And so it begins.
After two leavers’ assemblies full of encouraging talks, signed shirts and sobbing, my daughters left their schools on Tuesday, ready for six weeks of freedom before starting new schools in September.
It started, as it often does, with grand ideas about how the time would be filled: the creative projects that would be made; the bedrooms that would be redesigned; the multitude of friends that would be met up with; the places that would be visited etc, etc.
I’ve seen these plans be swallowed up whole too many times not to unleash my life coach self on them on day 2 of the holidays (it would have been day 1, natch, but we were busy visiting Grandma). And so a genuinely fun morning of planning involving felt pens, mindmaps and a conversation or two about realistic expectations was embarked upon and now the vertical surfaces of our kitchen are covered with holiday wish lists, a colourful planner, and a reminder of summer ‘rules’.
The main reason I wanted to do this was not to plan the holiday military style down to the last minute, but to give us all a real sense of when the lazy days were, when the planned events were and where to fit in the creative projects and the visits so we didn’t get to the end of the six weeks and realise we were out of time.
The main culprit for time stealing in the past has been screens, whether they be the telly, computers, iPads or DSi style things, so we have come to an agreement about this and decided that there will be no screen time until after 4pm. This is hardcore stuff for my girls but the payoff is that I am not allowed on Facebook until that time either, which they know will be super hard for me (and 24 hours in I can report that I’m more of an addict than I had admitted to myself before!)
You can tell I’m in holiday mode because of the rambling nature of this post, but here are the points I wanted to make:
3 super simple school summer holiday hacks
1. A plan, if it’s not too rigid, can be something that helps you relax, as you know when you have space to be spontaneous or just chill in a hammock with a good book. Lisa Wynn, a wonderful coach I know, calls this a ‘flucture’ – a structure with flow. This obviously goes for life in general and not just the summer holidays.
2. Time sink activities that are fun are much better restricted to the end of the day than the beginning, for adults and children alike. This is because they are hard to switch off, so it’s easier (and more satisfying) to be creative or active early on. Often, once you’re absorbed in the non-time sink activity, you’ll forget all about turning on Facebook.
3. If you have children and work from home, you will not be able to get everything done. Fact. So relax your hold on the reins a little and lower your expectations. So this post is a day later than usual and I’m writing it in the midst of a messy kitchen whilst helping with loom band bracelets and with two separate music sources blaring at the same time. It’s far from perfect, but hopefully it’ll give you something to think about anyway so my job is done.
How could you go with the flow a little more this summer? Leave a comment!