This end of the school year has been exceptionally hot. Almost every day the temperature has reached about 30 Celsius (86 F). The kids were already exhausted after their final exams and now the heat is making it even worse. But of course, it’s important to make our children strong and teach them to push through to the end. Some of my kids had final exams until the very last day possible.
And now we have a well-deserved vacation. It’s important that we plan it well since the kids have almost 3 months: end of June, all of July and August, and the early part of September.
At home we start by making a new schedule. We take some paper and we make a list (it’s best to do the schedule all together): wake-up time, breakfast, summer workbook duties (so they don’t lose the habit of study/work), and household chores…
We have the opportunity to learn a lot of things that we wouldn’t during the school year due to a lack of time. Both the boys and the girls learn how to sweep and scrub the floors; cooking, which is usually the chore that the kids love the most; washing and drying the clothes, etc. By doing this at a young age they learn fortitude and it gives them strength. This strength can also help them in other areas of their life such as school work.
Afterward, we all form teams and work in the garden. Finally, we might go for a swim in the community pool, which is definitely the part they look forward to the most, followed by a family lunch.
Following lunch we have some time for a nap or reading. They sometimes like to play board games during this time as well. They really enjoy these because they’re so competitive! And no TV! There is not and we don’t need it.
In the afternoon we have a small snack and then we might go for a 2-hour hike or a bike ride. This gives us the opportunity to enjoy nature and listen to everything it might be trying to tell us.
In the house, we also have a list of what everyone will try to learn before the end of summer:
Some might simply work on getting better at a particular sport: maybe they want to learn how to ride a bike or how to be a better swimmer… The older children usually help teach the younger ones.
We also put up a list of books to read during the summer.
Finally, we think about what aspects of our behavior we can work on throughout the summer. This past year, for example, the whole family decided we would work on improving the way we speak to other family members–it shouldn’t be the case that we treat our friends in a loving and polite manner but then forget to say please when we ask for things from siblings. We are so lucky to have family that care about each other and help each other get better!