Confession: I’m so happy to have my son Aarick home from school for the summer; it means some super hired help.

[evil chuckle]

Let the games chores begin.

Really though, I’m grateful for more reasons than that. I find it delightful having a son old enough to crack jokes, carry on near-adult conversations, and work so well alongside me. I’m ready to spend more time with him again, enjoying his strengths and working with him on his weaknesses.

I’d like to think of his time this summer in quadrants—four essentials to guide each day, with plenty of nil time for padding.

1. Service

  • Folding laundry, unloading the dishwasher, caring for a brother/sister, running errands for me, scrubbing areas of the house, tidying rooms, feeding the animals, volunteering (work days at church, projects for the ill or elderly), weeding his garden square, getting the mail…

2. Exercise

  • Vigorous play outside—with the rebounder, the puppy, the creek, bicycles, shovels, races, stunts, trees, tire swings, mud holes… oh man. How did that one get in there?

3. Imagination

  • Still play, but quieter. Could include Legos, K’Nex, make believe, forts, art projects, French and Indian war reenactments…

4. Reading

  • This one I will have to limit, not encourage. But it’s an essential. We’ll keep a stash of library books in a crate in our living room, refreshing them every two weeks. Aarick loves mysteries and junior biographies. I sneak in classics and informational books to round out his diet.

What are the essentials for your child’s summer days? What framework do you use to keep him busy and happy?

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Mama Zook
11 years ago

how can the French and Indian war reenactment be considered quieter play!? I guess when they are sneaking up on each other it would be quieter, but I can imagine the war whoops!! And the noise of the guns! If I could go back and be a child again, I’d love to have you as my mom! =)

11 years ago

My child who needs profitably engaged this summer is a “she”. And “she” is non-verbal. Doesn’t read yet. It’s a tough one, and one I have been praying about. I’ll take any prayers anyone else wants to send my way too. . . .

11 years ago

I love your 4 suggestions for a day. It looks well-rounded. I have some chore-charts, plus a responsibilities/privileges chart: full of all the things they look forward to each summer (and all the things I want them to accomplish this summer). They have to complete 2 responsibilies and 1 book from their book list to enjoy one of the privileges. (This is to encourage my “non-readers”)

Last year, I was prepared ahead for them dragging their feet to go outside on the hottest July/August days. On their daily chore chart I put “green hour”. They only had to go outside for 1 hr. But surprise, surprise– it always turned into longer than an hour AND was the happiest hour of the day!

11 years ago

Oh– and i totally relate to the evil chuckling. 🙂

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