Episode 004: Summer Schedules
If you have kids home for summer break, the change in routine can sometimes be stressful. Summer schedules with kids can be very detailed and scheduled to the hour, or they cannot be scheduled at all. If either of those works for your family, great! If not, and you’d like to learn a different way to plan your summer, then this episode is for you.
In this episode, Diana shares how she adjusted her schedule for summer break and provides tips to help with your summer schedule.
We’ll also discuss:
- A big THANK YOU for your support with the launch of the podcast!
- Diana walks through the time block schedule she uses for the summer
- Examples of what you can include in the time blocks
What can you expect from this podcast and future episodes?
- 15-20 minute episodes to help you tackle your to-do list
- How to declutter in an effective and efficient way
- Guest interviews
- Deep dives on specific topics
Find Diana Rene on social media:
Episode 004: Summer Schedules
All right. Welcome back to another episode of The Decluttered Mom Podcast. Today, we're going to talk about summer schedules.
You're listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. A podcast built specifically for busy moms by a busy mom. I'm your host, Diana Renee, and in 2017, I had my second daughter, and it felt like I was literally drowning in my home. Okay, not literally. But I felt like I couldn't breathe with all of stuff surrounding me. Over the next ten months, I got rid of approximately 70% of our household belongings, and I have never looked back. I kind of feel like I hacked the mom system, and I'm here to share all the tips, tricks, and encouragement. Let's listen to today's show.
You guys are amazing, first of all. I sat there and read your reviews from the podcast launch, and I just cried because you guys are just amazing and it is a blessing that I get to do this, and I get to be here and just share things that have helped me and people I've worked with, and hopefully they can help you too. But I just want you to know that it really means the world that you're tuning in, that you're sharing, that you're leaving reviews, that you're telling your friends. It just means a lot to me. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Today, we're going to talk about summer schedules. And when I first had my oldest go to kindergarten and then she came home, well, she did come home early because of COVID. However, that's besides the point. Prior to that, I was a stay-at-home mom. She had been in preschool part-time a couple of half days a week. So summer wasn't really any different than the rest of the year. But then, when she went to kindergarten and was in school five days a week, coming home in the summer was a big difference, and she was used to a lot more structure than she had been in the past. And I was used to not needing to fill the entire day like I always had before. Right. So if you are a working out-of-the-home mom, then the stuff may not apply to you as much. However, it could also help you on the weekends. But if you are home with your kids this summer and you're trying to figure out some type of schedule that can help you not go crazy for the summer, then this episode is for you.
So when my oldest did have her first summer, I was like researching like crazy how to have a great schedule, how to have a productive schedule, how to have a schedule that would really help with young kids at home over the summer because I really wanted to get it right, I guess. But the problem with that is that I was over-scheduling, and I was doing like I was researching, and I was finding things on Pinterest, and it was like 7:30 AM, brush teeth and wash face 7:45 AM, get dressed, 8:00 AM, eat breakfast, 8:30 do chores. Like it was very micro, and the idea of it, I love, but the implementation did not love. Just a disclaimer, though, if you are someone who does a schedule like this, that's very down to the 15 or 30-minute blocks, and it works for you, perfect. Keep it. I promise I'm not just saying that because I am a firm believer in not fixing what isn't broken. Keep it if it's working for you, then do it. Don't change it. But if you are like me and those types of schedules do not work well for you and your family and your kids, then this is a different alternative for you.
So some of you may know that I am really into time blocking in all areas of my life. But this is another instance where time blocking has been really, really helpful for us. And what I like to do for summer schedule is to have loose time blocks because it's really hard for me to naturally maintain a routine when we don't have outside things dictating that routine, like school. So if I don't have a rough schedule, we are just going to waste our days away easily. While I don't like that micro schedule where it's like 8:30, 9:00, 9:30, 10, I also need some type of structure and schedule to be able to do things that we want to do and not just let the days just go wild. So what we do is we do blocks. So I'm going to go through the sample blocks that worked really well for us last summer, that we're going to try again this summer and what we do in each one.
