Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Summer Rules June 26, 2016

Filed under: Family Life,Growing up,Summer Vacation — leighj @ 1:54 pm

We introduced some new rules for the kids for summer. One rule is “Every day there will be an hour of quiet reading time.” Seamus lost his mind. We explained that they could read to themselves, or if they wanted to read to us, they could, but we would not read to them, and they’d need to be in separate rooms. Mostly this will happen while Porter and Harlan are taking afternoon naps. Seamus asked on Saturday if they could do anything other than read. I said, “If you fall asleep while reading, that’s okay.” On Saturday, the first day out of school, Porter laid down for his nap, and Seamus and Gilbert set up for reading (Gilbert in our room on the bed, and Seamus on the couch). After 30 minutes of quiet, I walked around the house. Both of them had fallen asleep while reading. Grand total of kids sleeping at 1:58 pm? 4! They must be exhausted from their last week of school. Honestly, this tells me we are working them too hard sometimes. I don’t think they’ll fall asleep at every quiet reading time (I hope not, as it was designed to help them prevent summer slide!), but I don’t mind if they do sometimes. Yay for quiet blogging time!

Another rule had to be adapted from our regular rules which include no screen time on school nights. Well, since it’s not a school night for 10 weeks or so, we had to revisit this rule. I asked them for ideas and suggestions about how we could decide when to watch a movie. They suggested that they not watch one more than 2 nights a week, and that they’d aim for days when the weather was bad. We said okay. We’re two nights in and so far we haven’t had a movie. I am hoping to watch Inside Out before we got to Cape Cod, since I have to return it to the library. This is probably a good thing because too much screen time could give them bad dreams. Or they just might have them anyway. We saw a raccoon that looked rabid, and talked about it, and that gave one of them a bad dream.

Travel rules. We’re not sure yet, but we’re well stocked with snacks (mostly healthy), and books on CD, and we’re hoping for a relatively smooth trip. I’m guessing we’ll come up with rules on the go!

Camp rules. The older two boys have three, non-consecutive weeks of camp this summer. Our neighbor (a 13 year old) will pick them up a few times to walk them home. We’re hoping that she can start babysitting for us some. So convenient that the older kids in the neighborhood are starting to want to babysit. There are more than enough younger kids to make it worth their while!

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