Summer is here and I’m not ready.

I don’t have any Summer Bridge workbooks, pool noodles, or a horde of empty plastic fruit cup containers for crafts.

We homeschool year-round, but we take lots of breaks to take advantage of weather, travel opps…really, just whenever we feel like it.


Since when did summer become this huge reality TV-worthy contest of who has the coolest crafts, funnest activities, most experiences?

I know Pinterest and other social media just feed that beast.

I’m tired of feeling like I have to spend tons of time and money to make my kids happy because the world tells me I should.

I vow to have an easier summer.

You won’t see me competing this year to win the mom of the season (not that I’ve ever entered into the craftalympics, ever).

I guess I grew up in a different time when summer wasn’t about cramming for the next school year. My mom didn’t do a craft fair with the entire neighborhood. No one organized block parties to do themed summer day camps.

I survived summers on cherry Popsicles, fishing for crawdads in the creek, riding my banana-seat bike all over town, dancing in muddy gutters when it rained, and mooching bologna and cheese white-bread sandwiches (with yellow mustard) off my friends. 

My mom didn’t know where I was most days. I pushed the limits and escaped into trees, the winding creek beds of the Flint River, the dirt bike lot. The boundaries were only Lake Harbin and Lanier Roads. I was free range, baby.

Kids these days are being stifled with overplanning and busyness.

How We Will Have an Easier Summer

How to Have an Easier Summer | Jennifer at

I plan to read books I like.

I don’t plan to quiz my children on math or science facts. I don’t want to plan our homeschool theme for next year. I don’t want to create another planner I shall never, ever use. We will still take trips to the library. We will read for fun.

I will to take my kids to the pool.

No, not that expensive water park with the rainforest theme and $15 non-food nachos at the concession. Just a neighborhood pool. We have several options to choose from in our city.

I want to bake and create together.

I actually like spending time with my kids. When our school year reaches that transition point, we shall celebrate with cookies and paint! The art journals too often get pushed aside for math and reading and history. We have no excuses!

Riding bikes is still fun.

I want my kids to know the freedom of riding bikes around the neighborhood, playing outside, and not coming home until the streetlights come on. And they can do that in our village. I have a scooter and may even follow along sometimes.

Exploring nature is almost learning.

We have great hiking trails and woods and a creek right in our village. My kids aren’t as fearless as I was to go out on their own, so I will take them exploring often this summer.

Bored? It’s ok to be bored.

No incriminating boredom jar with chores or planned activities. No threats or punishments for using a “bad” word. I refuse to be my kids’ activity director. They can use their imaginations, toys, arts and crafts supplies, the great outdoors, and play. Just like I did when I was young.

I have great summer memories and they don’t involve making gigantic larger-than-life dice or Scrabble patio games.

My memories are just simple ones, like catching fireflies in a jar, camping in the backyard, playing in the sprinkler, watching clouds and birds. 

I want my kids to appreciate the simple.


Linking up: A Life in Balance