Smooth Sailing into Summer: Organizing Your Family’s Schedule

Ah, the sweet embrace of summertime! With school bells silenced and days stretching longer, it’s time to welcome a new rhythm into your family’s summer schedule. However, the transition from the structured school routine to the seemingly unending days of summer can sometimes be overwhelming. Fear not, for with some simple organizing principles, you can sail smoothly into the summer season with a well-managed schedule, meals, and family expectations.

Establish a Summer Schedule

While the laissez-faire attitude of summer may seem tempting, having a schedule in place can provide a sense of stability and structure for everyone in the family. Start by identifying key activities such as summer camps, vacations, or sports events, and then work out a daily or weekly schedule around those commitments. Consider setting specific time blocks for activities like reading, outdoor play, or creative projects.

By maintaining a schedule, you’ll have a better grasp on your family’s time management, and it will be easier to plan ahead for grocery shopping, family outings, and other activities.

Create a Shared Family Calendar

A shared family calendar is an invaluable tool for keeping everyone on the same page during the summer months. Choose a centralized location, whether it’s a physical calendar on the wall or a digital platform like Google Calendar, where you can input all important dates, appointments, and activities.

Involve the entire family in updating the calendar, encouraging each member to add their own commitments and plans. This way, everyone is aware of each other’s schedules, making it easier to organize activities, arrange carpooling, or plan family meals.

Streamline Meal Planning and Preparation

With kids off school, mealtime can become an adventure during summer. To avoid the chaos that often surrounds feeding the whole family, implement some organizing principles to streamline the meal planning and preparation process.

Start by creating a weekly or monthly meal plan in advance. Consider your family’s preferences, dietary restrictions, and the activities you have planned. This will not only help you save time and energy but also ensure that everyone is well-nourished throughout the summer.

Consider batch cooking or using slow-cooker meals for those busy days when you’d rather spend more time enjoying the sunshine than being stuck in the kitchen. Additionally, involving your children in meal preparation can be a fun way to spend quality time together and teach them valuable life skills.

You can download Neat as a Pin’s Meal Planner printable for free.

Neat as a Pin meal planner printable provides spaces for a weeks worth of meals to help make better food choices by planning ahead.

Use the Neat as a Pin Meal Planner to map out meals and end the “What’s for dinner?” conversation.

Set Expectations and Define Responsibilities

Transitions provide an excellent opportunity to reevaluate and redefine family expectations and responsibilities. Openly discuss with your family what you expect for the summer and what each member can contribute to making it a memorable and harmonious season.

Create a list of age-appropriate chores and distribute them among family members. This will not only help with managing household responsibilities but also instill a sense of ownership and teamwork within the family.

Neat as a Pin® offers a free printable routine tracker chart as part of our Family Management Printable Kit.

Neat as a Pin Kids Daily Routine Chart helps kids keep up with and manage their responsibilities.

End the nagging with a fun responsibility chart empowering kids to track their own progress.

Embrace Flexibility and Fun

While organizing and time management are important, remember to leave room for spontaneity and fun during the summer months. Allow for unstructured playtime, picnics in the park, or impromptu day trips. Embrace the freedom of the season and create lasting memories as a family. If you are not sure what do to or your creativity is stumped, The Pioneer Woman website shared a blog post that might help, 50 Fun Summer Activities That Are Kid Approved. Flightlight tag, anyone?


Transitioning your family to a new schedule during the summer months can be a breeze when armed with some basic organizing principles. By establishing a summer schedule, creating a shared family calendar, streamlining meal planning and preparation, setting expectations and responsibilities, and embracing flexibility, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable transition into the summer season.

Remember, the key is to strike a balance between structure and fun, allowing everyone to make the most of this special time together. So, grab your planner, gather the family, and sail smoothly into the joys of summer!

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