Friday, June 1, 2012

Parenting Tips: Summer Routine

By Tiffany Rudd

It has been so fun this week to start thinking about and sharing our favorite ideas for summer. I’m definitely looking forward to the next few months of a more relaxed schedule, tons of outdoor play, swimming lessons, and family time. 
We’ve also mentioned more than once that, if we aren’t careful as parents, our kids can lose a lot of ground academically during the summer. Don’t worry though, we are here to help! By just including reading and some fun learning activities (I wonder where you can find those? :) in your daily routine your kids will definitely be prepared when school starts again in the fall. 
Today I thought I’d share one of the easy tricks I use to keep my kids reading and learning all year long...a little bit of routine. No, I don’t plan out each hour of our day. Yes, there will be weeks this summer when we don’t stick to our routine. But, I’ve found that if I don’t create a routine that includes some learning time it can easily get missed all together. So, here is a little glimpse into our morning routine. Since my oldest just finished a year of afternoon Kindergarten this has been our routine all year and we will just continue it during the summer. 
8:00 Wake Up, Make Beds, & Get Dressed
8:30 Breakfast
9:00 Study Time or Chore Time 
This is the important one! Every day, Monday-Friday, my kids know we finish breakfast and then start our study time. Cameron reads to me and then does a page of homework. He’ll be doing one page out of his Summer Fun Packet now that school is out. Brooklyn colors alphabet pictures, practices writing her name, cuts out shapes, etc. She’ll be doing her Summer Fun Packet now too. Then of course we usually do a quick and fun learning activity. What we do each day varies, but we all work together for 20-30 minutes. On Saturday this time is spent doing chores around the house. 
9:30 Reward
This varies too, but we always follow the study time with a reward for our hard work. It can be anything your child enjoys. A certain amount of time on the computer or ipad, playing a board game, or a fun snack. This summer our rewards will most likely include a lot of swimming in the pond or running through the sprinklers and, of course, popsicles. 
That’s it. Like I said, I definitely don’t plan out our entire day. Just the first few hours are routine. The best part of our routine is that it isn’t a fight. They don’t have to stop in the middle of a fun day to get some reading/study time in and I don’t even have to ask. They just know that after breakfast we “exercise our brains.” 
I hope this little glimpse into our day has helped as you think about fitting in some learning time at your house this summer.
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