Of course, our kids are always home all day, since we homeschool, but we do take a summer break and after a while I do hear the cries of “I’m bored” that any other mom hears. While we’ll still be doing some school work — two of the kids have math workbooks to finish and we’ll all be reading — there is a lot more free time than normal.
One of the things that I really like to do during our summer break is to establish new habits. Often, in the day-to-day of homeschooling, we do good to do everything that we have to do, much less add in new things. Summer is the perfect time to establish those new habits and learn new skills. Once that habits are in place and the skills learned, it’s easy to incorporate them into the regular school day once school resumes for the year.
The new habit that I’m most excited about starting this summer is daily silent reading time. Each afternoon, we’ll all — me included — spend at least 15-20 minutes (longer as the younger kids get used to it) reading silently. Anything will be fair game — books, comics, magazines. This will be time for reading for pleasure not for assigned reading, though, if the kids choose to read assigned reading, I’ll let them. When we resume school, I plan for our silent reading time to be what we do after lunch before getting into our afternoon lessons.
Some new skills we’ll be working on this summer will include cooking and laundry. My oldest can do both fairly well, but I’d like everyone to have the basics down by the end of the summer. We’ll see how committed I stay. 😉
I’m also looking forward to some creative and educational fun. Some of the things I have on my list are:
- Math Shark
- Mah Jong math (and other great games)
- reading aloud (first up: Where the Red Fern Grows)
- pattern blocks (or, better yet, these!)
- Fraction tiles (again, these might be more fun)
- Relief painting
- Spin art (might as well find some use for that salad spinner I just had to have)
And, of course, there will be swimming and trips to the local zoo and children’s museum. Summer is also a wonderful time to spend on hobbies, either enjoying an old one or learning a new one. Two of our favorites are scrapbooking and sewing. My kids also enjoy drawing. A few years ago, my sister gave my oldest and whole series of books called 1-2-3 Draw (insert theme: ocean animals, cartoons, etc.).
The girls have been busy drawing all the horses in the book and making books of their own from their drawings:
And, truthfully, a little boredom isn’t a bad thing. With a little boredom, activities that would formerly have sounded boring, now sound a little less so…like, washing and detailing Mom’s van:
Some other constructive boredom-busters include:
- Vacuuming and dusting
- Deep-cleaning a bedroom or playroom and selecting items to donate
- Weeding flower beds or gardens
- Giving pets a bath
- Baking cookies to deliver to a friend, relative or elderly neighbor
You can also check out my suggestions from last year. What about you? What fun activities do you have in store for the summer?
Visit Kristin at We Are THAT Family for more Works for Me Wednesday: Mom, I’m Bored ideas.
Kris Bales is a newly-retired homeschool mom and the quirky, Christ-following, painfully honest founder (and former owner) of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers. She has a pretty serious addiction to sweet tea and Words with Friends. Kris and her husband of over 30 years are parents to three amazing homeschool grads. They share their home with three dogs, two cats, a ball python, a bearded dragon, and seven birds.