Wow, the school year is winding down rather quickly - *quick, hide!* -
and before I know it, I'll have five kiddos running all over the house,
stealing paper and staplers out of my home-office, demanding snacks left
and right, whining that they're bored and have nothing to do and all
that. If their day off from Memorial Day was any sort of preview, than
we're certainly in for it as parents.
I think as the school year comes to an end, the kids start to get just
as anxious as us parents, they start to push more buttons and test more
limits, so it's time to start preparing all of us for spending a lot
more time together. Plus, when you've got a High Functioning
Autism-kiddo and an ADHD-er as we do, it's super important to figure out
what we want our summer routine to look like, plan out what we can
plan, so the transition goes more smoothly. Here's my summer strategy,
which I'll discuss with the family as a group, so we're all on the same
page. It's a list of seven great ways to keep Mom, Dad and kids on the
right path for a successful summer break. 1. Hike and Get Outdoors.
Plan on going hiking at least
once a week with all the kids, explore new trails and re-enjoy familiar
trails. Here in Delaware, we have a great selection of State Parks as
well as several National Wildlife Refuges. Since we've got an
Aspie-kiddo, who thrives on routine and predictability, we'll likely
pick one or two days a week where we go hiking and stick to those days
for hiking. Sundays work really well for us. 2. Make use of those family memberships to museums and attractions.
time to start using our memberships to local museums and gardens. Since
I work from home, I can't let my work schedule fly out the window.
We'll need to pick a day where we go adventuring every week. For
instance, every Thursday we'll go have an adventure at one of our
favorite science museums, Longwood Gardens or the Zoo.3. Stick to usual chore, bath and bed routines.
summer is here, does not mean the kids get to stay up late every night,
be dirty and live in filth. Mom and Dad need down time more than ever
now. We have a movie night once a week when the kids stay up late, but
other than that, we'll try to keep bed time reasonable. Chores will go
on as usual and possibly more so, since our house will have all the
kiddos in it more often. 4. Stock up on crafts, paper and science kits.
Okay, I'm big on
science kits. I'll be taking my coupons to Michaels and AC Moore to
stock up on science experiment kits, craft sets and a ton of paper. We
go through paper like crazy. My kids love crafting, building, painting,
writing, drawing and all things creative so the more stocked we are on
that, the better. Sometimes we're involved as parents and sometimes I
need them to go craft independently so I can get some work done.5. Sign up for summer camps.
We have so many choices for summer
activities where we live. Our kids have participated in space camp, art
camp, theater camp and more. This summer, we'll again have each kid in
at least one summer camp to keep those brains and all that creative
energy engaged. It's also a great way to get them out of the house, away
from each other and with new friends and environments. 6. Boredom is not always a bad thing.
It's okay if my children
say they're bored. They may not agree but I would like them to know that
I am not always responsible for keeping them occupied. Yes, I like to
keep them busy and active, but sometimes it's okay to send them to their
room for no reason at all, or to have quiet time or read, or send them
outside to explore.7. Stick to Your Schedule.
Whatever your schedule is,
stick to it and adjust as needed. I work from home, and still need to
meet all my work responsibilities even with the kids home and they'll
likely need to be reminded of that at first.
What are your summer strategies? Feel free to leave your ideas and plans for a smooth transition in the comments or on our Facebook