With Easter behind us, the last of our Spring Breaks come to a close. It’s normal to feel the first inclination of “Summer-itis” but with nearly two months still to go before school lets out, you can’t give into to the temptation of slowing down. Our family seems particularly struck this year. The kids’ backpacks weren’t opened at all during break. Vacation homework will barely squeak by. Their lunches might be a bit random tomorrow. I had to find ways to keep us focused. Here are five steps we are taking to keep out of that almost the end of the year slump.

1. Reestablish Routines

At the beginning of every school year, I plan grand schemes of how our day-to-day lives will run. These routines, like packing lunches ahead of time and going through backpacks every night, help to keep the ever present chaos down to a minimum. Some of them stick. Some of them fall by the wayside. This is a good time for us to think through those big plans and get back to the ones that work.

2. Start Lists and/or a Calendar

The last months of school generally mean a rush of activities, projects, and paperwork. Writing it down helps keep all of the information straight and stops me from using energy to remember what comes next. I can use that head space for one of the other million things I need to consider!

3. Avoid the Temptation to “Summer” Early

We all do it the last few weeks of school, but it’s still too early to blow off activities or homework for the beach or a swing in a hammock. I actually do have to organize that project. Those reports aren’t going to write themselves.  Instead, I can …

4. Create a Summer Bucket List

My kids and I started this a few years ago when we wanted to go somewhere but couldn’t because of school. We write every idea that we’d love to do now, but can’t because of school and other activities, on a bucket list for summer. Whether or not we ever get to the list, it helps us feel like we aren’t saying “no,” just “not right now.” The idea that we will come back and do that fun thing later keeps us from getting off track.

5. Plan a Down Day

By this time in the school year, schedules are packed. Our energy is low but our commitments are high. Instead of grabbing every second of spare time for more activities, I create space for us to relax. I want my family to have a few of those days when we don’t do anything other than whatever catches our attention at home. If my son wants to build a Hot Wheel track bigger than the living room, he can. If my daughter wants to read an entire book series, she can.

I hope our family can rally for these final months of the school year. It always flies by but from this end of the countdown, the days seem a bit endless. With luck, these steps will help them run more smoothly.