So the first block is 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM. I will say that my kids tend to typically sleep a little bit later in the summers than they do during the school year. So they usually get up between 7:30 and 8:00, sometimes as late as 8:30. So this block is going to be a little bit different than the others from seven 30 to nine 30. The block is a wake-up, eat breakfast, get ready, do your get-ready list, and play in rooms. Which I'll talk about the lists on another episode because, as you know, I try to keep these episodes under twenty minutes.
So the idea behind this block is essentially waking up for the day and slowly kind of breaking into just being awake and getting ready for the day, so getting dressed, brushing teeth, washing face, eating breakfast, doing your morning list, which doesn't take very long. And if there's time left over, then they can just play in their rooms until 9:30. A question I get asked often about this is this something that your kids just do on their own? Yes and no. And it changes over seasons because mine are eight and five right now. So they definitely do much more on their own without me needing to intervene compared to when they were littler. However, there are times where they just, maybe, aren't in the mood, and so I have to help prompt them along, but for the most part, at those ages, they do most of this morning block on their own.
Okay. So the next block is 9:30 to noon, and there are kind of two things that happen in this block. It is either a home activity or getting out of the house. So when I say home activity, it might be something like setting up an art and craft type thing for them or playing a board game or something like that. Running through the sprinklers outside just some type of activity at home that is a little bit more structured. And then the other side of that is just getting out of the house. So this could be any type of outing, a play date, playground, running errands, going to the gym, going to the pool, really anything out of the house.
I am an introvert. I am a homebody. So if I don't force myself to get out of the house on a regular basis, I just won't. I'll look up, and I'll realize that it's been three days, and I haven't moved my car out of the garage. So having this block is really helpful because it kind of forces me to think of new ideas. This is when we'll go to the zoo. This is when we'll go to a children's museum. Or, like I said, we'll just go for a really long walk or a hike or go to the pool. Like there's so many options. And even though we don't know exactly what we're going to be doing each day, they at least know that we're likely going somewhere during this part of the day.
I also really liked to combine errands. So if I know I have to go to Target, I have to go to the grocery store. I have to go to the post office. I will make an errands day where I just go and get it all done in that, in that morning block where we're getting out of the house, because for some reason, just in my mind, I feel better if I know we're just getting all our errands done on Thursday, I don't have to think about it on the other days of the week. Again, that might be like an introvert homebody thing, but it's something that helps me because I don't particularly love errands.
Okay. That brings us to noon. So from noon to 1:00, we do lunch, and we also do zones, which is a new thing that we are trying in our house for jobs or chores, as most people call them. I just don't really like the word chores for some reason. And we are trying a new thing where each person has a different zone of the house that they're responsible for, for the week and twice a day. They just need to go through and pick up things, put things away, put them in their homes.
It's not like a long, intense thing. It's not like doing all the dishes or anything like that. It's just picking up a certain part of the house. So like one zone is the family room and the kitchen, another zone is the sitting room and the dining area. Another zone is bedrooms. Another zone is bathrooms. And like I said, we're not like deep cleaning. We're just going through picking things up, putting them in their home. This is like a five to seven-minute thing twice a day. Again, I can do another episode on zones and also on PM pickup and just how everyone participates and keeping the home picked up and clean throughout the day.
Between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM is quiet time. So this used to be obviously nap time when they were really little. They gave up napping when they were like two and three, which I still cry about sometimes, but ever since, we gave up nap time, even when they were. We're littler than all of their buddies that we're still napping, then we did quiet time. And it used to mean that they had to have quiet time in their room by themselves, just like quietly playing. Over the years, that has changed a little bit. And now we, we typically do like, iPad time or we put on a movie or something like that. A lot of times, they will draw or color while they're listening to a movie in the background, but it's become a little bit more relaxed over the years because I found that I used to really stress if quiet time didn't go well. Like if they were not in the mood to be in their room by themselves playing, which happened at times, and it would really stress me out. That completely defeated the purpose of quiet time. And so, I gave myself permission to allow screens as part of quiet time. We don't every day, but I would say most days we incorporate some type of screens, and we don't really limit screen time in our house because we found that they just don't access it very much when it's always available to them, but the 1:00 to 3:00 is during quiet time. That's when we get all of that. This is not like a mandatory must-do thing every day. However, I hold it. I protect it as much as possible because I think that when we have consistent quiet time, behavior is just better because everyone just gets to chill out and like not have to talk to anyone and can just kind of hang out and rest and relax.
