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Benefits of an “Unplanned” Summer

This summer, skip the schedule

As my kids get older, summer vacation seems to get more stressful. The countdown to summer break became somewhat of a doomsday clock. Life is hectic during the school year, running to all the different activities and school functions, so this year I decided to take some of the stress away by planning absolutely nothing. No joke. I know you might be thinking that I’ve completely lost my mind; but it’s totally working for us, and the kids are actually getting along!

We’ve had so much extra time to just do as we please. The kids want to sleep in until 10 a.m.? No problem, we have absolutely nowhere to be. It’s 90 degrees outside and we want to go to the lake for the afternoon? Again, no problem because there’s no soccer/t-ball to get to. Want to take a nap? Do it, there’s nothing pressing. No one wants to shower for the fifth day in a row? Who cares? We’re not going out in public today anyway. Doesn’t everyone count pool time as bathing? (If you don’t, you definitely should.) Or want to go on a last-minute adventure? Guess what? We have no plans hindering our whims!

Summer vacation isn’t synonymous with “take a vacation” for us. Instead, our totally free schedule has allowed for us to take as many “daycations” as we want. North Dakota is a fantastic place to be if you’re “daycationers” like we are. There are several zoos, water parks, and museums, not to mention the Peace Gardens and Medora. Most of these places are within a few hours’ drive and make really great day trips for kids and families. And who knows, with our free schedule, maybe we’ll even get adventurous and go for a whole weekend!

On top of all the other benefits of an unplanned summer, we’ve been able to do some over-the-summer knowledge retention activities, like fun math and reading. Getting back into school mode was an almost untamable beast last year, so I’m hoping this will help curb that anxiety.

Some of my favorite mom bloggers have also decided to do something similar this year. Most of them are calling it something like “throwback summer” or “summer like when we were younger.” I can’t say this would work for everyone, but it is actually quite easy for us. It’s more convenient because we don’t live in town, but no matter what, we’ve definitely benefitted from our summer of escape.


Written by Alysa Leier


Alysa Leier was elected to the Promotion and Education Committee chairmanship in 2016. As the P&E Chair, she represents that committee on the NDFB Board of Directors.

Alysa and her husband, Dustin, raise beans, flowers, wheat, corn and cattle on their farm near Minot. She holds a Bachelor's degree in biology from Minot State University and helps around the farm, driving tractor and combine. The Leiers have two children

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