Thursday, May 24, 2012

School's Out for Summer!

 My daughters had their last day of school yesterday.  Tuesday was their promotion ceremonies.  I've been such an emotional wreck....    It's been sooo hectic with all of their celebrations, (I talked about them here and here) and my end of the year stuff for school.  I've yet to come to the realization that it's almost over.  I have 4 more workdays, then PARTY ON!

I had really, really planned to do some of the great things I had pinned for the last day of school...  Didn't happen. Secrets of a Super Mommy has amazing ideas for celebrating the last day of school, like this number/letter themed food, gifts, and signs!  You've got to check it out!

Source: via Taryn on Pinterest

My Mix of Six also has a great beginning of summer basket!

Family Fun is also a good source:

So now I am in summer vacation planning mode!  I really want this to be a summer to remember. Big Princess is going to high school next year, Little Princess is starting K. Last summer, I did nothing but work on courses for my master's degree.  I want this one to be special!

 I am guilty of doing nothing but resting for a week, usually. And truth be told, it's been such a hectic two months, we need that. But, I want to be sure we don't get too lazy.   Plus, we have a great vacation coming up to Disney World and Vero Beach.  Need to start working on Father's Day. I have lots of great activities I want to do.  I want them to keep up with reading and academics.  I want to work on the house.  Crafty projects that need completing. 

I started thinking about a schedule.  My family thrives on them.  The problem is that my girls are night owls, and tend to get into a habit of staying up late and sleeping late, and then wanting a lazy hour when they get up on top of it!  

I had pinned this schedule that I think is a great guide and inspiration:

 I am not sure that I want to finally go this route, though.  I love the idea.  Don't get me wrong.  I might incorporate it somewhat.  But we tend to get out and go more than this on a typical week, impromptu plans with friends come up, etc.  

I know that on a DAILY basis I want to:
* Have the girls read.  30 minutes a day.  Scholastic has a great reading challenge program.
*Work on writing with the girls.  One idea I pinned was a summer journal.  Might be a great way to end each day!

*30-60 minutes of physical activity.  Not just moving around cleaning, but true exercise.  Swimming counts, lying in the sun with friends doesn't.  Big Princess and I want to run.  Little Princess would be fine to play on the playground at the park while we do.  However, I can't see her the whole time, so that's an issue I have to resolve.  Some can be fun and not necessarily thought of as "exercise" .  Thinking obstacle courses, running through sprinklers, walking the dogs, nature hikes, etc. 
*Daily household chores, and a focus for the week.  The focus will probably be mostly my job, with the kids helping.  I would love to do an extra project a day, but I'm trying not to be too ambitious!

*Academics - want to keep away the summer slide.  Need to do lots with Little Princess to get her ready for K.  Big Princess needs to work on Math daily!

So adding all that up we are at about 2-3 hours of the day for reading, writing, academics, exercise, and cleaning.  Guarantee my kids would groan at that!  Now I have to figure out how to incorporate the fun. I've seen a lot of bits of random fun.  Summer bucket lists, what to do now jars, etc.  Here are a few:

Source: via Taryn on Pinterest

I love all these fun activities. And with Big Princess having received a smartphone for her elementary graduation, I definitely want to limit the screen time. I love this idea of each child having a set number of technology tickets for the week, and when they are gone, they are gone!:

And yet, the K teacher in me loves a theme, a unit, a connection.  A way to incorporate all the things I want to do in a meaningful way.  So I thought about theme weeks. I won't go into all the details for each one, this post is getting long enough.  But here's a preview of what's on my mind!

Week 1: Dance Theme.  Little Princess first dance recital is that weekend.  I have 3 workdays, so I won't be home much. I have a lot of cutesy art projects for Little Princess planned that are ballet related. They can play Just Dance, turn on the radio and dance, they love family dance parties with disco ball and strobe lights, we have dance books to read.  Dance theme, but without a lot of fuss! Wrap up event: recital.

Week 2: Beach theme.  Lots of sensory/craft ideas pinned. Several beachy decor crafty things we can make and decorate the house with.  A few beachy snacks.  Trips to the pools, local and grandparents.  Beachy books.  Wrap up:  Backyard Luau

Week 3: Disney theme We'll be packing, planning, etc.  Disney movie/meal a night.  Lots of possibilities!

Week 4: On Vacation!

Week 5:  Camping theme Lots of great ideas pinned for crafts, snacks, backyard campouts, nature hikes, survival skills, obstacle courses, etc. Wrap up: either backyard campout or real camping.

Week 6: God Bless the USA! All about Independence Day.  SOOO many ideas!

Week 7: Movie theme Watch favorite movies, make a movie, go to the movies, Movie/dinner theme a day, maybe go to a drive in.  Wrap up:  Backyard movie showing party!

Week 8:  Art/Mad Scientist Sooo many ideas for each of these, but in our house, they kind of go together.  Total process over product art this week, and a few experiments thrown in for good measure. Wrap up:  art party for girls' friends. 

Week 9: Entrepreneur week  Thinking about each day being a different "at home business"  Pet Grooming - girls help bathe dogs, etc.  Bake shop:  bake all kinds of goodies, deliver to neighbors, freeze, etc.  Restaurant:  Girls mostly in charge of planning, cooking, serving, and cleaning up after dinner.  Free days - girls pick a job/business.  Wrap up: lemonade stand!

Week 10:  Bucket List  This is my last week off. I actually might have to work a few days.  So this will be the cram everything in we didn't get done week. 


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