Survive summer with kids! Ready for your children to be home for the summer? Here are 5 things your kids should do every day in the summer that will make all of your lives more enjoyable.
By Jessica, Contributing Writer
Two summers ago it rained for about three weeks straight. At one point I called my sister and said, “THIS IS HORRIBLE!!! My kids are going crazy and so am I!! What does summer think it’s doing?!?!”
The truth is, as wonderful as those visions of “summer” are that we have in our head – toes in sand, family pool days, lazy Sunday cookouts – for every one of those, there are about 79 moments where we Moms Who Stay At Home may feel like our children might drive us bananas.
Yes, we have lots of fun, but there is also the extra bickering, and boredom, and Standing Around Doing Nothing (nothing gets me like this one).
As a homeschooling mom, I have some extra special, totally free tips to offer you today! After all, I am home with my children for 365 days of the year BY CHOICE! (p.s. If you have ever wondered why those weird homeschooling moms do it, this is why.)
Contrary to commonly held opinion, as a homeschooling mom I am no different a species than the rest of you. I have the same amount of patience. (Less, maybe?) I get frustrated, I like my “me time,” and all those things.
But I have learned how wonderful it is to spend time with your little ones, and I have a few tricks up my sleeve to survive these days and even enjoy them!
Here are five things your kids should do every day in the summer (that will make all of your lives more enjoyable).
1. They should work.
Like do a chore. I know, I know. You’re tempted to gloss over this one BUT IT IS THE KEY TO THE WHOLE THING!!! I suggest reading my viral post, “Your Kids Aren’t Bored, They’re Lazy” for a whole step-by-step of how I nearly lost my mind, and my mom’s advice that made me sane again.
But the basic gist (spoiler alert) is that kids actually need work, and are happier with it. It is not easy to make kids do things they don’t want to do, and so I suggest you consider The Best Parenting Advice I Ever Received (It’s Four Words.)
If you need help in the Kids Chore Department, here’s a chore system for young kids that works!
2. They should write something.
Gotta keep those brains and writing hands in good working condition! I recently had a revelation about our “journal time.” It doesn’t need to be a conventional school essay. Anything counts as writing!
Make a birthday list.
Write a letter to your Compassion kid.
Thank-you cards for presents.
Pretend restaurant menus.
List of what they would love to eat. etc. etc.
Just get them writing! I do make them correct spelling.
3. Your kids should do something creative.
Here are a few things that count in this category. I like to have a list on hand so I can say “Here, choose one of these things to do!” when they need a little direction.
- bake or cook an easy recipe
- work with tools in the garage
- play in the sand
- dig in dirt
- a creative-type toy (here are my favorite 25 creative, educational toys)
Some kids are intrinsically creative on their own, but many have to be nudged a little. I have something called “Mandatory _____ Time.” This technique has worked marvelously on getting my (reluctant) kids to create.
4. Your kids should do a math problem.
As a former teacher, I remember how much is lost during the summer. Either pick up a small (fun) workbook, or just grab a pack of math flashcards to do at dinner – this will keep those math skills sharp!
5. And finally, your kids should be sent outside to do absolutely nothing.
This is the stuff childhood is made of.
If you’d like to limit some of the technology in your home this summer, I understand that feeling! Here are some tips to tackle the technology beast.
What are your best tips for relishing the summer with your kids? Share some of your tips below!
Here are more posts to inspire and equip your family this summer!
5 Audiobooks to Make Family Road Trips More Enjoyable
5 Ways to Enjoy Your Kids More This Summer
6 Inexpensive Entertainment Options for Families
8 Summer Activities to Do with Your Kids
12 Ideas for Date Nights with Your Kids
15 Ideas for a Summer Staycation
Schedule, schedule, schedule.
Definitely leave some wiggle room but for the most part my kids love knowing that our summers go breakfast, outside Time, lunchtime, video game time, dinner time. Sometimes video game time is replaced with an outing. Tours are generally done around there too, but we have a basic daily schedule.
Yes, Lauren, totally agree! I like your simple schedule.
Each summer my kids picked a grandparent to have as a pen pal. They would ask them different questions in each letter. We saved the letters and now that some of them have passed away, they have really become treasured gifts. We especially love the letters where they talked about their childhoods. Fun!
We are doing something similar this summer and it’s been great for my boys. We have 3 chores (make bed, clean up room, charge computers and Wii remotes), 3 disciplines (read, write/workbook 20 minutes) then extra chores for bonus like empty/load dish washer, laundry etc. I made a simple chart and like another commentator, we do have a schedule of events or outings. It has really helped my boys not start with the while, “I don’t have anything to do” jive and it’s keeping their rooms clean! Yes!