Menifee Mom: There's a Way to Make Every Summer Day Count

By Karen Thomas

It's official: Summer vacation is now in full swing! With all the end of school year events, the last few weeks of school felt like a knock-down, drag-out event. Echoes of, "I can't wait for school to be over," could be heard all around town, from parents and kids alike.

The last weeks of school in my family included field trips, class parties, kindergarten graduation, 8th grade promotion, band concerts, awards ceremonies for multiple children, Jr. Olympics, eight volleyball
games (they packed those in at the end!), soccer playoffs, a piano recital, soccer team parties, and final exams. It is amazing how much we can fit in a day when we have to!

It's no wonder everyone breaths a sign of relief when that final bell rings.

With two of my kids advancing in school, that bell left me with mixed emotions. My first child will be starting high school next year and I'm realizing that I have only four short years left with her at home.

At the other end of the spectrum, my youngest is advancing into first grade. Our little kid years are pretty much gone. As much as I thought I couldn't wait for this, I am going to miss the innocence of those preschool and kindergarten years.

You know, when all the kids in the class are their friend and they can't wait to show you the picture they colored just for you. On the bright side, summer means that the kids are home and you have free time to enjoy activities with them. One of my friends likes to make a summer bucket list with her kids. They talk about all the things they'd like to do during their time off and make a poster.

This helps them focus in on things they want to do each day rather than lazily letting the days go by and finding themselves at the end of summer, realizing they didn't really accomplish anything.

I love this idea! Not a summer has passed where my high expectations of what I wanted to accomplish were not shattered. This year, I'm going to actually have a bit of a schedule each day. Nothing major, but something that will ensure we accomplish a few things and still free time to enjoy.

If we do it right, we will find that we truly enjoy the time our kids have off instead of counting the days until they are back in school again. Our summer vacations are short and the kids grow up fast, so let's be proactive and make each day count!

Karen Thomas is a stay at home mom of four daughters, has been on the PTA board at her kids' school for four years, and is a volunteer at her church, in addition to her activities as a volunteer soccer referee, a piano teacher, and a runner. Her column will appear here every other week. Comments are welcome.


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