it vacation because it meant that I didn't have to get up early and get to school. Now as an adult I love it because I don't have to get up early and drive my kid to school .

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  11. I would like the chance to practice more mindfulness and like you said having one un-structured day is a great way of creating a good summer schedule. Good food for thought x

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  12. I need to check this book out. We're pretty lax over the summer. We sleep in, sometimes we do stuff, sometimes we don't.

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  13. It is just going to be me this summer. I'll be visiting my boyfriend some weekends but otherwise, me-time as much as I want. SO i'll be reading a lot, relaxing and exploring my city! xx corinne

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  14. I so agree with you about the need to continuously set goals and make them SMART. Just saying you want something doesn't make it so unfortunately! You have to plot some steps out to achieve!

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  15. I'm trying to create those long, lazy days of summer, but I'm EXHAUSTED! I should slow our pace and stop scheduling stuff. That's my downfall!

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  16. I think it's so important for kids to continue to learn through the summer. The method may be different than sitting at a desk but it's still important!

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  17. I can imagine as a parent it is so hard to fill in those summer days! You have great ideas though to make it work!

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  18. Summer is my favorite season. I'd love to spend it with family and friends and also have a me-time too. Nice ideas too.

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  19. My Son and I are planning on a few road trips this summer. He is almost done High School and will be off to College soon.

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  20. I need to start practicing mindfulness again. I have fallen behind on my zen routine. I am however camping this weekend with a mini road trip so I am excited.

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  21. Summer is my favorite season! Your idea is great and I want to apply this strategy. Too bad, summer is almost over here in the Philippines!

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  22. That reminds me of "Seven Habits by Stephen Covey". It's important to set priorities and follow a routine.

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  23. Summer is awesome! Your post gives me great ideas for my younger siblings. Thanks for sharing.
    XOXO //SINCERELY OPHELIA | NYC Petite Fashion Blogger

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  24. I have to admit I am more spontaneous than that but I can definitely understand with when having three kids!

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  25. My goals for summer are to enjoy every day without trying to cram too much into every day. I also want encourage my family to read more and not just binge watch the best new show on netflix.

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  26. I like to provide a lot of down time for my kids in the summer so that their creativity can thrive.

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  27. It's nice to have a set of plans on how you want your summer to be. It's definitely going to keep you on track when it comes to having a great summer! I think you have an awesome strategy.

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  28. I am working on being active with the kids this summer. I have a few plans already for us.

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  29. our goals for this summer are expanding the family :p I am due mid July and then we will have the whole summer to get aquainted!

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  30. Practicing mindfulness is something that I am working on. It is so hard sometimes when we are always planning on what we are doing for the next day, the next week, the next month. But, I am working on it! Time goes by too fast not to.

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  31. Our goals would be having a one week vacation, going somewhere where we could be one with nature, but it should also be child-friendly where my child could play with other kids! It is also kinda simple yet refreshing!

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  32. I think having a goal planner to set short term and long term goals is a great idea. It keeps you accountable and focused on what you want to accomplish.

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  33. I also have three kids, all boys at that! This is a great read and gave me some ideas I'd like to try.

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  34. I honestly think that there is a lot to learn in the great outdoors and kids can still get an education while still having some fun. I think that taking your kids outside during the summer isn't just giving them a break, it is helping them learn.

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  35. I can't wait for SUMMER and my main goal is to take a vacation since I have been working a lot this winter & spring! :) I also want to home school my son and my future children when they are of age.

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  36. I am so poor on planning for anything so you can imagine me planning for the summer. All I know is I just want to RELAX :). But yes, planning is important and it helps you get things done.As a matter of fact, I am getting a notepad and pen right now....

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  37. Since I have just moved to a new area I have a lot I really want to do. I do not know if I can do it all this summer but will choose a few I really want to do.

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  38. This is a very good idea. Planning definitely helps and eases out the anxiety a little bit. I plan my day but most of the times I land up not achieving everything i'd like to.

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  39. I still can't believe the summer is almost here! Our weather is already getting warm and my kids can't wait to go swimming!

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  40. Oooo now this sounds like one great way to get those summer plans made!!! I still need to sit down and nap out my summer

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  41. Growing up my family took one big vacation in the summer. It was usually to Disneyland or Mexico. For my daughters we go to a favorite small beach town in California every year for the Fourth of July and they love it!

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  42. This sounds like a great book and I need to get it. I can't wait for this summer with my kids.

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  43. This makes a lot of sense. I think it's really awesome that we plan activities for the kids but also give them the time to explore, it's summer after all and the weather is perfect.

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  44. Wow this is fantastic! It's been a while since I've actually carved time to practice mindfulness and I know I should. Thanks for the push!

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  45. I will definitely check out this book. One of my favorite season is Summer. I can't wait to enjoy outdoors activities and swimming with my family.

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  46. Sounds like a great book. When my children we younger we would just plan each day as it came. Easy, simple we just decided each day what we wanted to do.

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  47. This is really sounds like a great read and I enjoy reading this and I love to plan for summer I can't believe time flies so fast

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  48. This sounds like something I could get into! I need a new book to read! Sounds like a great plan to me!

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