I know, I know…everyone’s talking about how summer is almost over.  Target has their school supply aisles stocked, the flip flops are on clearance–but I refuse to believe them.  And there’s still so much we want to do! Our summer has been weird because we were gone for most of June, so summer feels like it just started for us, but I know our time is ticking.  So you know what that means–I made a plan.  Yes, it’s kind of my thing.  I have made six-week plans and summer plans, even down to the food.  So I’m here to do it again: My Summer Plan.

Here’s the problem: we want to do all this stuff.  We have a fun summer list all drawn up and we want to do the stuff.  Then we realize summer isn’t 40 months long and there’s no way all our summer dreams will be fulfilled.  But I’m not happy with all that discontentment either, so I always think it’s best to start with a good plan of attack.  If that plan of attack is in pen and paper in a great planner, that’s my favorite.  I started with those things.  Then I jotted down all the things I want to organize and do before our sacred five weeks are over.
-a schedule
-summer school
-summer reading
-field trips and

I broke it all down so you can see what I’ve done.  Before you freak out on me, or worse yet, call me an overly anal psycho planner, just hear me out.  I think better like this.  I call it organized fun.  I want to do all the fun stuff but if I leave too many of those things to be sporadic fun things, they almost never happen.  So, for me, my brain works better this way…on paper with pen.  Then we can carry on, knowing that our summer dreams are going to happen…because they’re in the planner…so of course they are, right!?

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Ok, the schedule.

Having a baby that needs…and by baby needs, I really mean baby and ME need.  It’s critical.
Afternoons are pretty much off limits for too much at this point.  I didn’t write this in my planner, but if I wrote down our typical day, it would be something like this:
8ish: eat breakfast and relax
10ish: do something fun or go somewhere fun or errands (usually not fun)
12ish: lunch
1ish: nap for Vera/summer school stuff for kids
Afternoon: kids play outside/mama does her mama thing
6ish: dinner
play outside after dinner (it’s summer-that’s what you do)
8ish: bedtime (and yes, that sticks during summer, save a night here or there)
I wrote into my planner (find a copy of mine here) all the dates I needed to save for sure: doctor check-ups, Noah’s youth group activities and Boy Scout meetings, etc.
We didn’t really sign up for anything this summer, so after writing in our few obligations, I could sit back and write in the activities and field trips I wanted to do for sure.

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Having an outline of a daily schedule isn’t meant to be rigid or strict.  It’s just sort of an idea, or a gently rolling flow of how our days should go and how we function best together.

Next, I penciled in things I really wanted to do with the kids, such as:
-Sewing Class (we’re doing this next week, so I’ll tell you soon!)
-Craft classes at Michael’s
-Cheap movie day at the movie theater
-Lowe’s classes
I made sure to go online and  sign the kids up for the classes so I knew that was done.
Setting goals for myself too is important to me.  If I have big jobs I want to get done, I always write them behind the monthly calendar in my planner.  Things like clean out kids’ closets or sew maxi dress for Sophia goes here.
There are so many fun places around us and we definitely want to take advantage of them.  Field trips are bigger than the activities because they might cost more money and/or take more time.  I might need to hire a babysitter for Vera or make reservation or plan a day trip.  We made a list of the field trips we’d like to do and I penciled these in around the activities and other obligations.
Here’s our list:
-Gem Mining
-Tourist baseball game
-paint pottery
-Civil War reenactment
I love the idea of doing each of these field trips, but I know we probably won’t get to do every single one.  Life happens.  But if I can find a space to pencil it in, at least I know it’s a good possibility.  Writing these things in my planner makes me feel like we’re being purposeful about our free time, leaving plenty of days free for doing whatever strikes our fancy that day.

I am not a big one for doing summer school.  I know a lot of homeschoolers do school all the way through the summer, but for us, we welcome the long break.  Although, I know that my kids wouldn’t know 2+2 by the time Labor Day rolled around, so there has to be a good balance too.  Learning in the summer means you have things sprinkled around the house to cultivate learning all the time.
My kids are each doing a math lesson per day and also reading or practicing reading everyday.  I have everything they need sitting on the buffet in our dining room so it’s easily accessible.  Also right there I have their incentive chart and tickets.  I talked about this a few posts back and to follow up with it, my kids are loving it.  The tickets and prizes are really motivating for them.
Summer school should feel different than the regular school year.  A little bit freer, a little bit looser.  I don’t really give them much instruction, and I think that gives them the self-motivation to get those tickets!

I’ve made a summer reading list since I was an infant, I’m pretty sure.  You can see my Summer Reading List post here, although I’ve added a few to it.  I’ve finished three already and I’ll be posting reviews soon.
My kids have lists too.  I didn’t write out their lists, but I did go buy/find them copies so they were available when they finished one. 
Noah is reading:
Jack is reading:
The last and probably my least favorite part of the summer plan was meal planning.  It’s just not that fun for me.  I know, though, that if I don’t have a plan it’s going to be meltdown time at my house (including me.)
I love the idea of seasonal menus.  Pulling out 12-15 great, seasonal meals that your family will love and then rotating them for that season.  When the next season rolls around, you can choose another 12-15 meals for that season.  Fall needs soups and pumpkin dishes, winter needs pot roast and comfort foods, spring needs fresh, green dishes and egg soufflés and summer needs easy dinners.  Grilled meats with an easy side, salad suppers, and fast and healthy meals.  Another way to make summer meals super easy is using your freezer.  I made a bunch of things from Not Your Mother’s Freezer Cookbook
and saved them in my freezer.  It makes meals so much easier!
I posted about having a summer menu already and you might find some good ideas there.  You can also find a weekly menu download page on that post as well.  But here is an updated summer menu for us.  I included links to recipes or links to the cookbook I get them from. 
1. Ginger-Sesame Chicken Salad (I die over this salad!)
2. Grilled Chicken Wings (This is one of those “in your head” recipes.  It’s quick and easy. I’ll try to share soon.)
4. Spaghetti and Meatballs (I eat the spaghetti squash version noodles while my kids eat whole wheat noodles.)
5. Grilled Chicken Breast with a salad
6. Taco Salad with Avocado Dressing
9. Apple, Bacon, Pecan Salad (This salad!!)
10. Grilled Sausage and veggies
11. Frozen Burritos
(Not like from a gas station…trust me.)
I hope these ideas help someone beyond the barrier of little old me.  I know it’s late in the summer, but we’ve still got a few weeks to make the very most of it, right!? Good luck, brave souls.
Long live summer.


  1. We are most definitely cut from the same cloth my dear friend. I do believe we share the same brain. 🙂

    And DRUM CIRCLE!!! I wanna go with youuuuuu! I've been practicing my tambourine moves- it's quite impressive.

    Love you and miss yo beyond words.

  2. Love your Summer Plan! I am always better with a plan – it's the plan that allows me to have those spontaneous moments! And I don't feel like it's the end of summer at all, even though most of our friends go back to school next Friday (8/1 – that's incredible to me!). Our co-op classes don't start until 9/2, and that's when we'll start at home. So I figure we've still got a legitimate 5 weeks to pack with fun!

    Enjoy this ladt month of summer! xo

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