What are you doing to wind down your summer?

Although summers are a little different in our household because two of my three boys do not get a full traditional summer vacation because they are in year round school and my oldest is in High School which follows the traditional calendar. Year round means they are in school for 9 weeks and then off for 3 weeks. So, yes that means my boys are on different school calendars and yes I have two calendars that I have to follow so talk about having to be organized! Sounds crazy I know but it really isn’t! When they were all in year round it made it easier to do things whether that meant going out of town to visit family, taking a vacation, or just doing something fun locally but as they became more involved in sports it makes it hard to have any free time! (My oldest son has played year round baseball for the past 3 years) So the different calendars really do not make much of a difference anyway because someone is always playing a sport.

What I enjoy about the year round calendar is that since I work from home, it is nice to plan my work around their breaks which gives me mandatory breaks throughout the year rather than having a whole summer that I have to juggle work and them! With my oldest being home for the summer it is easy and does not affect my work day other than taking him to and from where he needs to be. When the younger two are on break it does require me to be more hands on because my youngest who is 8 still likes to do fun things and have my attention so I have to build that in to my work day. All the boys have enjoyed the year round calendar because by the third week they are ready to be back in school because the “I’m Bored” starts to come into play and so they are eager to get back and see their friends. When they return to school they know that in 9 weeks they will get another break. So, it works for us! As with anything in life, things are always changing.

Right now my younger two are on their last week of break and my oldest is gearing up to head back to school as well next week. The last week is usually a mixed bag of fun and work! During the tail end of the summer is when I focus on cleaning and organizing the boys because it just makes sense for our family and for me. At the beginiing of August I write down the tasks that I need and want to get done before they start their new school year and from there I schedule those tasks on my calendar so that I know I am allowing time to tackle them, otherwise they would never get done. What is on my list you ask? Well, the obvious ones such as school supplies, clothing, sports equipment and clothing and then I take a look around the house to see what needs to be worked on. I usually have them do a clean out of the toy closet and when I work with them to clean out I mean I make them choose items that they no longer use to either donate or consign or toss. Why do I make them choose? I have done this ever since they were little and by now they know the drill and I don’t have to listen to but I don’t want to give that away or I use that, by making them choose and think about their own choices teaches them that we do not need to fill our lives and homes with “stuff” that we do not need and the items that they ‘thought’ they had to have, well now they realize geesh I really wanted that but I really never used it so it is also a learning lesson as well. I also do a clean out of clothing, all the summer clothes that they no longer can fit into and then I know what they are going to need going forward for the start of the new year. Now we are lucky as we live in the South so they do not need pants, sweaters, and such to start with so I am able to shop the clearance racks for their back to school clothing because it is warm weather still and they will be in shorts well into October! I will do another post about my bargains that I have been scoring and how I use my coupons with sales to maximize and plan my shooping trips to try and save the most money I can! I do not like to pay full price for clothing or shoes because they grow out of them so fast! I would much rather spend our dollars on their sports, well let me be honest here a moment, I really don’t like that either but I am ok with it because they love it and I love watching them play!

We also clean out closets and dressers as well. Today my task was to work in my youngest son’s closet to help him clean out all his baseball hats and all his sports jerseys! It has been bothering me all summer but I let it go until now because there is no sense in cleaning it up while he is home because in a matter of hours it will be back to where we started! The first thing we worked on was all his hats, I had him go through and take out all the ones he either doesn’t like and/or doesn’t wear and set those aside. The ones he is going to keep we put back on his hat organizer inside his closet door as you can see here in this picture!

The next task was to clean out and hang up his jerseys that he wants to wear. Now to those of you who have girls and have to deal with all those little girly accessories well these jerserys are the equivalent! They are always a mess! So he put them into categories by color (that was his doing, not mine I just told him to sort!) and once they were sorted we then decided which ones he wanted to hang and the other ones we folded and put into a bin. As we hung them we categorized them according to “sport”!

As you can see here in this photo!

So, that brings me to you! What are you doing to wind down your summer?
If you have school aged children, what do you do to get ready for back to school? Besides the obvious, school shopping! Do you organize? Clean? Take the summer off? None of the above? All of the above?

I would love to hear your story!
Michelle

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