Setting Your Family Up for a Fun Summer


Here we go, SUMMER IS HERE, and for many who have been used to the home/work/exercise/family balance of kids being on an all-day school schedule, a season shift quickly arrives. 

When all of a sudden, your margins of tending to self-care, work, errands, and mental health that have fit within these 8 a.m.-3 p.m. school hours are altered and shared with kids returning home for the summer, a need for transition awareness rises to the surface. 

I value immensely having the months home in summers with my little tribe, and I have learned over these years how it is an intentional investment in how I show up to those weeks with the intent for quality time and connection before another school year and rotating schedule begins. Even though I am eager to be home with my kids, the balance of relationship building is met with responsibilities and roles to carry out, and if I am not aware, I can become overwhelmed by what is not getting done. It can be easy to only think of pool days and meeting up with friends and forget about housework and other tasks still having to flow within all the fun. 

It helps my presence in this transition from school year balance to summer home investment to walk through a few prep things with my kids before the summer begins. 


My children are now 9, 10 and 11 years old, so we are in the stage of parenting where we are teaching personal responsibility, family partnership, and working through house chores together is part of our home ritual together. I have an end-of-the-year meeting with my crew before the summer mode begins, and I thought I would share the agenda and some summer planning ideas with you if you wanted to use its template to help you step into summer mode with balance. 

How to Prepare for a Summertime Meeting with Kids

  • We always start by pulling up June, July and August on a calendar and highlighting any out-of-town trips that we have planned, and I let the kids help me with a packing list. We talk about where we are going, what we are looking forward to doing while we are there, and write a list of things we want to make sure we take with us. I have loved including the kids in this travel conversation because they are at the ages where they love researching activities and it gets them excited about options in the area we are traveling to. 
    • Also, talk about any summer camps that my kids are doing during this time. 
  • Every summer is different for us when it comes to picking a theme week because the interests change for my kids, and I let them pick the days. It has worked out well to choose a Monday-Friday theme that gives some structure but leaves each week flexibility for creativity and spontaneity. 
    • For Example: Make it Monday, Take a Trip Tuesday, Water Wednesday, Take a Friend Thursday, Fun Day Friday (you can be creative and endless with what activities you include every week on this) 
    • We have a weekly family Sunday meeting where we talk through different highs of the weeks, lows of the week, and do a calendar meeting for that particular week on what we need to do and want to put down so this is when, during summer, we plan out what we are doing on these theme days for that particular week. 
  • Establish a morning routine expectation.
    • We do breakfast together, “move your body exercise” (so we may go for a walk, bike ride, yoga, etc. together), talk about any plans for the day, and complete a chores list for that day because we like to get them out of the way! 
      • This expectation conversation also includes different things in the day you want to include that can help you set some kind of a schedule. You can give boundaries on which days/times technology is allowed and give guidelines on what needs to be done before that time is given. 
  • If you work from home or if you have a schedule where those hours are flexible, discussing a work zone time is helpful with expectations for how much time is shared with one another. 
    • For my work, I lessen my availability in the summer so that would be something you would identify is if you have set hours to schedule or if there is flexibility to those expectations.
  • One of my favorite parts of this meeting is writing out our summer bucket list together. It is a time where we get to talk about fun things we want to do that may feel harder to do during the school year or we’ve just been wanting to do it. A few items on our summer list so far that kids have put down: 
    • Stay up all night and sleep during the day 
    • Eat Sushi (“because I’ve never tried the raw kind” – one kid said)
    • Eat at special restaurants
    • Have a family “yes day”
    • An all-day game day, including indoor and outdoor games
      • The list does not have to be grandiose, which is what I love about it. Part of it is teaching the beauty in the mundane, everyday moments home together and it is an encouraging time to include some fun quality time moments before a busier fall schedule is upon us. 

I had this meeting with my kids on their second to last week of school and it was a fun way to get excited about some summer plans together.


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Hi, my name is Trishia and something that I value about my story is how my heart is outstretched throughout the world and I have many "homes" that fuel my soul. Being born and raised in Alabama, my southern roots remain a deep part of me. Living in New Orleans and then relocating to Cincinnati, post Hurricane Katrina, I learned how being exposed to culture and diversity can build empathy into a person. Married a generous, humble, hard-working man, Brett, from Cincinnati and then later moved to Kenya, Africa where our years spent working overseas has shaped my soul in more ways than I can articulate. We are now back in Cincinnati, investing in building a staffing company, and after 17 years of marriage are raising a 12 year old son, an 11 year old daughter, and a 10 year old son. Jesus is my anchor; I love quality time, sharing heart to hearts, traveling the world remains a passion; witnessing community loving one another well encourages me; photography is a lens I use to invest into the hearts of others at T Ralston Photography {}


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