The last day of school is within view, the weather has turned, and all eyes are on summer! With the beautiful weather over the weekend it’s easy to get in the mindset of enjoying the lazy days ahead. We took full advantage of the unseasonably warm temps by going for a pontoon ride last weekend.
What a handsome skipper!
Soaking it in.
If the boys had their way, every day would be boating day. As it turns out, mom and dad have more scholarly endeavors planned. Like these summer bridge books from Simple Solutions:
In addition, we plan to resume our “Reading and Road Trips” and join the reading club at the library.
Guest poster Jen has some fantastic summer guidelines to share when it comes to squeezing every last drop of goodness out the season. Here are Jen’s expert tips:
Summer vacation is right around the corner! Most of us are probably making summer plans and wondering how to keep the kids occupied for hours on end. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Don’t throw out the routine! Summer is a great time to slow down the pace of life and enjoy some rest and relaxation. However, deviating completely from any form of routine can have an undesirable outcome. Kids thrive on structure and I always find that when kids know
what is coming next there is less arguing and more cooperation. Consider creating a basic rhythm to your day that includes prayer, work, and play times. Post this somewhere visible so that everyone knows what is happening. A few years ago, I made a “clock” of sorts from a
cardboard circle used for frozen pizzas. We created different colored segments for the different activities and the kids could turn the pointer when it was time for the next thing on our list. You don’t have to be that detailed or even list specific times but posting your “rhythm” will help keep everyone accountable.
2. Make it educational. Summer is a great time to learn things that you don’t have time to fit in during the school year. Consider learning a foreign language with your kids. Ask the kids what they are interested in learning about and capitalize on that. Play math games together, learn how to draw, or learn to play an instrument. Signing up for your local library’s summer reading program is an easy and fun way to encourage even reluctant readers. Every year, we have a “Penny Per Page Project” going at home. The kids write down the title of every book they complete and are awarded one penny (or comparable amount) per page read. For a fun idea that incorporates theme-based reading and field trips check out Brooke’s post about “Reading and Road Trips.”
3. Create a summer “bucket list.” We tried this last year and the kids were really excited to do it again this year. The idea is simple. Get out a piece of posterboard, sit down with your kids, and make a list of fun things to do over the summer. Try to include indoor and outdoor activities, things you can do together, and things the kids can do independently. The ideas don’t have to be expensive or elaborate. Our list includes things like “have a picnic in the front yard” and “bake a blueberry pie” in addition to “visit the Cleveland Art Museum” and “go on a nature hike.” The possibilities are endless! Click here for a great list of ideas to get you started. Once you have created your list, you can simply check off the activities as they are completed. Here is a great idea for turning that list into a fun game of Summer Bingo.
4. Keep it spiritual. All of the extra time allows us to focus more intensely on nurturing the souls of our children. Consider studying a book of the Bible together and memorizing a few passages from Scripture. Choose a book about the life of a saint or inspiring Christian to read aloud as a family. Learn a new form of prayer or devotion. Keep Christ at the center of your summer plans.
May you have a fun and faith-filled summer!
Thanks Jen! Here we are after making freezer jam a few years back. That is definitely going on my “summer bucket list!”