We are wrapping up a very uninspired spring break at our house. Usually, we travel on breaks from school to visit family. And if there is one thing I've learned this week, it is that traveling on breaks is the way to go. Definitely going to go back to that plan in the future.
This week has ended up feeling like, despite the potential for family fun, it was just kind of a bust for all of us. Sure, we did a couple of fun things here and there. We visited the Nature Museum. We saw a movie and had a couple of play dates. But I definitely did not make the most of this five days off of school. Here is where I think I went wrong.
(1) Not enough planning. I am a planner and I really went off the rails here. I don't do well when I wake up and think, "Well.... what should we do today guys?" I need to know the plan for the next day before I go to bed at night. On this break, I had some general plans, but I definitely fell short in terms of filling all of our waking hours. For example, going to a movie and swimming lessons on Tuesday left us with about seven other hours to fill. Those turned out to be a long seven hours.
(2) Down time is only good in moderation. In order to appreciate down time hanging at home, there has to be the busy component on the other end. For us, down time (it would be more accurate to call this Minecraft time) became the norm. So even when I suggested outings, my kids would say, "NO! We want to stay home." So we did. We stayed home.
(3) Different kids need different things. I am of the mentality that we should take family outings together because that is what we've always done. But as my kids (ages 10, 8 & 5) get older, their interests are more divergent. My five year-old thinks that the Nature Museum rocks. My cranky eight year-old would rather be doing something else. A one-size-fits-all spring break activity approach did not pan out. In the future, I would try to figure out a way to plan play dates and activities with other families with similarly-aged kids (i.e. the little kids stay with another mom while I take all of the older kids out to do something that interests them).
(4) Trying to get stuff done around the house. This was not a good week to try to get to my long list of house-related tasks. This was just stupid. Kids don't want to help reorganize the play room on their spring break.
Oh well. This week is in the books. The good(?) news is that my kids are off for several days for Easter break in just a couple of weeks so I'll have the opportunity to improve upon their break experience. Thinking Florida might be the way to go.