Why plan seasonally? Each season brings its own events and responsibilities. For instance, if you live in a cold climate, winter brings the extra chore of shoveling snow regularly to clear a path for your car in the driveway. If you have a yard, spring brings the extra chores of gardening, weeding, mowing the lawn regularly again, etc. Though these may be considered minor changes, if you’re already on a tight schedule and overworked like most of are, these chores can get overwhelming fast. If you happen to be pursuing long-term goals on the side, guess which tasks get put aside to make room for these seasonal changes? You’ve got it. Suddenly the time you were using to write the great American novel is spent catching up on the laundry. Bummer.

For me personally and for many families with kids, summer brings some pretty dramatic scheduling changes. No more 6 am alarms blasting. Yes! No more school events to rush off to. Fantastic! No more late night homework crying sessions. Heaven! Kids home every day, all day long. Hmm.  I may have been freed in many wonderful ways, but now I face the biggest challenge of all. Keeping a house full of kids from going stir crazy, and their lovely and zen mother from going kid crazy.

I like to get ahead of terrifying problems such as these. So every summer I sit the little rascals down for an epic planning session.

This year I documented our planning session. Want to take a look? Read on!

Summer Planning 2017

Ah, here are the little angels now with planners open and pencils sharpened. I say smile for the camera – this is what they do.

My beauties showing their enthusiasm for planning. Full disclosure: My kids are weirdos. Getting a picture of them not making these faces is almost impossible.

My daughters each have their own version of a planner. The oldest uses a small binder with pre-printed planning pages and calendar we picked up from Target. She uses this mostly to plan her homework assignments, but these planning sessions keep her using it thru the summer too. The younger one uses a pretty notebook she picked out that she takes notes in, makes lists, sometimes writes journal entries, etc. For a while, she used it as a food journal. She’s a free form kind of planner.

Writing in their headers before we get started. Is my planning obsession heavily influencing my kids? Nah.

On the Docket

Every meeting has an agenda. Our mission – have a fun summer without driving mom crazy. We accomplish this by focusing on 3 things.

Fun stuff

We start with the fun stuff to keep them interested. What’s on their summer wish list? Sleepovers, waterpark, ice cream for dinner? We brainstorm freely and write down all the viable options. After we’ve got a big list, we see what we can fit in the schedule.

Responsibilities

Then I go over the chores I expect now that they are home full time for the next 2 months. The house needs significantly more attention when kids are wrecking full time as opposed to part time. And since they aren’t tied down with school work, they are in a better position to help out.

Goals

And even though summer does lighten everyone’s load responsibility wise, there are still some things we have to keep working on. It’s not a complete respite from all work, nor should it be. I go over the things I’m going to be focused on and how they can help. For instance this summer I have 2 big goals. Buying a new car and potty training the toddler (napping thru our planning session). The car isn’t something they can help with, but they CAN give me peace and quiet to work on it. The potty training they can be a big part of, thru encouragement, reading books with their brother, etc.

Things like this are what make these sessions with the kids so valuable. We can work together to make sure our summer is both fun AND productive. So they aren’t bored and I’m not crazy. That’s the idea anyway.

After a big exchange of ideas, we have an idea of what our summer will be. Here’s a peek at my notes before I organized them into a spread.summer planning notes bullet journal

Now I’m ready to organize this info into a Bullet Journal spread I can refer back to all summer.

  1. Supplies I need to create this spread:

The Results Are in

summer plan bullet journal

After getting all the info from my kids I needed, I split up the summer into categories.

  1. Bucket List   Planning isn’t always about productivity and work. It’s about making the time to have a better life. And in summer, having a better life means a pool day!
  2. Rules – It’s easy to get carried away with the new freedom of summer and forget the good behavior of yesteryear. I find it’s good to re-establish the rules already in place and often come up with new ones to fit our new circumstance in life.
  3. Routines – Setting up a new routine is essential to making summer work for busy families. And I find talking to the kids about new bedtimes is essential now that I don’t have the “you have school in the morning ” excuse to fall back on. Hey, they’ve still gotta go to bed.  I also set up a general outline of our week so we keep that balance between summer fun and getting groceries.
  4. Goals – Since I’m looking at a significant span of time (2 months), I know I want to accomplish more than just fun in the sun. We have some big events on the docket the next couple of months, and I want to make sure they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
  5. Important Dates –  My sister in law is having a baby this month and we want to make sure to be there for her and to enjoy it! We also already know when school starts this year, so we know what day we need to start prepping for it.

And that’s a wrap! The kids have their own versions of this spread in their planners, which I’ll be showing pics of in my next blog post ” Teaching Kids to Plan Ahead: My Kids Bullet Journals “.

 

Let me know what you think!