School vacation is one of those times moms both look forward to and dread. Beyond the obvious spending more time with our kids, it’s nice to have a break from the school routine of packing lunches, getting up early, shuttling kids to and from school, after-class activities, etc.
But it’s that same routine that keeps a measure of sanity with our schedules and it doesn’t take much for all chaos to break loose without it. We might envision family memories and fun activities during school vacation times, but how often does reality set in and you find yourself wishing for school to start again?
If that sounds familiar, you’re not alone.
My kids just finished their week of spring vacation and since I had been sick the whole week before, I wasn’t as prepared as I had hoped. We ended up winging it and by day 3, my four kids were fighting more than they were getting along and I was frustrated.
So I made some changes. First, I realized I had forgotten one of the important lessons I’ve learned as a mom.
Children always do better when they know what to expect and what is expected from them.
I wasn’t establishing clear rules and a routine so my kids didn’t know what to expect. I began to make a list every day of what they needed to do – chores, reading time, outside playtime, etc. – before they could watch TV or play Minecraft. Some days, we didn’t do any screen time at all. Things improved right away and I knew we were going to continue doing this with later school vacations.
I had a more official “School Vacation Rules” list created so we can all use this.
This School Vacation Rules list includes chores, reading, writing, playtime, and “doing something nice.” While they may seem like obvious things, sometimes we all (especially the kids) need a simple reminder and this list does just that.
I purposefully left the amount of “screen time” vague on this list, because I know it varies for each family.
For us, some days, we don’t do any screen time if it’s a beautiful day outside. Most days, the kids can earn 30-60 minutes, but occasionally if someone is ill or it’s a cold, rainy day (last week, we actually had snow at the end of April!), I’ll allow more screen time.
Be sure to display your school rules where it’s easy for the whole family to see it. (Dad too!)
You can customize your own School Vacation Rules for your own family using the blank spaces on the printable or simply use this as inspiration for your very own list.
Whether it’s a single-day holiday, a week-long spring break, or the whole summer, this simple school vacation rules list can make your family’s vacation much easier by making it very clear what your kids are expected to do and preventing much of the chaos and fighting that occurs without it.