A few years ago I attended a women's workshop on Planning a Successful Summer. Two wonderful moms from my parish shared their pearls of wisdom. I lapped it up despite being a tad intimidated because these ladies are high energy, very creative women with seven and six children.
Two of their suggestions have stood the test of time.
First, they suggest having two cleaning times: early morning and right before dinner. For mom it's easier to tolerate mess when you know it won't be around forever. For kids having set times frees them from feeling that summer is one non-stop chore list.
Second, they suggest setting goals with the kids in three areas: the spiritual life, practical life skills, and fun.
My friends strongly encourage the kids' involvement in setting these goals, so I gamely presented the idea just before school got out.
"What practical life skills do you want to develop?" I asked as we were driving one day. I'm thinking basic cooking and sight typing, laundry and maybe a new swim stroke.
"Welll," Kolbe said after a long pause. "I can't really think of anything I need to learn, but I'd like to get better at Mario Kart."
Now there's a life skill, a real resume padder if there ever was one.