Thursday, June 30, 2022

When Boredom Strikes in the Summer

It happens every summer, the inevitable "I'm bored!!" and "What are we going to do today??" phrases fly out of the kids' mouths around here.  In our home, you get a job when you're fourteen to help alleviate this and make money for college:

 But for the younger set, we hang up a daily schedule that looks like this:

Daily Duties:

Start, switch and fold a load of laundry
Put away laundry and clean room
30 minutes of quiet reading
20 min of summer packets, Grade books, IXL, or Khan
20 minutes of piano/violin (Xander and Declan) - Brendan and Maggie can color/draw/legos
60 minutes of playing outside and/or exercise
Take Lucy Out (and feed her and give water)
Clean for screens

I bought a journal for boys that ended up in the little boys bedroom, and apparently Brendan (age 5) has been writing in it before bed.  He goes to bed at 7:00 and Declan (age 8) goes to bed at 7:30 ever since he received his First Communion and gained that extra half hour privilege.  I guess Brendan reads and writes in the journal until Declan comes to bed and then they chat for a bit and fall asleep pretty quickly after that.  Maggie took a photo and sent it to me from his Letter to Jesus...

... I'll interpret :)

Dear Jesus,
I often wonder about you.
I want to ask you what is it like to fly.
Please help our family.
I want to tell you how is it to be in Heaven.
I want to thank you for my family.
Some of the things that I like to build or make include legos.
Unprompted: I love you God.

I don't know about you, but I wasn't writing letters to Jesus when I was five years old.  This is why it's so important to have books and journals that lay around the house and give good example for when they are bored enough to pick them up.  

The whiteboards and markers that I bought years ago are still going strong, especially in the summer months.  The kids always pull these out to have drawing contests, play games, or just leave notes to make us laugh.  Eamon was the artist behind this one :)

We also try to do ONE.FUN.THING.A.DAY and if it's for free, that's even better :)  We belong to the YMCA, so we use their outdoor pools in the summer:

We go to the zoo near us (also members there), go for a bike ride, take them to a park and playground, set up plans with cousins/friends, go to the library, get $1 chill zones from Cumby's, go to daily Mass, get ice cream, and of course we go to the beach a lot as well.  Little boys are like puppies; as long as they are fed and ran around, they will stay out of trouble and sleep well.  We are not a family that sits around, as we know that fresh air and activity make us happy.  And I don't feel guilty putting on a movie after dinner when they've been healthy and active all day :)


  1. This is great. It is taking me back. We had a similar set up - do some chores (but they never did laundry, fold it maybe - especially towels, but never just start a load - you are on to something there), journals to write in, silent reading time, write a letter to someone, invite friends over, zoo, basketball camp. Eventually there was morning swim team practice and meets two nights a week. It was a very fun, family friendly club, but it kept us very busy. We spent most of our waking time at our pool, which was different than our swim team pool. Our pool was never as empty as yours is in this photo. The beach is downtown and we'd go once a year, if we were organized and the weather cooperated on the day Daddy took off of work. Man do I love summer, especially when my little guys were home and enjoyed going to the pool with me. We had a blast. And yes, I understand that formula - fresh air and active days leads to great sleep.

    Love the letter to God from Brendan and the drawing by Eamon is hilarious, right down to the butt chin.

  2. Chin style: Butt! I love that!! I fear that if someone was describing mine the word they woukd use is DOUBLE!


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