I remember getting to the last week of summer break and wondering, “Where did summer go? What did I accomplish? What happened to those goals I had for all the extra time without school responsibilities?” I looked forward to many available hours over the summer before it started, but when it ended, I regretted not utilizing them to their potential.
When I was purposeful with my summer, I avoided those regrets. That means I prayed and thought about what the Lord wanted me to do with summer hours that weren’t being spent homeschooling. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23). With that leading, I planned my summer.
Part of my scheme involved a schedule. The schedule gave dedicated time not only to the basics of our life but also to the particular areas the Lord directed my summer to be focused on.
During the summer, I taught my children new chores. I gardened with Anna a couple of years. I played outside and inside with my children. I prepared for the new school year. I cleaned and organized. I read books to myself and others to my children.
What hangs over your head during the school year that you simply don’t have time to do? Use summer for it. Put it in your schedule so that it is being accomplished each day. Then when summer is over, you see what you have been able to do.
Through the homeschooling year, I kept a list of cleaning and organizing tasks that I wanted to complete, but for which I couldn’t afford the time. In my summer schedule, I allocated 1/2 to 1 hour a day for those jobs. I prioritized that list and started working on the first project. When my timer went off, I stopped. The next day, I picked up where I left off.
One by one, I crossed projects off my list, and each summer I managed to work through every task on the list. That gave me a huge sense of accomplishment, and all I dedicated for that part was 1/2 or 1 hour a day.
How about a productive summer for your children too? Have you considered discussing summer goals with them? Can you help them learn to be purposeful with their time? What would they like to do with summer hours? Perhaps they will learn a new skill, practice one they already know, gain more knowledge in an area of interest, or be involved in ministry. If you put time into the schedule to work on those goals, your child has a greater likelihood of achieving them.
“Purposeful, quality, directed, productive, excellent, goal-oriented” are words we like to describe summer when it is finished. Frustrating, unproductive, ho-hum, chaotic, wasted, disappointing–we prefer to avoid that kind of summer. You choose whether you float through June, July, and August or plan them. I believe that decision will dictate how you feel at the end of summer.
If you need any help with scheduling or chore planning this summer, I suggest Managers of Their Chores and Managers of Their Homes. Learn conversation skills with your children by reading Making Great Conversationalists and doing the projects. Read Sweet Journey and Sweet Relationships to grow in your walk with the Lord and your relationships with others.
Have a great, productive, no-regrets summer!
Trusting in Jesus,