For many of us, we are now in the middle of our summer break. Kids are home from school or, if you homeschool, are taking a break for the summer. We so anticipate and look forward to this break, but when it actually arrives we don’t know what to do with it. Before we know it, our summer break is over and we don’t even remember what we did!
Can you relate? I know I can!
In this post, I want to give you some food for thought — some ideas to get you moving in the right direction so that you can make this summer full of intention — intentional rest, intentional reading (learning), and intentional relationships.
But before we dig into how to have an intentional summer, let’s look at what this term even means.
What is an Intentional Summer?
When I looked up the word “Intentional” in the dictionary, if was defined as: “done on purpose; deliberate”.
So if we are going to define an “Intentional Summer”, it would be something like this:
An “Intentional Summer” is deliberately planning out your days with a specific purpose in mind.
In past summers, I have been guilty of just letting the days drift by, with no set schedule or “plan”, and it didn’t feel good at all. I got to the end of the summer and felt like it was kind of a waste of time.
But since then, I have tried to be much more intentional and I want to share below some ideas of things that you can include as you plan out your “Intentional Summer” days.
How Do I Have an Intentional Summer?
As I thought back through what I have included in our summer days, they fell into these three categories:
We are going to look at each of these below in detail — what each of them are and how you can incorporate them into your “Intentional Summer” days.
Intentional Focus: REST
As a homeschool mom, I so look forward to summer break and having some down time to rest! We need a change of pace and sometimes a change of scenery!
This “rest” time will look different for each person and each family. But as you think about what to include in your summer days, think about what brings your family rest. Here are some ideas:
Take a vacation – This could be a week-long vacation or just a long weekend. Get away together and enjoy some family time.
Have a staycation – This is kind of like a vacation, except you stay home! There are lots of ideas online — just search “staycation” on Google or Pinterest for tons of ideas!
Go fishing – When I was a child, my parents took us fishing a lot. It was so peaceful to sit there on the water’s edge and fish. This may be just what your family needs (if you enjoy fishing)!
Go on a picnic – Sometimes just getting out of the house and going somewhere where you can enjoy God’s creation can be so refreshing! Pack up a lunch and find a pretty picnic area to go have a picnic.
Intentional Focus: READING
Along with rest, another area that you can focus on is reading / learning. Just because summer break is here, doesn’t mean that learning needs to stop. It will just look different and maybe a bit more fun! Here are some ideas for you:
Start a read-aloud time – Our “read-aloud time” is one thing that I continue throughout the summer. We don’t stop just because we are taking a break from our normal homeschool schedule. Set a certain time each day to all sit down together and enjoy reading a book together. This could be at breakfast, at dinner, before bed, or in the afternoon. We usually have our read-aloud time after lunch for 30-60 minutes.
Choose 4-6 books that you would like to read over the summer. Let the kids help in picking them out! You will all look forward to this time every day over the summer!
Quiet Hour (personal reading time) – Along with having a read-aloud time each day, why not have a Quiet Hour where everyone goes to a quiet place (their bed or wherever they want to be their quiet place) and have some personal reading time. Take a trip to the library and let the kids choose a stack of books to keep in their quiet place for just that time. Younger kids or early readers can choose fun picture books or even audio books to listen to.
Make this time fun! This is quiet time for you too, mom! I bet you have a stack of books that you never seem to have time to read? Use this time for some quiet reading time too.
Intentional Focus: LEARNING
Learn something new – Summertime is a great time to learn something new. Ask your kids if there is something they would like to learn to do — play piano or another instrument, learn a foreign language, create a computer game, cook or bake, sew, crochet, woodworking…the ideas are endless. Brainstorm with your kids and help them come up with something new they could learn this summer.
Don’t forget to pick something out for yourself too! I have wanted to learn to play piano for a long time now, and even have some materials I could use to learn. I just might pick that for my summer learning project! So, schedule a block of time each day for this “learning” time for you and the kids. Have fun learning something new!
Intentional Focus: RELATIONSHIPS
The last area we are going to look at is relationships. Why not be intentional this summer in growing your family relationships and your relationships with others? Here are some ideas:
Family game night – Choose one night a week for a family game night. Let the kids take turns picking a game to play together, pop some popcorn or fix some favorite snacks, and have a fun night together.
Service project for a friend or neighbor – Summer is a great time to look around and see if there is someone you could bless with an act of service. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who has a hard time mowing their yard or raking their leaves. You and the kids could volunteer to do their yard work one week. Bake a batch of cookies and take them to a shut-in. Visit with them and enjoy your treat together. If you are a musical family, take your talents to a local nursing home and sharing music with the residents. Get creative and choose a few things that you and the kids could do this summer to bless others!
Family Movie night – This is similar to the game night, but if your family enjoys watching movies together, have a movie night once a week! You could even rotate weeks with the game night — do a game night one week and a movie night the other week.
Family Project – One thing our family loves to do is to pick a family project to work on together. These projects are usually things around our own home that need done. It could be something major like painting the house, or as small as decluttering a room in the house. Look around your home and see if there are a few projects you could pick to work on together. Not only will you build relationships together as a family, but you will be productive in getting something done that needs done!
Resources You Can Use
Before I close, I just wanted to share a few resources you might find helpful as you plan out your Intentional Summer:
- Summertime Fun Charts (free download) – Download these fun charts that you can use with your kids! Fill in the charts yourself with fun ideas and set a fun prize for completing their chart!
- The Homeschooler’s Read-Aloud Guide – I created this guide to help you start your own read-aloud time! Read the post or download the guide for free!
- Huge List of Productive Free Time Activities – This is a great list to look over to get ideas for your “Intentional Summer” days!
Time to Plan Your Intentional Summer!
Are you ready? Sit down today with your kids and begin planning your Intentional Summer.
Get excited about it and make it fun. Look at summer as an adventure waiting to happen.