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Interesting thoughts on not over-scheduling your summer

Midweek Musing: How’s Your Summer Schedule?

Sometimes it feels like despite my best efforts to have an easy, laid back summer – it just doesn’t quite go down that way.  Yes, granted, with a big house move this summer is atypically crazy for us. But I don’t think that’s the whole problem.

One of my BFFs was in town recently and we were discussing how easy it can be to become over-scheduled, both ourselves and our kids.  This summer C will be participating in soccer, swim class, and LEGO camp, while S will be doing soccer and swim.  I’m curious – does this seem like a lot or a little to you?

Soccer is the only regular weekly activity, swim class is a 2 week chunk and LEGO camp lasts for 1 week.  Which is exactly how this anti-over-scheduling mama ended up signing up for so much stuff this summer.

Even with all these activities, our calendar only looks busy for specific clumps of the summer.  Plus the kids really want to do all these things, and I can see the social and developmental benefits of all of them. (And in the case of swimming, it’s kind of a safety thing as I want kids who are comfortable around water and tend not to sink.)

The problem is once you factor in regular weekend camping trips, our annual homage to the grandparents’ lake house, and the big house move – our summer of leisurely activities has morphed into a series of back-to-back-to-back activities that don’t leave a lot of room for breathing, let alone leasuring.  Also, all of these activities can really start to add up.

So what’s the solution here?  Don’t sign the kids up for soccer even though they’ve been begging since last summer?  Skip swim when I already feel like they’re a little behind their peers when we visit the pool?  Or maybe it’s just a matter of embracing the activities, giving thanks that we’re so fortunate to be in a position to enjoy them all, and just chilling the ___ out about it all?!


Do you limit the number of summer activities you let your kiddos participate in?

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Moira @ Hearth and Homefront June 26, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Ugh! I’m in the middle of this now…my oldest is in swim and piano, and my youngest has speech therapy with some playgroups and other less official things thrown in. It’s not the number of activities for us, but then when. They are all stacked right after each other and I feel like we’re living in the car. But the kids are really enjoying it, so for the next few weeks at least it looks like I’m a chauffeur! PS-Lego camp sounds amazing! I think my boys would die of excitement :) Can you do a post on it so we can live vicariously through you?!


Steph (MPMK Founder) June 26, 2013 at 11:18 pm

It’s a 3 hour drop off camp (sigh – my boy’s getting so old), so not sure how much loitering I’m allowed to do but I’ll try :). If anyone want more info. on the camp, it’s through Playwell TEKnologies, which has them throughout the country. Here’s the link: http://www.play-well.org/schedule/class/index/type/class


Hilary June 26, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I only have a 19 month old right now but since i work part time we only have 2 days a week together and even a few activities very quickly makes us feel over committed but since those commitments are helping him develop and he seems to love them I am embracing them and since he is still at an age where we do the activities together I still get my quality bonding time with him.


Nancy June 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Moira, there is a company called Bricks 4 Kidz that does Lego camps, after school classes, and parties. I have a friend who does it in my area. (North Louisiana) My two girls are each doing two Lego camps, art camp, and VBS. We also have a trip to a lake house, a potential trip to Missouri (cousins) and maybe an arts and crafts/sewing camp.

This is my first year in 7 summers that I have not taught summer school, so to us this is a little.


Christy June 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm

I will only sign up the kids for one activity (they are 6 and 4). With all our other trips and guests and family activities, it will keep all of us enjoying summer more. The school year is so scheduled, and I really need a break from that pressure.


Steph (MPMK Founder) June 27, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Christy – it can definitely feel like “pressure” sometimes!


dorothy June 27, 2013 at 10:35 am

I purposely un-scheduled my boys for the summer. We are jam-packed during the school year and *I* needed a break from all the driving!


Steph (MPMK Founder) June 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

The driving can be endless – can’t it?!


Leslie June 27, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I don’t know. For me, personally, I feel more crazy if I don’t schedule some activities for my kids over the summer. This year they’ve done two VBS programs (one was at a friend’s church), we’ve been at the pool about two-four days out of the week, we hit the library twice a week, and we’ve gone on a couple trips with a couple more in the works. We have some weeks that seem crazier than others, but for the most part the kids are having fun and the only time I feel really run down is when I’m not taking care of myself. (I’m a WAHM of two and my nephew is with us most of the time too. Kid free breaks are a must for me now and then.) I don’t think your summer schedule sounds too crazy, but that’s just my perspective.


Steph (MPMK Founder) June 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Thanks for the input Leslie – as a fellow WAHM, I appreciate the perspective and completely get where you’re coming from with the kid-free breaks and need to take care of myself (but that’s true for ALL moms!). I agree that it can also be hard to have too much unstructured time. I like that most of your scheduled activities are planned outings but not necessarily obligations like a class that you’ve already paid for. It seems like a nice balance of having something to do but not being a slave to the schedule.


Sarah June 30, 2013 at 6:43 pm

Over here in the UK, everything stops for the summer. Admittedly, our summer holidays are only 6-7 weeks long, but it can feel a bit like being thrown into the deep end. In our (very rural) area, you can rustle up the occasional one-off day or half day camp, but all regularly scheduled classes and groups stop. We have a 6 year old and have just adopted a two year old, so it’s a little terrifying to go from a routine neatly filled, but not packed, with school, play groups, Brownies, swimming, Tae Kwon Do and drama to… nothing. Nothing at all, but 10 hours a day of free, unfettered chaos…


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