Embracing Routines this Summer

Embracing the Summer Season

Structure and routine is very important for most kids – and parents – to flourish and succeed. Schedules are easier to maintain during the school year, but the seemingly endless summer days with fewer obligations can throw off a family’s equilibrium, as can a big transition like starting school again in the fall. Though summer is often a more relaxed and restful time, making sure kids are still learning and keeping their brains engaged is key for ensuring they’re ready to meet new goals once school starts again. Here, we asked three Chattanooga moms how they help ease the transition back to school and make sure their child is on track while still preserving the wonder of summer. 

Father packing things in his car trunk with his two kids for summer vacation
“As a young mother, I dreamed of laid-back summers with no plans, flexible schedules, and fluid mealtimes. However, it turns out that my children thrive on a bit of a schedule. We have compromised and keep regular mealtimes, bedtimes, and some routine throughout the day. We make a list together of the things the kids want to do with their summer – mostly free or low-cost activities. This list helps to make sure that we have plenty of ideas at the ready when discussing what we are going to do each day.”
Maggie Quisenberry
“My summer game plan is to take advantage of the different forms learning can take – yes, I want to keep my soon-to-be kindergartener mentally engaged but also, it’s summer! There are educational opportunities within nearly any activity you squeeze into these sweet summer days, like something as simple as counting the number of people wearing hats at a Lookouts game. Another thing I want to get my son ready for is lunchtime independence. I prep and pack lunches on occasion so he can practice opening juice, fruit snacks, etc. I want to maximize his time to eat, and those little things can make a difference!”
Erika Martin
“Families can create routine by establishing a more flexible summer schedule with more time outside, less time on screens, and reading, reading, and reading. Leave the workbooks at school and replace them with learning through experiences. It does not need to break the bank – there are so many great free or low-cost options in our city, like the Chattanooga Public Library or free family days at Hunter Museum of American Art and Creative Discovery Museum. Try to also maintain regular bedtime routines and morning rituals. Embrace summer with a loose structure to maximize the magic of childhood.”
Rebecca Aslinger

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