We are on summer holidays now … almost 2 months break between the end of school and the beginning of the new school year. It’s a long time! Especially when the children are used to the familiar rhythm that school provides.
Our school rhythm revolves around the school pick-up and drop off … without those two pivotal points in our day we can lose a bit of focus! Before school beds must be made, breakfast must be eaten, lunches must be prepared and the kitchen must be tidied. After school and a bit of play time, lunch boxes and bags are put away, the playroom is tidied (most of the time!) dinner is made, eaten and washed up, the day’s laundry put away, and then the bedtime rhythm starts.
It sure is nice not have to leave the house early, to eat breakfast a bit later than usual and to hang about in pyjamas for most of the morning. On holidays we can be casual about bedtimes and meal times, and for the first few days it is divine just to float around doing what you feel like. After the first few days though, without a focus to the day the kids start getting silly with each other (which of course usually ends up with someone in tears), they run out of ideas for play that makes them happy for a long time and they start asking to watch more tv.
This is the point we’ve hit now. I don’t think I have ever heard my children say they are bored, however when they start stomping about the house making loud squeaky, repetitive noises, climbing and jumping off the furniture, rolling about on the floor or aimlessly throwing toys about then I know we need to get a bit of rhythm.
The January stretch of the school holidays is always the hardest for us, so I’m thinking now about how to get through those four weeks with busy, happy, creative family fun together. The key to it all is rhythm. If we don’t have a school rhythm then we need a new one by this stage, but not with EVERY detail planned. I like the spontaneity of holidays: the ability to say, “what will we do today?”, so our daily holiday rhythm will be a looser version of the school rhythm (we don’t leave the house by 7:30!) and our weekly rhythm has choices:
1) Park and Picnic Day
2) Library and DVD Day
3) Excursion Day: museum, GOMA/Art Gallery, Currumbin, etc
4) Beach and Bikes Day
5) Home Day: cooking
6) Home Day: craft
7) Shopping Day : groceries, cafe, kids can spend pocket money
So we can ask, “what will we do today?” and still have a focus to our day and week.
Well, that’s the plan … I will let you know how it goes.