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Summer Plans Part 1: Dream Lists

Summer happens.  Days pass, one by one.   Some are memorable and enjoyable.  Some are boring.  And then, suddenly, it’s all over for another year, and all we’re left with are memories.

We want those memories to be happy, so every year our family plans the summer.

The first step is to brainstorm our dreams.  It’s very simple.  We each take a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil, and we write down anything and everything we’d like to do that summer.  It doesn’t matter if it’s impossible, trivial, expensive, or fattening.  It doesn’t even matter if it will take much longer than one summer.  We just write everything down. After all, that’s why we call it a dream list.

Some of the children keep their lists private from their siblings, and even from me.  At this stage, that’s fine.  I don’t keep my list private; sharing lists gives us each so many more ideas.  Eventually we’ll each whittle our dreams into a handful of attainable goals or projects, but that’s for later.  For now, filling up the page is the goal.

We usually have more ideas after the first marathon dreaming session so we take a few extra days to think about it.

So what kind of dreams are we dreaming for this summer?  Here are a few:

  • Get a parrot
  • Do no schoolwork
  • Empty the mending box
  • Camp in the woods
  • Go canoeing (spelled ‘cnuwing’)
  • Get a toolbox
  • Not do the dishes ever again
  • Earn ‘muny’
  • Get politically involved
  • Always have ice cubes available
  • Catalogue all books in house
  • Write a novel
  • Learn to sing
  • Read all the Hardy Boy books
  • Put wood floor in bedroom
  • Go tubing
  • Have an ice cream party
  • Learn Bach’s Eight Little Preludes and Fugues
  • Drink club soda fruit punch every week
  • Plan a long European tour
  • Finance the tour
  • Walk another 50-100 km of the Rideau Trail
  • Buy all sorts of computer gadgets
  • Memorize a big Bible passage
  • Swim
  • Eat good food

Now, just because these items are on the lists doesn’t mean we’ll actually do them.  Still, they will give us a framework for activities we might otherwise not have thought of:  spending time with a parrot, tossing all of the mending (aha!), watching DVD’s of Europe, and deciding which computer gadget is the best use of our money.  We will certainly swim, eat ice cream, and, unfortunately, do the dishes.

We’ll need to take an hour to discuss our lists to see what will work, what can be adjusted, and what will have to be saved for later.  With a snack, of course.

But first we need to balance our dreams with reality and tackle Summer Plans Part 2: Necessary Activities.  My goal is to share that with you next Monday.

Aside: This year Miss 10 finished her schoolwork before the rest of the family did.  So we all wrote our dream lists and wanted to start pursuing our dreams before schoolwork was finished.  That is frustrating for everyone.

What are your dreams for the summer?  What are your children’s?


  1. Summer dreams are wonderful! Some of our include:
    *messy art projects
    *making ice-cream and cookie pizza
    *organizing (always a dream, seldom a reality)
    *a family vacation
    – and the list goes on.
    Dreaming is so much fun. Now, I’ll go ask the kids to brainstorm. Who knows what they’ll come up with!

  2. Carmen says:

    We usually make a list on our blackboard that everyone contributes to – we’ve had ideas like riding a train, sleeping in, camping, going to the beach, making popsicles….. always variety and some just simple pleasures, others that we’re pretty sure won’t happen. It’s always fun to check at the end of the summer and see what things we did do. This year we haven’t made a list…we’re just hoping to survive the construction on our house and are looking forward to a new kitchen and more space. 🙂

  3. Jenn4him says:

    Oh, I need to do this! I have things swirling around in my mind, but it is always best to put them down on paper. Summer time is precious. We started our summer school today. It was very simple and I think it will work. My dream is to sew another apron. My son wants to finish a novel he started writing. I am not sure what my other children want to do this summer! I’d better find out. 🙂

  4. Leah says:

    Such a nice dreamlist! I love the new spelling of “cnuwing” 🙂

    Not sure what we will be doing this summer, but I think we’ll start by creating our own dreamlist. Thanks for the inspiration.

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