Ack! They've been out of school for two weeks! Now what do I do?

Or so it goes... as parents realize that school-age children are home to stay during the summer. My advice? Schedule, structure, schedule and more structure! Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing like a spur-of-the-moment "Hey, let's go to the park!" to make summer feel like the vacation it should be.

-BUT-

Kids thrive off knowing what to expect, and what is expected of them. As members of your household, there are expectations of them: to do chores, to take care of their toys, to treat others nicely. Having some structure will allow them to achieve these things. But what about free time? What about play? What about the lazy days of summer you write about?

Drumroll, please....

Those can be scheduled, too!

All it takes it a piece of paper and a pencil, and voila!, you have yourself a daily schedule. BREAKFAST - CHORES - LIBRARY - PARK - LUNCH - PLAY TIME - DINNER - CLEANUP - BATHandBED

-or-

You can get fancy with it! Laminate your schedule, with velcro-backed removable cards. That way, each day can change as your plans change... allowing for flexibility, spontaneity, and Let's go to the park! moments.