Setting our Summer Routines

June 20, 2023

Okay. School has been out for nearly 2 weeks now, but I feel like the routine part of summer is just starting. I’m also realizing there basically IS NO CONSISTENT ROUTINE this summer – the consequence of multiple trips and different camps.

But, I am going to try to establish some predictable rhythms nonetheless.


After camp routine: shower or bath, pick up room, do 30 min reading or assigned schoolwork (A/C only; both were sent home with packets from school + a reading list), THEN screen stuff

Bedtime: start @ 7:30 with reading in G’s room. Hard screen stop at that time. Finish with G by ~8:10, then with big kids by ~8:30. (Big kids can stay up and read or draw or build legos or whenever if desired — just in rooms / no devices)

Library: each Saturday when we are in town!


Morning routine: same as usual: up around 4:45, run at around 5:30 to (sort of) beat the heat. I could potentially start a tiny bit later some days depending on Josh’s running schedule since camp start is later than school.

After work routine: dinner with kids (if they can wait long enough and if C doesn’t have 6 pm lacrosse . . . ), piano practice with A & G, spend ~15 min on organizing, then start kid bedtime @ 7:30, finish by 8:30.

Bedtime: skincare, hang out with Josh, read (usually) or watch something (1-2x/week). Sleep by 9:15ish most days (~7.5 hrs sleep).


These are tough! Gone is our regular Saturday gymnastics anchor, and I miss it already. We will have to get outside/do something EARLY in the days because the storms inevitably hit by mid-afternoon, and I want to be cozily house-bound by that point. I will refer to my summer fun list . . .

All indoor activities other than beach trip + boat trip.
Or leaving the area entirely . . .


  • Reply Coree June 20, 2023 at 5:45 am

    We have another week of school and my son is definitely ready. But I do worry we don’t have much of a routine this summer – 3 weeks away (2 weeks camp), 1 week home (at camp), 1 week away, grandparents visiting, uncle + family visiting, then school starts. Our vacation schedule is the opposite of his best friend’s family, so they’ll really miss each other. We’ve pledged to coordinate next year, and maybe take a trip together.

    T wants to get ahead on the reading scheme so he can start reading chapter books so I’ve ordered the books and we’ll do the next two levels over the summer. I’m trying to do it nightly, and each book 3x like they do at school, so we don’t miss anything.

    Our other family routine is to eat ice cream as regularly as we can 🙂

    For me, I’m on an obsessive decluttering kick. We’re pretty minimalist, you have to be in 1000 square feet, but I’m still finding stuff that is in the wrong place, can go, etc. We got rid of this massive (and hideous) fountain from the back garden on Freecycle which was a good reminder that there’s a home for everything.

  • Reply Sarah June 20, 2023 at 7:07 am

    YES– this is where we are too, and its driving me craaazy. And! As soon as we sort of settle, something changes. I am adding 20 mins of yoga every morning and taking a few minutes to set an intention for my day– it’s really helping me roll with a wonky schedule.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 20, 2023 at 9:51 am

    This is Paul’s last week of daycare so we are in the midst of change although the hours of his summer school will be the same as daycare. I’m realizing I am going to probably lose my Mon/Fri time slot where I usually run as I will probably take him to school on the days I WFH… so I am going to have to figure that out or see if I can jam a shorter run between drop off and logging into work. Our evenings are so much more enjoyable now that we can be outside, though. We have a routine of going for a walk/scoot to the creek so the boys can throw rocks. We spent that post-dinner time in the basement all winter and that hour between dinner and bedtime would CRAWWWWWWWL.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 20, 2023 at 9:59 am

      That sounds great – the evenings outside! We really can’t do it most nights because between the thunderstorms and the mosquitos it just isn’t a good time to be out there. I wish we could!

      • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns June 20, 2023 at 12:38 pm

        Yes our summer routine is probably more like an idea winter routine for you since we aren’t battling thunderstorms. Oddly our mosquitoes haven’t been bad. The city does spray for them and they tend to be worse when the sun is setting so we miss the peak time! I wish we had some evening thunderstorms, though… We are back into drought conditions.

        • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 20, 2023 at 12:46 pm

          yes exactly. i wish there was some way of making our winter nights . . lighter! that said, we don’t have as much swing in daylight as the northern latitudes. Was reminded of that in Chicago!

  • Reply Jenny June 20, 2023 at 11:30 am

    Yes- there is no consistent summer routine! Mostly because my daughter has three different one week camps that all involve something different, transportation-wise. But that’s okay- it’s still easier than the school year. So you’re running at 5:30- I should be doing that! I’ve been taking advantage of the more leisurely mornings to run a little later, but I pay the price heat-wise. But there’s really no way to win.
    I agree- whenever possible be cozily inside by late afternoon. I love it when we’re home listening to the thunder!

  • Reply Omdg June 20, 2023 at 6:30 pm

    I was so looking forward to summer but so far it sucks. Dylan’s camp has a bus that picks them up and drives them to the lake and this year they moved the pickup location (without disclosing in advance) to a location 15 min from the house rather than 5. This alone has messed up our routine. At least she seems to be having fun, but part of me thinks I should have tried to plan something else for her.

    Also my hip is injured so I can’t really exercise, which is messing with my mood a lot. I don’t think I realized how much I had started relying on that for a mood boost. Boo.

    Crossing my fingers that at least our planned vacations are fun!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger June 20, 2023 at 6:57 pm

      GAHHHHH to hip injury. I’m so sorry. I know how frustrating that is esp when you depend on the mood effects of exercise. I hope it’s better very soon!

  • Reply Lee June 24, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Do you guys have access to a Neighborhood pool? I know my favorite summer thing when my kids were your age was to come home from work and take them to the pool around 5:30pm, order pizza and then they’d go right to sleep afterwards!

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