Summer is so wonderful, full of summer camp and other activities…until it isn’t. Until you are very close to losing it because your child has asked you approximately 56 times when she will go to the pool with her friends again, and she hasn’t even finished her breakfast yet.
Yes, summer brings with it a feeling of warm expansiveness that we begin to crave around the time that the birds start to sing their spring songs. We’re so over packing lunches, we’re done with carpools, we don’t want to worry about making sure extra clothes have our kids names in them as well as their water bottles and they have their school bag and….
Summer brings with it an opportunity to just be; be with our children, our families, at our home, at the beach, on summer trips. It truly is a beautiful time, until it starts to feel just a little too free.
Rhythm is comforting to a young child and I would venture to say that it is equally comforting to adults, especially those who are currently parents of a young child. There is a lot to be said for your child to know what is coming next because then he will not feel the need to ask you what’s coming next (56 times over the course of breakfast).
There are countless resources available to you online that will help you to develop a summer rhythm that fits the needs of your family. Here are two to get you started with the process: Bringing Waldorf Home During the Summer and How to Create a Simple Summer Rhythm.
When thinking about your summer rhythm, outside of the regular preschool or kindergarten school year, remember to think about yourself and the work that you need to get done! It is very hard to continue to care for your home if you are constantly running around with your child(ren) from pool to playdate. It may become overwhelming to think about dinner when you haven’t been home all day and your kids are tired and hungry. Summer brings with it a luxury that we do not have during the school year and that is the luxury of time! Whether you are staying home with the kids or signing them up for summer camps, you will still have a little bit of extra time to include them in caring for the home as well as cooking the family’s meals. Several years ago I started “Summer Skills” with my boys. Each summer the boys and I would chose 2-3 skills that they would hone over the summer months. These have included riding bikes, vacuuming, unloading the silverware, cleaning the bathroom sinks, chopping vegetables, and changing sheets. And guess what? When summer is done, they still have those skills that help to contribute to the work necessary to maintain our family’s home!
So before the last day of the preschool or kindergarten year and the onset of summer time doldrums, start thinking about your family’s summer rhythm. As always, I encourage you to keep it simple, especially at first. Allow for it to be tweaked, added to, or simplified even more.
A little bit of planning can really make for a joy-filled summer with your children!
Warmly, Miss Anna