Dreading the Looming Summer Break in this New Normal

Call me crazy, but I don’t want home school to end. Yup, you read that correctly. Plenty has been written about working moms, quarantine, and home-schooling kids. While we’ve been thrown into an uncertain and unknown world, home school is one thing I wish wouldn’t go away. It may be an unpopular view, but here’s where I’m coming from and why I’m dreading the looming summer break in this new normal.

While homeschooling kids while trying to work isn’t easy, it’s better than the alternative. What do I mean? I am grateful for the assignments, projects, art, music, and PE. No I don’t love them all at once. No I don’t enjoy the deadlines. I dread having to “submit” my kid’s work on time and all of a sudden their work is mine. I’m not trying to be all Pollyanna here, but without all of that work (and yes, it is a lot) I would be going crazy trying to keep them entertained and off devices 24/7.

Let me be clear. My kids are on devices. Between the Nintendo Switch, Amazon Fire, Ipad, and access to Netflix, Disney +, Disney Kids, Amazon Prime Video, and Youtube… well I could probably create an agenda right there. (And yes, they actually have access to all of that). But I refuse. It drives me nuts when the kids are on devices for more than a couple of hours.

hands on a video game controller in front of a tvAnd frankly, their actions and behaviors after too much screen time is a telltale sign that my inclinations are spot on. I’m often left with irritable and mean kids. For this tired, already stressed out mom that’s just not going to work.

We are blessed to live in a place where it’s warm and sunny most days. Get outside and play! Swim! Take the dog for a walk! There is plenty to do. But with small kids, there’s also more checking in, helping with snacks and lunch, and ultimately keeping a close eye so the devices don’t take over.

Summer outside

Not to mention, I’m dreading what a long and uneventful summer it’ll be. Despite camps trying to figure out how to “go virtual”, kids are tired of “e-everything” and “zoom”. So no, highly unlikely virtual camps will be an option. As of this publishing, sports and other activities haven’t resumed. So while e-learning isn’t the winning ticket, it is forcing some routine in an otherwise very unstructured world.

While many parents have been waving the red flag for weeks, I haven’t. From my seat (which is glued to my home office getting my own work done), I’m dreading the end of e-learning and the looming summer break in this new normal. What will fill the days without e-learning?

So the reality is, this e-learning journey IS coming to an end. And fast. So I’ve got a plan in place:

  • Wake / Breakfast
  • Free time (aka device or whatever makes you happy) til Lunch
  • Lunch
  • Pool (it’s been a lifesaver) 2-hour minimum – basically swim until you can’t swim and are in need of a nap (or a snack)
  • Snack (expected after all that physical activity – hello summer PE!)
  • Relax (movie or a nap till dinner)
  • Dinner
  • Family walk or bedtime (depending on behavior that day)

So there you have it. That’s my plan. Wish me luck! I know it’s lofty as kids are completely unpredictable. But this mama is going to have a rough summer without the regular routine of e-learning. I’d love to hear your ideas on keeping kids busy this not-so-normal summer we’re embarking on. Post in the comments below.

Tricia is a mom, wife & 16+ year HR professional who has a passion for writing and has been a Tampa Bay Moms contributor since 2016. Tricia and her family have lived in Tampa since 2013. Originally from the Windy City, Tricia & her husband enjoy the beaches, exploring great restaurants & spending time at the ball fields with their two kids, Luca & Gia. Tricia has a Master of Arts in Communication from Western Illinois University and is SHRM-SCP certified. When not working or spending time with her family, she enjoys fitness, is a coffee enthusiast, enjoys craft beer & country music. Follow her on IG @tsportsman.