Friday, June 6, 2014

Summer Overload

I am a busy person. There is no doubt that I have been known to juggle several things at once. I am always working on a project in quilting or spinning or homesteading or home schooling. Always.
However, I am always trying to balance this hustle and bustle with a little something I like to call "slow it down."

Now, this might not seem like a big whopping deal, but I really think it is a big deal. My FB newsfeed is filled this week with stories of families and the millions of activities they are involved with this summer. It's summer ya'll. Slow it down.

Sure there is the summer reading program, the vacation bible schools, the mission trips, the play groups, the mom's day out, the free summer movies, the craft classes, the swim lessons, and even the local parks. There is the temptation to sign Junior up for every class and activity available and to spend each morning and then evening running Junior to and from such activities. Seriously, he would benefit from all of this, right? I have friends with only 2 kids who are busier than me with my 7 kids and a farm.

Now, before I get emails explaining the benefits of all these summer activities, I want to state that I am not bashing any of these things. If you and Junior enjoy spending the summer with  a full calendar, then so be it. I simply want to explain the reason we have summer breaks.

Summer breaks are a time to "slow it down." Summer breaks are about cooking dinner out on the deck, reading a book out loud as a family (without having to be part of a "program"), catching toads at dusk, staying up a *little* later than usual, catching fireflies, building tents on rainy days, playing outside, playing games, swinging in the hammock, playing flashlight tag, and having lots of unstructured play time.

Since when did unstructured playtime become unimportant? It's not. This is a break so that kids can be free to use their imaginations and improve their creativity. This is not to say that you should be home all day and every day of the summer, but it is to say that kids and parents are over scheduling.
Slow it down.

Remember way back in the day when a family vacation consisted of loading up a cooler with sandwiches and driving to grandma's for a week? Then at grandma's house you met up with cousins and the nights were spent playing outside with the cousins? Ok, I might be a little old fashioned but that was a summer break. That was when we, as kids, recharged our little selves after a long school year.

I know that many folks will still cram their calendars, will still feel the pressure to sign up for activities that are only offered in the summer but will be great benefits to the molding of their child's character. I know that many feel like these are opportunities that must be seized before they are gone, as they are only offered a short while. To this I confess this is all true, but children are only this age for a short while too and this is a summer we need to slow it down.

Slow it down.

Happy Friday Ya'll!

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree, it's time to chill man! My children don't do any 'structured' or 'organised' activities, it's very organic here which is just the way we like it. x


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