Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water. Ezekiel 19:10
By: Gretchen Speer
A few weeks ago we got a letter from our kids’ school. It was informing us that because there was only one snow day this year our kids would be getting out three weeks earlier than they had originally planned. In the interest in keeping it real here, I will tell you that when I read that letter I did not experience a flood of joy. I believe my exact reaction was, “WHAT???” That is a long summer!
I do my best to do things outside of our house during the summer, but there are plenty days where we stay home. Last year, in anticipation of the usual boredom complaint I made out a schedule to follow. It was a way to work in everything that needed to be done in the day while still making sure to have plenty of fun and relaxation. It also helped me keep a handle on the amount of time my kids were spending in front of the TV. On the days that we were out and about we didn’t worry about the schedule. Once we were home and settled from swimming or the library we just jumped right back into it.
Outside time: This could mean playing in the back yard, taking a walk, going to the park, playing in the sprinklers or doing sidewalk chalk on the driveway. I schedule it first thing in the morning so that it’s never to hot to go out. It’s nice to start the day this way.
TV time: This is one show or one short video.
Room Play Time: I always tell my kids they have to play with actual toys during this time-no electronics! During this time I ask them to play in their rooms. This is usually when I am able to clean, read or check email for the most part in peace.
Snack/TV time: A light snack and then part of a tv show if they have time once they are finished.
Chore Time: Remember those chore charts? We have new ones for the summer:) If you missed that post you can see it here.
Homework Time: Homework in the summer? Absolutely! During this time we do grade level math and reading worksheets. My kids also like www.brainpop.com and www.funbrain.com. My DS worked a lot on his typing last summer too.
Play Time: This play time is when play dough, finger or water paints, or other crafts are an option. Sometimes my kids would rather just play than do any of these.
Reading Time: Reading time is right before rest time for a reason-and it works:) This summer I am going to use this time to read through the Narnia books with the kids. If your kids are reading you can let them take turns reading during this time.
Rest Time: Depending on how old your kids are this may or may not work for you. My olders actually do really well playing quietly if they don’t feel the need to actually rest. My youngers are still napping in the afternoon. During this time my olders play on their DS, listen to Adventures in Odssey, color, and play with their toys in their room.
Snack Time: Far enough away from supper to not spoil any tiny appetites. Their TV time allows me to do some dinner prep.
Chore Time: This is just to pick up the house, and do any chores we didn’t have time to do earlier. They usually get things done pretty quickly so they can do brain pop:)
Room Play Time: I put this on the schedule so I could get dinner in the oven without lots of company in the kitchen. To be honest, this is the one thing that just didn’t work. We’ll see if it will this summer:)
I know I am always looking for ideas to pass the time in the summer, I hope this was helpful to you! What things do you do with your kids to pass the long hot summer days at home?
Also see: Summer Schedule: Take Two