Summing up Summer

Green common beans on the plant.
Green beans. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you ever come to the end of the summer vacation with NO IDEA where the days went?

I have found a solution that we love, that worked several summers for us.

We kept a journal.

It wasn’t fancy—just some lined paper stapled between construction paper, but we made it more fun than it sounds. You may want to copy this idea.

After the children chose the color for their journal cover, they took turns adding decorations to the front. These usually were made with crayon and stencil, for ease and speed, but you could do some creative cut and paste and make the cover, itself, part of the event.

My kids are so no-nonsense.

You will need enough pages for the whole summer, say, ninety days. We eventually made ours simple as possible, but if you would like illustrations along the way, inside your journal, you will have to allow more pages. We would put two day’s of activities on each page, in a list form.

Some days’ activities were planned for us. We always shopped on Tuesdays, for instance. When green beans HAD to be canned, they just had to be, regardless of our wishes. Excess rains might mean an extra mopping chore. No matter. Whatever we did, we recorded.

The other minor rule we used was that we would do two note-worthy things each day. They did not have to be magnificent or impressive; they just had to be things we actually DID. Of course, the children preferred writing about the fair and the water park, but our goal was to realize where the summer went, and if it went to mopping and canning, then so be it.

In the end, we had a great little reminder of each day, plus a good grasp on where all those days went. Try it this summer, and see!

Published by Katharine

Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

6 thoughts on “Summing up Summer

    1. Hello, Tilly! Nice to see you here!
      Yes, most of us get out in mid-May and must return in mid-August, so it’s roughly 3 months off for us. And it can fly by, leaving hardly a trace! Depending on how involved we make the journal, it helps keep their skills current. And they actually vie for privileges, so we don’t feel we’re being schooled. 😉

    1. Hello!
      It is so much fun with granchildren! We have “Camp Grandmother” here for a week every summer, and I use the alphabet to theme our daily activities. For instance, we made an apple pie the first day (A). On the second day, (B) one of the things we did was take a walk to the “back” of granddad’s property, since they had never seen it. While we were there we surprised a fawn, which began jumping around in indecision about which way to run, so we got a delightfully long look at him and since it was “B-day”, he immediately was named Bambi. 🙂 Then each summer, we continue the alphabet from the year before. They dream all year of what we will do the next. Somehow they knew, though, when we got to “i” it would be ice cream! 😉
      Oh, and of course, there is the journal, which they each make one. It gives mom and dad an idea of what they’ve been up to and them a memory booster for all the fun they had.
      So, you have fun with your little one. I have loved this idea for years — I think you will, too.

  1. So do you still have these journals to go back and remember the “good ole days?” Sounds like a fun idea. Love the picture of the green beans.

    We canned carrots yesterday and they are so pretty. Our summer activities consist of a lot of canning. I have 4 large zuccini and I found a recipe that will turn them into “pineapples.” I love trying new things. Sorry I got carried away on YOUR BLOG!!

    1. Yes, I do, and if I had thought of that, I would have included photos of them. Too bad. But I did can green beans today and gave an art lesson this afternoon. That family wants me to double up on lessons because I will take August off to prepare for our son’s wedding in early Sept. Hope gardening has slowed by then! 🙂

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