Our Summer Flow

Last summer, the kids got lots of exercise, had some fun, worked a little and got to sew.

We are a homeschooling family that looks forward to a relaxing summer off from school. Over the summer our priorities switched from schoolwork to exercise, reading, yard work, sewing and free time. Although exercise is something we do year round, we tend to spend even more time exercising during the summer months. The kids like to run races, we take family bike rides and we live in a beach town where there are lots of opportunities for swimming. We take full advantage of those opportunities.

In addition to exercise we tried to create a balance of other activities. Before the summer began, my nine year old was a very resistant reader. She could read, but didn't like it. Therefore, I wanted to emphasize reading in a positive way that would hopefully result in a willing reader.

Just under a year ago we moved into a new house with a lot of yard and yard work. Since there were many things I wanted to improve the yard work was the perfect opportunity for the kids to help out and earn some extra money. Each day I planned to work outdoors, but that was a lot for children. Therefore, I made yard work an option.

Our new house is very close to my parents house and my mom has a love of sewing. The girls and I, being quite crafty ourselves, wanted to learn from grandma. Thankfully she was willing to sew with us one morning a week.

With these goals in mind we put together a daily routine.

Wake-up-9:30 am - Eat breakfast and exercise
9:30 am - Listen to mom read (30 minutes) - Younger kids only
10:00-12:00 - Yard work for mom - kids can help and get paid (optional)
12:00-1:00 - Lunch
1:00-1:30 - Silent Reading
1:30-3:00 - Errands (Optional if dad is home)
3:00-5:00 - Swimming
5:00-6:00 - Dinner
7:30-8:00 - Reading Together

Wednesday Mornings Only 9:00-12:00 - Sew with grandma

This schedule was followed quite loosely which is why we called it a flow. Obviously rain changed many plans, as did orthodontist appointments, play dates and special events. Overall, it was successful as it helped us to make time for reading, sewing and yard work which would have been easily skipped without the plan.

Because the reading was spread throughout the day, we almost always fit in one reading session and usually completed two or three each day. At the end of the summer I was surprised at how many books were read. Sometime during the summer, my reluctant reader found the Magic Tree House series. From that time on, I found her reading at times not on the flow. I can't express how excited I am about this change.

 The yard still has a long way to go, but the kids pockets are full of money. They didn't help every day, but helped enough to make an impact. Once school started, they continued to help with yard work many times throughout the fall.

Sewing with grandma was a hit. I loved it! We continued to sew one morning per week throughout the school year, completed numerous projects, and learned a vast array of sewing techniques including applique, piping, putting in zippers, basic crazy quilting, and so much more.

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