We are all adjusting to less structured time and renegotiating our boundaries. With the school behind them for two months or so, home, library and the world are now our classrooms (says Teacher Mom). Social emotional goals for my kids are being reestablished within the framework of family. Limits on computer and tablet time were first on my list for boundary setting. After a daylong 'cleanse' (no tech devices for the day), which began with half a day of whining and pleading, my boys finally got together and actually started playing, inventing, and creating like the good ol days. Yesterday, they even worked together on a story, (should I mention it is called "A Time to Kill" and is about the Blue team and Red team kicking each other in the "nuts". . . It's early in the summer yet, give me a little time. . .)
Of course the thing that I struggle with the most is how to balance my own time. Do I sit and enjoy coffee and read blog posts in the morning? do Yoga? do Dishes? Do I fold laundry or play hide and seek? Do I only go in the pool for the soul purpose of providing a hanging post for my 4 year old or do I establish "float time"? (4 year old swims in her floaty while mom floats on the tube in the warm sun) Do I let the boys bring their tech devices to the library while the 4 year old and I participate in preschool storytime so all hell doesn't break loose and I have to haul all their sorry butts out of there. . . again. Heck YES!!! But then I insist they find new reading material for the week when I can supervise.
So here I am starting out week 2 of summer vaca and restoring balance to my family bicycle. I am establishing little routines for my family for the summer like squeaking yoga in during "Daniel Tiger", swimming in the morning, and reading time in the afternoon, an art project here and there. We are again talking about the "Golden Rule" and that it is about stopping the bird poop instead of spreading it. (If a bird poops on our head (someone hurts us or makes us upset) we have a choice of being nasty to that person or others because we are upset (essentially spreading the poop). Or we can choose to stop the poop in it's tracks and only pass along goodness, friendliness, and love. Not the most pretty analogy, but I think my boys understood the Golden Rule for the first time ever, or at least laughed trying. . .
Just as an endnote, I wanted to pass along this tidbit for those of you helping your kids establish summer routines. A Reading Specialist I met this year told her students (so I am telling you) to read over the summer in an intersting way. She said, "If you want to stay at your present reading level, Read 6 books over the summer. For every book after that you can increase your reading level for the Fall." Even at one book a week that sounds pretty good and gives your kids and you a tangible goal for the summer.