Summertime is here and the living is easy, right? Or is it actually more difficult?

As a parent summer brings a different rhythm than the one we’re used to living throughout the school year. How do we take advantage of this slower pace and plan for a summer of significance?

1. Make a summer bucket list

Look at summertime as prime time for building your family legacy together. What you do these next few months will impact your overall family story.

Have each family member write down things they would love to do this summer and see what you can make happen from everyone’s lists. We’ve already checked off going to the beach in California, visiting family in Indiana, going to a Cubs game and buying a new game and playing it. Whatever your goals, be sure to work towards achieving them.

When our kids were young, I would designate one day to each of them. It was their day to decide what they wanted for breakfast in bed and then what activities the family would do for the day (on a low budget.) They absolutely loved these days!

What are a few things you want to do with your kids in the time you have left with them at home? Is there anything off of your bucket list that you can plan for this summer? 

2. Strengthen relationships through time and adventure

Summers were made for strengthening relationships. This time of year brings opportunities to travel to visit with family members or good friends. Who do you miss and feel you need to connect with this summer? Can you schedule a visit?

Making memories together is the name of the game!

Plan a fun adventure with just your immediate family. Choose a new destination that excites everyone or revisit an old staple that is already familiar and you know your family loves. What does your family need this summer?

9 Ways to Deliberately Design Your Summer

3. Plan your rest and recovery

Summers were made for slowing down, but they weren’t made for slacking off.

The school year can be stressful for both kids and parents, so the downtime of summer is usually a welcomed change of pace. How can your family rest and recover yet not waste too much time hanging out in front of screens?

Heading to the beach in California is a way we relax together!

Rest and recovery should be a scheduled part of your summer plan. Sleeping in and laying around on the couch is a teen’s summer dream, so let them relax but be sure to provide them opportunities to renew themselves through time outdoors too.

How can you build downtime into your summer schedule?

4. Further your parenting goal

Our parenting goal is to raise ‘strong’ adults. Strong faith, meaningful relationships,  and fun adventure are priorities in our family. Our summer break is strategically planned around these areas.

Our oldest with his college camp counselors last summer!

Our oldest with his college camp counselors last summer!

Summer camp is a great way for kids to build their faith, grit and independence. Our kids go to Kanakuk in Branson, Missouri because it is a perfect fit for our family values and goals. We want to balance our summer time with fun and adventure, both together and apart.

What have you planned this summer to further your parenting goals?

5. Foster new passions and personal growth

Summer is a perfect time to foster opportunities for personal growth. What is something new that you can try this summer? If a child spends all year playing a certain sport, perhaps he takes a needed break from that and tries something different. Our boys will be doing morning camps for their high school sports, but want to play golf in the afternoon for fun.

What didn’t you have time for during the school year that you may have time for this summer?

Don’t let summer pass you by. This summer matters so set up a  plan to live out some significant summer scenes for yourself and for your family. 

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