They can nap if they want to, but that basically doesn't happen unless they are sick. And during this time this is a good time for me to either work because I don't have working time typically. And this is also a really good time for me to relax, for me to rest, for me to just take a breather and lay down. And I often will do meditation during this time. Um, I use like different meditation apps, but this is just a time for all of us to just kind of reset for the day.
That moves us to 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. And this is outside time. So typically, we are not going anywhere, but we are just playing outside. Whether that's the backyard or the front yard, or we walk to a playground in the neighborhood, we just get outside. And during the summer, most of the time, it means I'm turning the sprinkler on or filling the baby pool with water or the slip and slide. Like we're just getting outside. And this is where a lot of their free play imagination comes in, too, because then they just create new games when we're just outside, and there's not really any toys besides like the water stuff and obviously like bikes and scooters and stuff like that. We just get outside.
5:00 to 6:00 is zones again, so it's that second zone for the day. And then also dinner. Sometimes this leads into the outside time, and we'll just eat dinner outside. And then, for the last 15 minutes, come in and do zones. It just kind of depends on everybody's mood, how we're feeling. And we just kind of play it by ear.
From 6:00 to 7:30, I consider this free play time so they can play in their rooms. They can play together. They can play separately. They can do crafts. They can kind of just do what they want to do. Sometimes this means, for my eight-year-old, calling a friend, talking to a friend on the phone, sometimes this means FaceTiming a family member, but most of the time, it's honestly crafts. That seems to be the biggest thing in our house or playing some type of game that they made up together. Or sometimes that still means that we're still outside just because it's a beautiful night and we just feel like it.
7:30 is PM pickup and bedtime routine. Again, we'll go over PM pickup in another episode, but this just allows us to keep our home maintained.
And then 8 to 8:30 is bedtime.
So here's the thing, what I want to really make sure I get across in this episode is that it's okay to change your mind. It's okay to adjust this as you go. What works in our home may not ever work in your home. So give it a try, come up with your own blocks. Think what works well for your family. Are you a family that needs to like get up and go and wants to be gone all day long and interacting people?
Or are you more of a family like us, who tends to kind of have a slow morning and do better when we are able to just kind of work into our day on our own kind of slowly? Think through different things like that and come up with your blocks. Give it a try for a couple of days. And if it works, great. If it doesn't work, great. You can switch it up.
You can always change it. You can move your blocks around, and you can also, as the summer goes on, sometimes you're going to need to move things around. For example, last summer, we had our go somewhere black in the afternoon, and I found that that really annoyed me because, by the time we hit that time of day, we just wanted to hang out, and we just wanted to be outside. And so it wasn't a good use of our time, and it just made everybody grumpy. So we switched things up this summer, and we moved that to the beginning of the day after we get ready for the day.
I found that having this loose structure, as I mentioned before, it helps me to just feel like things aren't going off the rails during the day in the summer. But I have found it helps my kids, too, because they have a general idea of what their day is going to look like. Even if they don't know exactly where we're going for get out of the house, they know that in the morning, after they get ready and eat breakfast, that we typically will go somewhere, or they don't know if we're going to be hanging out in the backyard or going to the playground in the afternoon, but they know after quiet time, they get to go play outside for a bit.
So I just think it helps them have some type of routine and structure in the summer, even though it's not like down to the minute, like when they are in school. And I think that it just helps improve their behavior. It helps them to have a better idea of what's going to happen. And in turn, that just helps everybody in the whole family.
I hope this is helpful. I'd love it if you could share this with a friend, take a screenshot of where you're listening to this and tag me on Instagram because it's so fun for me. As you know, this is like, this is the podcast is new for me, and this is still really exciting. And so I'd love to chat with you guys about how this helped you, or if you're going to give it a try and my DMS are always open on Instagram.
Thanks for hanging out and listening to The Decluttered Mom Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean the world if you could write a review or share this episode with a friend or your Instagram stories, and if you're on Instagram, be sure to follow me at the dot decluttered dot mom and send me a DM to say hi.
I'd love to hear what you thought about today's episode. I hope you'll come back next week and hang out with us again.