Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Summer of Mom...

Learning to Sew
I was reading the Sonlighter Club Forums today and this idea caught my eye. The ladies were talking about taking a semester off of all extra activities for their children and one mom said she has declared it, "The Summer of Mom." No lessons, so sports, no regular activities, no running around miles and miles a day to get to some activity or other.

It is the Summer of Mom--lazy days at home.

Family Summer Vacation
I love it! Most of our summers were that way when our kids were growing up but as I look around me it seems that there are not very many families who choose NOT to engage in lots and lots of activities. As I read the forum it was interesting to read all the activities that these homeschooled children engage in.

Here are a two examples:

  • Sometimes I would love to cut back, but I'm not exactly sure how. My dd [daughter] absolutely loves her voice lessons and gymnastics. My son adores gymnastics and cubs. He takes piano, too, and they both take a French class, and I also have them in swimming. 
  • We have at least 12 places to be every week. We have co-op 2x a week, guitar, son's discipleship group, small group, park day, skating, a lot of church meetings for the plant (up to 3/week), and Keepers at Home. I try to keep reducing activities but more just seem to come up.
Older siblings reading to younger

I had friends years ago that had schedules like this.They have four children and each one was in several activities, plus they went to public school all day and were very involved in their church. They ate supper in their van 5 nights a week as they were racing from one event to the other--many times Dad and Mom going in opposite directions.

I asked my friend why she did it. She looked at me like I had two heads and said, "Jill. There is so much bad in the world these days that if you don't keep your kids busy they will get into trouble. "

Working with Dad to build a play house.
So, in her case it was fear.

But what about burn-out [kids and parents]? What about kids having time to find their own fun, beat their own boredom, discover their imagination and work out their own rules in games and sports? What about not being "activity dependent" and always wanting to be organized and entertained? What about family meal times and down time after supper to chat?

Those things are very intangible. You can't measure them by wins and losses or recitals--they are not quantifiable so are not considered important.I think that is so sad. I can not imagine rushing around all the time. It must be exhausting.

Learning to do outdoor cooking.

So, if you find yourself snowed under by a myriad of activities, lessons and scheduled "fun" and you would like a break. I recommend to you "The Summer of Mom." Kick back, turn on the sprinkler, read aloud to your kids in the evening, eat dinner together, have a picnic for lunch, play games, sing songs, nap, take walks and let the kids use their imaginations to create and to dream. I think you will all be better off for it and when summer ends, re-evaluate your activities to determine what is worthy of your time and what isn't. I think the "Summer of Mom" might be the best thing you have done for your family in a long time.

Take care,

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