The summer games in my house include “How much work can mommy accomplish in a day while the kids are home?” and “When does mommy’s sanity leave the house?” The first day didn’t count, as I was attending a funeral. That was when my husband stepped up to take over the first day of the summer games, the practice day for when mommy is actually home. (For the record, my husband was home with our youngest while I attended the funeral with my oldest. Due to his high energy and anxiety issues, attending a funeral was not the best idea.)
Today, was not a great start. My blog being published late today is evidence of that. My to-do list that was supposed to be accomplished by lunch time, including this blog, was stalled. Because working from home is a very difficult thing when you are also managing your children. Especially my youngest. My daily schedule over the summer is now supposed to include the time where I enforce “school time”; doing more reading (including my oldest son’s AP reading list), working on my youngest son’s handwriting skills so that he doesn’t require OT next year as well, and various other things that will keep my boys fresh over the summer. I’m basically juggling a summer camp, summer school, and my profession every day.
There’s a careful balance that needs to take place over the summertime. Children should have fun and play. They should be free and relax. But, this is also the time to work on some of their shortcomings over the year. For instance, my youngest had struggles with his anxiety, focusing, handwriting, and listening skills. My oldest will be doing his summer reading journals over the summer, as well as test prep for his AP history, AP English, and PSATs. The balance needs to be there otherwise you create school burnout before school even begins.
So what’s my approach this summer? I do give a week break before I wean them into anything educational. However, we’re still doing the Mightier program for our youngest child’s anxiety, and we are getting more strict about our listening expectations for him. I trust my oldest to do what he needs to without too much supervision, though that doesn’t mean he’s entirely going to left alone without my nagging. That’s just how I do.
School is more complicated than ever these days, so it’s especially important for parents to make sure they get this balance. I like to do a 1/2 and 1/2 split. Their fun time occurs while I’m working and when I’m done, it’s time to get down to business. Sure, I won’t be as strict as it is at school. If my oldest wants to listen to his music or podcasts while doing what he needs to, as long as it gets done right I’m not too picky. They are kids and we need to let them be kids without putting too much pressure on them.