Little League. Soccer. Horseback riding. Vacation. Camp. Visiting relatives. Just typing all those activities made me tired! In addition to all of this, you can include yard work, and a wedding or two. Let's not forget that you will still be taking care of your home and family, exercising, and keeping up with your hobbies.
Depending on the ages of your children, your list may be shorter than the one above. But, if you have three or more children, the list may be larger! Regardless of the number of people living in your home, there's a good chance that you'll be going in multiple directions this summer. How can a busy family find time to be together when they all need to be somewhere different? By using the Rule of One.
One Main Calendar
If you don't have a main calendar for your family, make one. Using one main calendar will ensure that everyone knows what is happening, who needs to be where, and when it all takes place. As plans are made, write them on the calendar. If you make an appointment while out of the house, be sure to write it down on the calendar as soon as you get home. I like large calendars, with big squares to write in, that I can see from across the kitchen. You may prefer a desktop- or electronic-style calendar.
One Day Per Week
Choose one day each week for "family day." Don't schedule anything else for that day – no appointments, no lessons. It doesn't have to be the same day every week, but be sure you pencil in this Very Important Priority. You need time to reconnect with each other whether there are two of you or ten of you. Play a board game, take a walk, create a home movie, or just relax in the shade and talk. When you have at least one day per week set aside for family you can move on to the last Rule of One.
One Extra Activity
During the summer, when most days are filled with bright sun and fresh breezes, we tend to over book our days. Our to-do lists get too long and the children sign up for every activity under the sun. To avoid this, limit each family member to only one outside activity. Soccer or horseback riding? Gymnastics or tennis? The choice will be up to the individual and how the activity fits in with the family schedule. If you have more than three children you may want to convince some of them to attend the same activities, otherwise you'll find yourself traveling all over town every day of the week!
Summer doesn't have to be the season you lose your sanity. With one main calendar to schedule your events, one day per week dedicated to family, and one outside activity per person, you'll cut down on summer stress. Use the Rule of One to enjoy that sunshine, and your family!
Kelly Huckaby is a Christian/Wife/Mother living in Oklahoma with her husband and five homeschooled children. Visit her at www.unofficialweaver.com for more homeschooling support.