Simple Summer Goals and Planning
Education,  Humility and Doxology,  Life Lessons,  Motherhood and Parenting

Simple Summer Goals

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Summer is the time to get to all the things you don’t have time for during the school year.

Right?

Um.

Maybe, not so much.

Maybe, if you set yourself up with a glorious plan a mile long, you’ll end up crying the first week of June.

Not that this has ever happened to me.  Ahem.

Purposeful Summer Planning

There are a million opinions floating around the internet this time of year that catch our eye. 

Apparently, we’re supposed to ensure our children have a screen-free, free-range summer filled with dirt and sunshine. 

But, we also need to beware the summer slide and make sure we’re keeping up with academics.

Of course, we also need to declutter last year’s school work, get to all the house projects we don’t have time for during the school year, and plan for school in the fall.  Not to mention VBS and family gatherings. 

Add in some unexpected doctor visits and medical needs?

Suddenly, summer break feels like it might break me.

If you can relate, you’re not alone. 

Repeat after me: we cannot do all the things this summer.

We can do some of the things, God willing.  But there are going to be good things that just are not going to happen.

(I think I might need to say that to myself again: there are going to be good things that we do not do this summer.)

Summer needs white space, too

I’ve talked to you before about planning like a pessimist when it comes to the school year.  We might want to apply this to summer planning as well.

Brain dump out all the things you want to do this summer.  Include the church and family commitments, the house projects, the math lessons, etc.  Now, look at that list and add up the time requirements.  If you’re trying to fit 16 weeks of work into 6 weeks of break, it’s just not going to happen. 

Of all the things on that list, what are the true non-negotiables?  Of the remaining optional items, which are your top 3 priorities? 

Let everything else go.  Keep those other things on that brainstorm list in case you have extra time (I mean, I guess it could happen), but prioritize those essentials.

Simple Summer Goals

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Summer Goals for My Children

So, for example, I had some massive (read, crazy) goals for my children’s summer routines.  But I quickly realized that due to some outside commitments and appointments unexpectedly added to our schedule, we were going to have to cut way back on my ideas.

To keep things simple, I typed up a simple list and taped it to the wall for my kids.  It is the opposite of fancy.  But having the list there cuts down (at least a little) on the need for nagging.

I decided, for this summer, I wanted my kids to prioritize the following things most days:

  1. Read their Bible
  2. Do their regular daily chores
  3. Practice their piano (because that really fell to the wayside this year)
  4. Practice their typing (because the older 2, especially, need to improve speed and consistency before the academic challenges of the upcoming year)
  5. Read a (previously unread) book for 30 minutes (most of the children actually don’t need this reminder, but at least one of them does, so I put it on the group list)
  6. Move their body in some way

Most of those things are just normal parts of our life anyway.  But I’ve reminded the children that this also means please-don’t-ask-mom-about-screentime-unless-you’ve-checked-the-list.  It can also all be accomplished in under 3 hours, which leaves plenty of time for free play, serving others, and flexibility when life surprises us.

{If you’re looking for a fun way to encourage your children to read this summer, check out this free “Race Across Space” summer reading program the whole family can enjoy!}

Summer Goals for Moms, too

Summer is also a great time to process what went well (and didn’t) in the previous school year, and to begin new habits now that will set you up for a successful year in the future.  But you don’t have to do that on your own!  Here are 7 Summer Ideas for a Better Homeschool Year.

My first summer homeschool-mama goal?  To throw away almost everything.  HA!  No, seriously, if you aren’t going to want that math workbook in 20 years, go ahead and throw it away now. 

I keep the records necessary to comply with our state’s homeschool laws, and a few other favorite examples of work from each kid.  But for the entire school year for 5 children?  I keep 1 notebook of memories on the shelf for each year.

Curious about my other summer goals?  Join my email list below!  I’ll share updates, tips, and ideas there as the summer goes on.

What are your simple summer goals?


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Amy Sloan and her husband, John, are second-generation homeschoolers by grace alone to 5 children ages 4, 7, 9, 12, and 14. Their educational philosophy is one of humility and doxology, and follows primarily a classical approach. Amy loves coffee, and starts getting nervous if the stack of to-be-read library books beside her bed is less than 2 feet tall. Get her started on Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Homer, or Hamilton the Musical and it might be hard to get her to stop. Mostly, though, she gets really excited about the Gospel. The Sloan family adventures in North Carolina.

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