Now I am one of those mommas who sincerely looks forward to having all of the kids home for the summer. I also love the much less structured schedule... for about the first week. While we love being together, it's a trick having varying ages of kids in the house all day every day. Nine, eight, five and three... quite a range of interests, abilities, concentration levels, and ideas on what's entertaining.
And we haven't even talked about four different sets of emotions yet. Oh, dear. Wait, make that six.
So, the longer we venture into this parenting thing, the more we learn about how children work best. Every child is different, but this much I know - every kid needs structure. Some thrive on more and some on less, but their worlds run much more smoothly when there is some predictability involved. So instead of leaving our summer to chance (within God's master plan, obviously...), I must plan enough structure in each day to set them up for the best possible scenario for success. Because when I skip the intentional part, all that's left to show for our special time together is way too much Wii, and not nearly enough love. Enough said.
I've jotted down my summer ideas and have somewhat of a master plan in place, but I'm still working on tweaking the fine details. We have bigger events scheduled each month, weekly activities that we'll revisit, all the way down to daily time slots set aside for reading, chores, and honing spiritual disciplines. Not scheduled so much that we can't change it up if necessary, but scheduled enough so we won't all completely loose our minds by week two.
If I'm starting to sound too structured for summer, don't you worry. We'll fit in plenty of time for the ball field, popsicles for no reason, water fights, picnics, star gazing, Dog 'N Suds, and fires in the fire pit. And that's just getting started, ya'll...
It is summer, after all.