Surviving Summer

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Believe it or not, summer is probably the most stressful time of year for me.

The popular image of summer is lazy days and sleeping in, swimming and biking, and lemonade on the front porch. The pace is calm, relaxed. Summer is for being.

Except for me — and most parents, I would hazard to guess, from the proliferation of “How to Survive Summer” articles I’ve seen recently. (I’m featured in one today.) The kids might be out of school, but for parents, life goes on. And here, summer life invovles a whole lot more “stuff” than winter, spring and fall.

Because we homeschool, we have a fair amount of control over our schedule during the traditional school year. We don’t have to be up at any set time (unless we have an activity planned that day) and we can pick and choose what activities appeal to us, limiting ourselves so we don’t feel ovewhelmed.

For some reason, that’s easier during the school year, when there’s not as many activities offered in our area. Come summer — and the release of the school kids — opportunities abound. There’s summer sports, summer rec, summer school, summer play, summer camp, etc. The list is practically endless.

So far from being relaxed, summer, for me, is all about getting from Point A to Point B — and making sure that everyone is fed in between. (Not an easy task on nights like tonight, when I need to leave before 5 and two boys need to be at the ballpark by 5:30)

Starting next week, our summer will look something like this:

Monday – Friday: Summer school 8 am – noon for Boys #1, 2 & 3 (I know, it sounds crazy: the homeschooler sends her kids to school in the summer?? But these are cool classes, like Chess and Harry Potter, that the boys wanted to take). Then Boy #1 stays from 12:30-3 pm for play practice (High School Musical).

Tues. & Thurs.: Sports Sampler, an intro to track, basketball and bowling, for Boys #2 and 3. 1-2 pm for Boy #2, 2-3 pm for Boy #3.

Add in ball games, and lots of them. On a typical week, we have 6 ball games scheduled between Tues. and Thurs.

Sprinkle in a random smattering of 4-H day camp, outings and the County Fair, and my summer is booked.

I know I can change my attitude. I know I can change my mindset from “look at all the things I have to do do” to “look at all the things I get to do.” Let me just say this: when I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed, it’s a challenge.

What about you? What does your summer look like? Is it crazier than the school year, or more relaxed?

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