During the school year, your kids likely stay on a fairly strict schedule. After all, the school year tends to force one upon them. They have a morning routine for school, participate in classwork all day, then come home, eat dinner, finish homework, and get in bed all around the same time each night. But what about during summer vacation? Should your kids have or keep a summer routine, even while they’re on vacation?
Unfortunately, the answer is not a simple yes or no.
Each child will require something different as they each will have different situations. The best way to decide if your kids should have a summer routine is to look at each child individually while taking a few other things into account.
In doing so, you will be able to answer for each of your children individually, thereby doing the best for each child.
What Are The Benefits of a routine for a Child?
Following established routines for moms includes quite a few benefits for kids that can easily be overlooked.
In addition to fostering healthy sleeping patterns, routines also give kids the benefit of stability and structure.
Most kids, whether they realize it or not, crave stability and structure in their lives.
A daily schedule can also lead to children being healthier and happier as routines tend to foster a less stressful environment.
This is also the perfect time to introduce a chore chart and daily responsibilities into your kids’ lives. Children can begin helping around the house at age 3, so check out this age-appropriate chore list and put your kids to work!
How to Make A routine Easier for Younger Kids
Depending on their ages, having a schedule, especially a new one, can be difficult for kids to learn.
To make this easier on both yourself and your younger kids, it can be helpful to give children visual cues to help them decipher their new schedule. This will make the adjustment so much easier on them.
These can include:
How Old Are Your Kids?
Younger children may have trouble separating the fact that they are supposed to be on a vacation with a regular schedule.
Before you decide if your kids should have a summer routine, consider whether they will easily accept one or not. If the fight will be more than the benefit of a schedule, you may want to just leave them be or offer a modified version of the routine they have been on.
If you think younger children would benefit from a balanced routine (some structure with a mixture of free time), consider getting the Systems to Organize Summer. It’s packed with activities for kids plus chore charts and routine creation ideas for moms. 😉
Older children and teenagers will not need their routine modified as much as younger children. Teens should be capable of managing their own schedule each day.
For older school-age kids and preteens, allow them to manage things on their own, but keep a good eye on them. As they grow into learning how to manage things on their own, you will often find that they need guidance in doing so.
Do They Have a Reason to Be on a Routine?
Sometimes there is a very valid reason for your kids being on a schedule. This could include sports, band camp, summer camp, a summer job, medications and more.
Many summer activities and camps require a pretty set schedule, which means you will want to keep your kids on a schedule that works for both them and you.
Also, your reasons for creating a summer routine may not be directly tied to your children.
For instance, if you leave for work at 4 a.m. each morning in order to drop the kids off at a babysitter, your kids will need to be on a modified schedule at the very least. In this case, your kids will need to be on the same routine as you.
Can They Function Without a Routine?
Some children (and even some adults), function best on a schedule.
This can be especially true if someone in your family has something like ADHD that needs help managing.
For these people, life without a schedule can quickly become overwhelming, but having a schedule helps them manage their lives in smaller chunks that are easier for them to digest.
Are They Doing Summer School?
If you are a homeschool family who is doing summer classes or have a child who is completing summer school, having a kids summer schedule is almost guaranteed.
In order to make their classes, they will need to keep a modified version of their schedule at the very least. Without having one, they will run the risk of not succeeding in their summer classes, which would defeat the entire purpose.
As you decide whether your kids should have a summer routine, you will want to ask yourself these questions are relevant to your family situation.
Every family is different, and your summer routines will be different as well. You may need to tweak any routines you put into place, but that is perfectly okay. As the months pass by, both you and your children will settle into a summer routine that works for everyone.