Our Summer Seven

Landmark Park Fortville | SimpleKids.net

I don’t know about you and your kids, but after the way the past couple of seasons have gone for our family we’re in need of a “less is more” kind of summer.

Of course, there are some other things going on this summer that are filling in all of the squares on our calendar pretty quickly. There are reunions and weddings and graduations. We’ve been planning a family vacation and I’d also love it if we got a little more organized and did some downsizing and decluttering in the next few months. I’ve got to get ready for the upcoming school year, too. And we have a handful of activities, sports, and clubs we are participating in.

Still, I don’t want this season to be all about To Do lists and going here and going there.

This season needs to be simple, wide open, slower, savored.

So, a few weeks ago I did what I usually do when I need to gather my thoughts and get focused: I made a list, a handful of things that I’d really love to see us do this summer and the rest? The rest will be wonderful, but it isn’t going to dominate our summer. That might mean I’m saying “no” to things I might normally commit us to, but that’s what this family needs right now.

Seven simple ways we want to savor summer:

1. Try making new flavors of ice cream. We want to expand beyond the usual homemade vanilla bean and strawberry. We’ll share our favorites here on the blog, and I’m sure will have a lot of fun enjoying the successes and laughing together at the failures.

2. Read, read, read. And then read some more. Hellllllllo, library!

Simple Summer 7 | SimpleKids.net

3. Give our backyard a makeover, with simple elements for fun. I’m looking for a place to splash, a place to climb, a place to dig, and some good shady spot for reading and daydreaming, too.

4. Sleep in. As luck would have it, the activities we are involved in this summer are all in the evening. I’m taking this as a sign the Fleck family is meant to catch up on their zzzzzzzzz’s in the mornings.

5. Walk 146 miles for Love146 to raise funds and awareness. Bonus: lots of time walking and talking with my kids. This is really a win-win goal and we’ve been having a great time.

6. Do Nothing Days. We sometimes call these “pajama days” but I image a few of them will involve swimsuits this summer. Days where nothing is on the calendar and we don’t fill in those squares with anything but being lazy and lounging about, seeing where the day takes us.

the Fleck kids, Summer 2015 | SimpleKids.netLook out Summer, we’re ready for you!

7. Watch the original Disney Robin Hood movie. This was one of my favorites as a kid and I’ve recently realized that some of my children have never seen it. That needs to be remedied.

What it really comes down to is this: I don’t want the summer to be full of goals and check lists. No summer bucket lists of 101 items here. No organized curriculum for learning. Not this year.

I love and need those bucket lists, ordered ideas, and that extra structure sometimes but this just doesn’t feel like the season for that for our family. This family needs the lazy, slower days of summer,  and this mama needs a season “off.”

These seven simple summer goals seem like they will be the antidote to all of that hurrying and scurrying. I’m hoping that writing it out will give this mama a push to be more mindful of doing less and keeping it simple this summer.

What about you? Having a less is more kind of summer? How are you keeping it simple this season? What are the few things or experiences with your kids that you’re going to focus on?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at KElizabethFleck.com.

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  1. Yes, we’re going to have a simple summer. I will begin homeschooling oldest son this fall so these are the last few weeks of unstructured, play filled, preschool days and we’re going to savor them. My 5 and 3 year olds are signed up for the summer reading program at the library and we’ve been checking out our limit and reading a lot! We’re also spending a lot of time together in the garden.