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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer Schedules

Today is Pinterest day with the Babywise Friendly Blog Network! We've added quite a few new members to the group so it'll be fun to have a lot of new pins on the group boards...be sure to check it out!

We are all talking about the subject of summer today. This is my first summer with three children and, whew, it's a whole different ball game than the school year! While the school year is very busy, it's also very structured. The days flow pretty effortlessly. In summer though life is more relaxed, plans change, and it's easy to get off track from keeping a solid schedule.

I am a type-a personality and am at my best when life is structured. My kids respond best to a more structured routine as well. It's a bit tricky because I currently have a 6 year old, 3 ½ year old, and 10 month old. Kye and Britt play well together, but also still bicker and argue and just need SPACE. However, Tess still naps twice a day so our mornings have to be at home for her to get that morning nap.

Before summer started I wanted to come up with a plan as I was nervous about how it would go. I had this picture in my head of Kye and Britt fighting all day and me wanting to pull my hair out by noon :) I knew with a routine in place that the days would flow easier and we'd all be happier!


I'm a big fan of having a LOT of fun in SUMMER. I LOVE having my kids home. I LOVE not having to miss them while they are at school. And I LOVE the opportunity that summer brings to make lots of great memories together. I know a lot of people throw schedules out the window in summer time and just focus on the FUN. I'm all about fun! However, I think there is a balance and it's important to keep the daily routine consistent as much as possible.

I keep the awake time activities very, very flexible so we are able to go and do a good bit (we eat lunch on the go pretty often in summer!). However, I keep bedtimes and nap times consistent. We are home for Tess's morning nap each morning, for all three kids to nap each afternoon, and by bedtime each night. Sleep is so crucial for so many things, but especially for the happiness of our family. Well rested kids get along better, behave better, and are just happier overall.

My best advice is to plan the summer week to week. We have a set schedule for the days we are home but I plan fun activities throughout each week. The key, for me, is a balance of the fun stuff and the routine of home. I try not to have too many days in a row at the house or too many days in a row out and about! BALANCE is my theme for summer survival!

On the days that we are at home all day here is what our summer routine looks like:
  • 6:40: I get up and get ready
  • 7:00: Kids up for the day. We don't rush breakfast and I enjoy just taking my time to nurse Tess and play with her in my lap. Usually we rap up breakfast around 7:45 or so. 
  • 8:00: Tess goes in the pack and play for her independent playtime. During that time the big kids have been playing in the playroom together and I go ahead and get started on dinner for the evening. 
  • 8:30: Tess's timer goes off ending her independent playtime. I'll take her in her room and have some solo play time with her if big kids are still getting along well upstairs, if not then we will all play together. Since it's cooler in the mornings this is a good time to go outside!
  • 9:00: Tess goes down for her nap. The big kids and I go outside to play or they will go out back together to play. We will also often do crafts or play games or do something fun at this time together just the three of us. 
  • 9:30: I've found the older kids really need some alone time separate from each other. Usually by about this time they are ready for that. Kye is my introvert and needs the break to recharge, whereas Britt will cry and resist the solo time because she's my extrovert and would be by his side non-stop if we'd let her! She usually will end up reading books in her bed and Kye usually plays with some toys in his room.
  • 10:00: Once they have that solo time I'll put on a movie for them to watch so I'm able to get some things done around the house. I also go ahead and get their lunch ready while they watch the movie.
  • 11:00: Tess gets up and I nurse her 
  • 11:30: We all eat lunch
  • 12:00: We go outside to swim together and burn off that energy before naps!
  • 12:45: We read a book (usually the bible) and say prayers
  • 1:00: Everyone down for naps and Mommy lets out a big sigh of relief for a break!
  • Kye doesn't usually sleep during naps so his is more of a rest time. He has a journal in his bed that he writes in each day and also reads books during this time. Britt and Tess both sleep.
  • 2:40: Kye gets up from his nap and has some solo play in his room. It's a chance for him to play without a sister bugging him ;) He sometimes will come down and I let him use my IPad to play a sight words game
  • 3:00: Tess wakes and I nurse her
  • 3:30: Tess goes in the pack and play again for independent playtime. Britt is usually still asleep. Kye and I will often do something together or do some chores around the house.
  • 4:00: Britt gets up. We are pretty lazy for the time until Daddy comes home. We lay around and play or do puzzles or crafts. Sometimes we get in the pool if we didn't earlier in the day. 
  • 5:00: Zach gets home and I finish dinner while he plays with kids
  • 6:00: Dinner
  • 6:40: Girls bathe while Kye showers
  • 7:00: I nurse Tess and we pray as a family then Zach reads with big kids and plays a game, Tess goes straight to bed when done nursing
  • 7:30: Britt in bed for night
  • 7:45: Kye in bed for night
If we go and do then we always go during lunch time or after afternoon naps. Tess typically is awake after an hour and a half nap so it's easy to leave at 10:30ish and be home by 1:00. I pack lunches and will pump a bottle for Tess. We also will go and do in the afternoons. Since I often make meals for dinner in the crock pot it's easy to leave the house around 3:30 and be home by 5:30 to put the finishing touches on dinner!

I've found that if we are too busy too many days in a row that the kids behavior starts to be affected, same goes for us being home too many days in a row as well. I try to alternate and make sure we leave the house every other day. I find that even just a simple trip to the store makes everyone get along better! I used to always think life was easier just staying home with the kids, but having three has made me like to get out of the house more often. I think it helps the older two to get along better when we're more active! Thankfully most things in our town fall at times that work for our schedule, but when things conflict I do try to get a sitter for Tess so I can do things with just the older kids on occasion too. I think it's important for them to get to have fun experiences without baby sister always there!

I really enjoy summers and feel like having a good routine in place helps us all to enjoy each day together!

What does your summer schedule look like?

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