“Summertime, and the living is easy.”
So go the words in the well-known song. But in our often hectic modern times, summertime is anything but easy.
Many of us take a break from homeschool academic pursuits during the summer months. What happens as a result to our family life and focus?
We know you’re busy trying to pack into your summer months as much as you can, so we’ll get right to our 6 suggestions for SUMMER sanity. Here they are:
1. Seek Family Focus
While this one might seem obvious, please take a moment to run everyone’s activities and schedules through this filter. Are your family members scattering in different directions? Identify and reduce outside activities that divide or isolate family members.
2. Utilize Longer Evenings
Take advantage of the extra daylight hours on summer evenings. How about planning a family stroll about the neighborhood or a hike on a nature trail once or twice a week in the evening? Remember Deuteronomy 6:7. How can we accomplish this important parenting role unless we intentionally devote time to walk along the way with our children?
3. Maximize Use of the Outdoors
The summer months provide the perfect environment to move activities outside. Consider relocating some of your family meals outdoors. Get out the yard games. Put up a tent or sleep together out under the stars. Have some water fun (turn on the sprinkler, enjoy a squirt gun battle or a water balloon activity). Plan a family bonfire with time to sit around the fire at night sharing stories and memories.
4. Make Time for a Family Get-Away
Some families schedule a vacation trip. Others use summer weekends for excursions. In whatever form is best for your family, make deliberate plans for at least one family get-away this summer. Aim for family bonding and relationship building, not entertainment, and you’ll reap rewards.
5. Encourage Informal Routines
Experience the benefits of simple summertime activities built into your schedule. A regular read-aloud time is an incredible learning tool that also strengthens bonds between parent and child. How about a summer reading club? Or a regular family fun night? You might choose a particular day and time (e.g., Sunday afternoon) to devote to a continuing family pursuit (e.g., visiting different city, county, or state parks throughout the summer).
6. Rest and Restore
Remember that God calls us to come away with Him and rest. We need time to restore and maintain a close relationship with Him. Let your summer include quiet times devoted to these important objectives as well.
Instead of letting your summer activities and pursuits rule you and your family, causing wear and tear upon your sanity, use these 6 suggestions to be intentional as you enjoy these blessed summer months of opportunity gifted to us by God.