So we’re pretty much finished all of our school work for the year. Just a few more assignments and we’re done. The downside is that I am already hearing rumors of boredom. Why is it that they work so hard all year to get done and then complain three days into their vacation that there is nothing to do? And you know, complaining to your mom about nothing to do is never a good idea because she can always come up with some chores.
I need to keep my children busy but I want it to be fun too. After all, this is supposed to be their summer vacation, and they did work very hard all year on their school work. They deserve/need some downtime. So what are our plans?
First of all, there is our garden, of course. They’ve been having fun putting scraps in the compost and digging for worms to add to the compost bin. Soon there will be plants to water and weed – although with square foot gardening there aren’t a lot of weeds. The boys also have our lawn to mow and a neighbour’s lawn. They’d like to get more.
I found a programme online called “Around the World in 60 Days” . This is put out by www.thrivingfamily.ca. This takes you to 27 different countries over the summer with simple activities. It is a way to help my children learn their geography in a fun way and also to remind us to pray for others as we “visit” these countries. We will start in New Zealand and end in Canada. I’m looking forward to this. I like geography.
We are also going to do a photo scavenger hunt. Here is June’s list. I’m going to make individual folders on my computer for each child who wants to participate to store their pictures in. I’ve done something a little similiar to this before and enjoyed it. All my children like to take pictures so I think they will like this activity. The beauty of digital cameras – no film to worry about wasting.
We will also participate in our library’s summer reading club. Our children certainly don’t need to be encouraged to read, but they still enjoy joining in with the library’s programme.
Finally, I encourage my children to set 1-3 goals of what they hope to accomplish over the summer. Every day when we gather after breakfast to pray and read a chapter in Proverbs we discuss what their goal(s) for that day is. I want to encourage my children to start making a habit of purposefully striving towards a goal. In the past, we have “scheduled” our goals to help them get used to this. For instance, one day would be a spiritual goal (pray for someone, memorize a verse, etc), another day a physical goal (a certain number of repeats of an exercise or learning something new like jump roping), a mental goal (learn a new skill, write a story, etc), a social goal (write a letter, call a friend or relative, make a gift for someone). It’s always fun to hear what they hope to do. I make sure to include myself so they see me setting an example. Last summer several of them challenged themselves to see how long they could stay outside one day before retreating to the coolness of the house. Most of them made it to mid-afternoon. That was fun to watch.
So yes, I will try to keep them busy and away from boredom, but I will also make sure that they have downtime to unwind from school. When we start up again I want them to be excited about the new school year.
What will your children be doing this summer?
Jennifer is the happily married wife of a pastor and the somewhat-tired-but-oh-so happy mum to eight beautiful children. She loves to try new healthy recipes, sew, read to her children, garden and play the piano.
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