How we plan our March holidays

When they were young it was very straightforward. I plan an activity and take them all along. Now that the 6 of them are between the ages of 2 – 16, it’s way more complicated.

Before the start of the holiday, I will draw up a schedule with a column for each child.

  1. We start filling in the 1-week calendar with the activities that are a must. #3 has CCA practice as SYF (Singapore Youth Festival) is in 2 week’s time. #4 has to complete a project with her classmate. #1 has to work as her manager is away on annual leave. So these few things take priority.
  2. We make a list of some activities which we want to get done. For the June and December holidays we can fit more in, but this week, we’ll be lucky if we can get 1 or 2 things done. I have decided to take their grandaunt out for lunch with us.
  3. We look to see if there’s any slots left where everyone is free and block that out for family time. We’ll decide on the activity later. If there isn’t any, we’ll have to either shift someone’s activity or skip one which is not that important. It looks like we have Friday and Saturday mostly free.
  4. I have to make sure that no 2 activities clash where I am needed.
  5. Along the way, if something else comes up they will check with me before confirming the appointment.
  6. If I am out with one of the older ones, the hubs will be around with the younger kids. His activity of choice? Letting them watch a movie. Keeps them entertained, quiet, and happy. Hmm.
  7. It’s good to jumble the kids up once in a while as we get different dynamics going on and it’s important for the kids to bond. Some days when there’s 1 or 2 of the older kids left at home, they will go out together to catch the latest movie.
  8. The last day of the school holidays is generally kept relaxed so they have time to prepare for school and rest before going full speed into the next term.
The kids don’t know how much logistics go into planning the school breaks because I make it look effortless, thanks to years of practice. If I don’t do this, they will be pulled in every other direction and it would be impossible to find a common time where the family can spend time together.

I try not to pack our schedule, as the kids need a break to rest their bodies and minds. The CA1 had just ended and #2 and #3 had a pretty exhausting few weeks. They were home mostly at 7.30pm because of CCAs and other things going on in school, and by the time they finished revising, they barely had 7 hours of sleep most nights.

Usually after dinner, they are happy to chill in the room playing the guitar and singing. Kate can even sing some of their ‘pop’ songs! I hear lots of laughter in there and I’m sure some of their best memories are made of simple times like these.

~ – a blog on parenting 6 kids in Singapore ~