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I have been aching for simplicity and ease in our everyday routines, and as we enter our last week of school, I can’t wait to put away the books and just be for a while.
After the last math lesson, I look forward to dumping old papers, sorting books, wiping off bookshelves, and leaving out a few things for the kids to create with during the summer. I’ll listen to a podcast or some music, and send all 5 kids out back to play. If it is still raining, they can play with light sabers downstairs, build with Legos, read, sketch…whatever. If they get bored while I am still happily cleaning up our spaces, so be it. I am not here to entertain.
No, I am the mother of five active children, one on the way, and no where in my job description or vocation is there the requirement that I entertain my brood everyday of the summer. Thank goodness! It is crazy tiring and mentally draining to be a constant activity planner! I have spent the last 10 months with lesson plans and field trips and coordinating Little Flowers. These summer months are just as much a break for me as they are for my children. And even if I wasn’t a homeschooling mom, I still would not spend all summer entertaining my brood.
Nope. Not happening. I won’t be scouring Pinterest for “summer camp at home” ideas. I don’t have time for that! I might use a homemade bubble recipe…but I did just buy a large bottle of bubbles earlier this week. I won’t be making a huge water bubble for the yard, but I will help fill water guns and teach them to turn on the sprinkler.
We will visit the library and read some together, much on our own.
We will make ice cream, but I will also teach my able children to put a meal in the crock pot and start assigning days for setting the table.
On fabulous sunny days, sometimes we will go on nature walks and hikes, sometimes we will visit the zoo, sometimes I will send them all out to play while I open windows, air out the house, and sew.
When boredom hits, I won’t worry, and I might even be glad. Boredom is an opportunity for young minds to push themselves, to find something to wonder at, to enjoy silence, to get creative.
I admit it, I do actually have a few plans. Taekwondo is still on, and swimming lessons are at the top of my list to schedule. In June, my oldest and I will help with our parish’s VBS while the others attend, and then in July the oldest 3 will attend Totus Tuus. We’ll take a few trips to the “big city” and visit a museum or two. Maybe we’ll even hit up the local movie theater for cheap matinees.
Other than that, I plan to keep our days simple. Spend time outdoors, spend time reading, allow time for creating, all with lots of unplanned time for rest, imagination, and play. I’ll personally work on the baby’s quilt (and I just bought the supplies this weekend! Craftsy is having a SWEET Memorial Day sale with up to 40% off their supplies! My batting for the quilt cost under $6), read, and enjoy getting outside in the garden and on walks with the kids.
For the kids, we’ll try this ice cream recipe as often as they want (especially since they’ll be able to make it after helping a few times!), visit the library and participate in the summer reading program, and I’ve bought some new sketch books for quiet hours.
The girls love to sketch. The boys don’t too much, but they will spend a few minutes drawing Star Wars battles before they ditch the pencils for the real figurines to play with! Also, we’ll keep up with our regular day-to-day things, like chores and learning to cook together. Basics. Maybe we’ll even just be super silly and do a home-made photo booth with crazy props. That’s always fun, right?