Confession. I am bad at summer. Dreadfully horrible in fact. I still haven’t figured out the magical easy going summer that everyone is always raving about. I feel like summer makes promises. Big promises that it can never quite deliver.
On one hand there is the hazy lazy relaxing summer days. Laying in a hammock. Reading a good book. There are never bugs in this hazy rosy picture or sunburns and it always lasts way longer than the 10 minute record that is currently happening in our house right now.
On the other hand is the adventurous summer. Swimming, camping, hiking, summer camps, fabulous summer vacations you get the idea. This is the go go go summer free of overstimulated meltdowns. Where everyone enjoys the same activities and has a similar stamina.
In dream summer world there aren’t chores or responsibilities. It is fun fun fun in all its relaxed beautiful creativity.
Ok so this is all a fantasy. A fantasy that disappoints but how do we as homeschool mamas create awesome summers for our kids that optimize creativity, adventure and freedom while refreshing and inspiring the mama simultaneously?
Create Space for Creativity
- stock up on craft supplies galore
- strew some craft project ideas around
- embrace the mess, I like to have one room of my house that I can shut the door on. I call it our creative zone. Unfinished projects are welcome. And it is a space for all of our creative pursuits. In summer time it is our school room. I clear it out and transform it. During the year it gets a little trickier but the joy of summer is space for creativity.
Get a Hobby
This is advice that comes straight from Julie Bogart from Brave Writer herself. Moms need to get a hobby. A place where they can find joy and creativity that is separate from their children. A place where they feed their own souls before feeding their children’s souls. When you as a homeschool mom are feeling dissatisfied, get a hobby!
Make a List
Make a list of acceptable pursuits that your kids can do independently. I like to get my kids involved in items that should go on the list. And when they come to me and tell me that they are bored Stephanie Elms had a fabulous question that she asks her children “What are you curious about?” then using their answer brainstorm some ideas about how to use their time together! My son just came to me and showed me a cardboard box he was designing to use as an outdoor table. As he thought through his design he realized that if it got wet it would be destroyed so I just set him lose on Pinterest and had him research ways to make his own table.
Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
Catching fireflies at dusk, staying up way past your bedtime, making a fire outside. The stuff that doesn’t cost anything that doesn’t add to your mental load.
Remember Community Resources
Some of the free stuff we are doing through our community this summer are
- The summer library reading program (our library’s has a hiking component as well)
- Apple Stores have a free summer camp they are offering
So this year my goal is to get better at summer. To look at our family and to find ways to balance laziness and adventure. To make sure that I’m balancing the needs that each of my kids has and to emerge victorious. And maybe summer can deliver on some of those big promises this year!
You can follow along on our adventure on instagram I’m imperfecthomeschooler. I would love to see you there!