Sharing our summer holiday routine, which probably looks a lot different to other people’s routines. Read on for why.
Most people relish the idea of the summer holiday, that long break between school terms. I hear my friends and colleagues talking about being able to relax, no school, no homework, no rushing around to activities. Kids at home, a break.
Whilst I do think some parents probably dread the holidays because the working parent juggle is a real struggle, and the summer break can be incredibly expensive when you have kids to keep busy and occupied, it can also be challenging for those of us who struggle with the change in routine and pace.
Those of us with ADHD or other spectrum issues do not cope as well with routine change and I spent a long time struggling trying to make the seemingly empty summer holidays work for a child that simply doesn’t thrive when everything stops. It’s hard on my mental health, and it impacts the whole family.
I’m not saying teachers and people who work with children don’t deserve a holiday, but it can be a huge strain on some families.
So we do our own thing now and everyone is a bit happier. Because we home educate it is easier to adapt our routine and make life work for us, and we don’t “stop” for six weeks.
We do have one child in school but we still stick to a basic daily routine despite her being on school holiday.
Our basic routine, with the absence of dance classes and a few other activities looks like this.
Daily – we do sleep in a bit, because we don’t have to be up as early to make our days work but we don’t lie around in pyjamas and the kids don’t sleep in til midday. This is also selfishly something we enforce because if they sleep til midday they are up til midnight and the husband and I like to have some child free time in the evenings.
Both children have chores and daily tasks. Partly because my mantra is “I am not the maid, this is NOT a hotel” and also because I want them to have life skills they can use when they leave home.
The teen is about to hit her final GCSS year so she is studying and revising for those and I don’t dictate her schedule for that, although I am aware of her plans and study time diary.
Kiddo and I have cut back on homeschool but we are still doing some basic maths, literacy and a topic every day.
We also add in exercise, gardening and social times with others. Some activities like gymnastics and swimming are continuing which helps and we also have some dance activities carrying on. We have decided to keep our maths tutor seasons running over the break as well.
We do plan days out and activities as well for fun. We are not going on holiday this summer, away, but we have ten days of family time and fun stuff planned.
All of this makes the summer break work for us. It’s not the summer breaks of my childhood and it’s not how other families choose to do their summer break.
But it works for us, it keeps me sane, and balances our need for routine and a less stressful 6 long weeks.
Here’s to the summer holidays, our summer holiday routine and doing things our way…