Corinne Andrus. We often share ideas that will help us in our efforts to be better mothers. Last May, Corinne didn't have any huge medical issues or hospitalizations in her family (as opposed to this year) and we both happened to be feeling motivated to start summer programs with our kids. So, we started brainstorming on how to create summer memories that would help us and each of our family members reach our/their potentials. We wanted to help our kids work towards meaningful goals and to make choices that reflect correct principles and priorities. Anyways, after some time on the phone and sharing files back and forth, Corinne came up with a fun program that worked for her family and I came up with one for our family. I created booklets for each family member.
I usually come up with some sort of goal program each summer, because I can't stand it when my kids are sitting around doing absolutely nothing when there is so much they could be doing. But last summer, we had some younger house guests stay for several weeks and I wanted to make sure that we were all on the same "page" as far as summer activities goes, which is why I created the elaborate booklet.
One of my favorite summer traditions of all time is our "Quiet Reading Time". It's a perfect way to get all the kids out of bed by a decent hour, to set the tone for the day as we first read scriptures, then kneel in family prayer and then spend some down time just reading inspirational books. This "quiet reading time" gave us the perfect setting to in which to use our summer goal booklet. We pulled them out each morning as we gathered together for family prayer and scripture reading. At that point, we would review the goals we had each set and would plan out our day accordingly. I tried to allow the kids to really personalize their goals while reminding them of what was important. Although the schedule looks rigid, they have plenty of choices on how they want to spent their time. I just expect them to be productive. The goal is to look back on the summer and be happy with how you spent your time and especially to be happy with the person you are on your way to becoming.
I haven't made a booklet for this summer (2014). Time just got away from me. Corinne didn't either...well, she has a much better excuse than me: Remember When Summer Plans Were Simple. But as I came across one of our booklets from last year, I was reminded of all the work that went into our summer planning and all the joy that came from implementing our program. So, I thought I'd just share it. A lot of thought and prayer went into it. Maybe it will inspire some other mom to create a wonderful summer for her children. And if you do use and edit this file, I'd love to see your changes and improvements. It's always fun and inspiring to see what another mom might come up with, so share your ideas. I'll include the booklet in it's entirety for download HERE. It's a Microsoft Publisher file. So, I think you'd have to have Publisher on your computer to be able to view it. I'm already excited to do a similar booklet for next summer...or maybe I could make something like this for the upcoming school year? Mostly, I'm just always trying to find new ways to help remind myself and the kids of what is truly important and to help us continue to make choices and goals that reflect our desire to find true joy in this beautiful journey that we call life.