As a work-at-home mom of 5 kids, I can have a wild and chaotic summertime or a fun, flexible one with time for my work. I’ve done the wild and chaotic; it’s not fun for any of us. My overall goal this summer was to have an intentional summer, one that incorporated practicing academic skills along with fun fieldtrips and teaching my kids cooking skills, along with getting work done in our garden.
This year, I happened upon Summer Sanity Savers by Prerna Malik of The Mom Writes. I’ve been following Prerna’s site for about 6 months, feeling like this is a work-at-home mom who gets what it’s like to juggle children, work, marriage, and homekeeping. Her writing reminds me so much of Life as Mom, another mom who works from home and home schools 6 children. I bought Summer Sanity Savers for the presale price of $4.50, downloaded it this morning and started reading. I’m not quite finished reading the e-book though I’m already brimming with ideas.
I decided to start my intentional summer with 5 goals. The 5 goals will keep me focused on what is important, and help me decide along the way whether to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.
My 5 summer goals
1. Have a routine for the day.
Since I need to spend about 3 to 4 hours writing and blogging daily, I need to set that time aside during the day. I also want the kids to practice math and handwriting skills during the week. I need to set that time aside to make it happen. Since everyone is home, the house will get dirtier and messier faster than during the school year. I need to schedule 2 short clean up times during the day, and make sure everyone helps with the chores.
2. Work on academics during the week.
When my 2nd grade son took the Terra Nova test in school, he had a low (for him) score for math computation. Since he likes to rush through stuff, I knew he hadn’t memorized his math facts as well as he should. We’ll be using a timed math fact program called Calculadders with him and his younger brother and sister. We will also work on handwriting with daily worksheets. In addition, I have a packet of work from school for my soon-to-be first grader, and I expect to have one for my soon-to-be third grader. All of this work should take about 20 to 30 minutes a day.
As we make changes to our diet to be more Paleo/Primal/Gluten-Free, the kids and I will try recipes from various cookbooks. Cooking is also a great way to practice math skills. When my second grade son helped me make a double batch of puffed pancake for dinner last Friday, I had him doubling the ingredients on the fly which he did really well.
4. Have fun!
My soon-to-be first grader is doing a Flat Stanley project for first grade. We’ll start this summer with day trips around Philadelphia to historic sites. I also plan to do a few crafts like painting and tie-dye and invite the neighborhood kids to join us. We’ll take a few nature walks which we haven’t done in a long time. I signed the kids up for several library programs, too.
5. Work in the garden
Since I plan on doing major renovations in the flower beds this year, I have to put this on my list as a goal. The bulk of the work will be done by myself and my oldest son. Helping me in the garden is a paid job for him since the job opportunities for 16 year olds are limited in our township.
I’ll be working on the details of my summer plans this week so we can start next week. After the first 3 weeks, I’ll review how things are going and see what needs to be tweaked or dropped.