Summer Schedule for Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs)
For working moms whose children attend daycare or summer camp during the summer, it may be a little easier to keep a summer structure for their children. But for SAHMs, when school is out for summer, it’s tempting to forgo a schedule for late nights and later mornings, as getting the kids off to school is no longer required. However, children thrive on routine and are happiest when they know what to expect day to day.
With a little planning, transitioning from a school to summer schedule can be smooth and effective. Before school lets out, set aside some time to plan a summer structure that works best for you and your family.
For less disruption, consider keeping the same sleep schedule as you would during the school year. However, if your family is looking forward to not waking up before dawn during the summer, plan to have a 1–2 hour differentiation at most. Keep in mind that moving a sleep schedule will also require re-assimilation 2–3 weeks prior to school starting again. Whatever you decide, it should be consistent.
Again, keeping the same mealtimes they have during the school year would be best. Either way, mealtimes should happen at the same time every day. Well fed kids are less cranky.
Break the Day up into Morning/Afternoon
Plan a daily schedule for Monday–Friday. Break the day up into outings and at home activities. Plan outings/play dates for either the morning or afternoon and the other will be reserved for chores, reading, cooking and relaxing.
Having a consistent weekly routine will give children a sense of structure as well. For example, Mondays could be for grocery shopping, Tuesdays for swimming, Wednesdays for play dates, Thursdays in the park and Fridays volunteering at the homeless shelter or nursing home.
You could also choose to put them in summer camp for a half day or for a few days per week. Although, if budget is tight this year, there is plenty to do for free. It just takes a little research and planning.
For at home activities, give your children some responsibilities—age appropriate chores, reading, etc. Kids may complain about doing chores and helping with cooking but it gives them a sense of purpose and independence that boosts their self worth, importance and self esteem. By doing chores with them, you’ll not only get things done quicker (which would allot for more leisure time) but you will also have some good quality time bonding as an added bonus.
Allow for LeisureYou don’t have to schedule every single second of your kid’s day. Give them room to be active, to rest and choose what they would like to do. Reserve at least 2–3 hours a day for this if your schedule allows.