I’m not sure who’s more excited about summer- kids or teachers (such as myself) LOL!
Some schools have already wrapped the 2017-2018 school year up into a tiny bow. As for my school, we have 3 days left. My son’s school has 4 more days.
Of those celebrating summer, the stay home parents and those who have summers off, we have well-uhhh…. mixed emotions.
If I could speak for those of us who will be home with our children: We are THRILLED about summer. You can bet your bottom dollar that on our last day of school, I will blast Alice Cooper’s School’s Out for Summer, and I will happy dance with my soon to be second grader. Disclaimer: we will listen to it, not watch this video, which is a little creepy for a 7 year old LOL…
Check out this family-friendly Disney celebration of summer…
BUT, Here comes the big but LOL: What to do, what to do—for TWO MONTHS!
We know we don’t want our kids to turn into junk eating, entertainment demanding, zombies—right?
So, to avoid that, here’s a few helpful suggestions…
- Plot important family commitments on the calendar!
*Have a family reunion, special vacation, camp, or vacation Bible school scheduled? Include all important family events on the calendar.
*This just makes sense as you plan fun events around the big family commitments.
*Make sure that the calendar is displayed where everyone can see it, and that commitments are discussed often. Not only is this important for the parents, but also for the teens in the home who are starting to establish their own schedules.
*If you are a tech savvy family, consider inputting all your important dates into a calendar app on your smartphones. This is great if you have older children who have phones of their own.
- Plan small stuff too!
*You know how it is after you go on a fun family vacation like to Disneyland, and you return? There’s a bit of a letdown. Plan some smaller scale fun!
*Print a Summer Time Bucket List. We used this one last summer…
*Or, have your child make a customized summer bucket list. Our son Liam made one at school. (On a side note, you may need to explain that they may not get to do everything that is on their list.)
*Plan play dates! Our son is a VERY social only child, and we will be planning lots of playdates. We had him make a list of the friends he especially wants to have over. (On a side note, make sure that you have parent contact information prior to the end of school.)
- Keep up on academics!
*Prior to the end of the school year, make sure to connect with your child’s teacher to see what skills they should work on over the summer. They don’t need to spend a lot of time, just a little each day or every other day.
*Have a struggling reader? Your child’s teacher may be able to recommend books at their level. Not sure if the book is at their level? Have them read a paragraph aloud to you, If they are able to read 90% or more words correctly, they are reading at their independent reading level. Another way to increase reading fluency is to have your child listen and follow along with books that are high interest. Kindle, Audible, books on tape, are great for that. Don’t forget to read with your kids! Read a classic story that you enjoyed at their age. Also, get them hooked on a series! That’s a great way to foster a love of reading! Lastly, if your child needs sight word practice, pick up some flash cards or download an app.
*Does your child need to improve their reading comprehension? Ask them questions about the book they are reading. Have them journal about their books: they can write summaries of chapters, write predictions of what will happen next, look up unfamiliar words on dictionary.com, or write a review of their books. The sky’s the limit!
*Does your child need to improve automaticity of math facts-addition, subtraction, multiplication? Don’t just use flashcards! There are some fun math apps and websites such as these…
*Do they need to work on writing? Google free printing and cursive worksheets, or pick up a handwriting practice book at a teacher store or on Amazon. Have them practice their signature!
- Limit screen time!
*Screen time includes ALL screens: tv, computers, smartphones, Ipads, etc. According the American Academy of Pediatrics, children 2-5 years of age should have no more than 1 hour of screen time per day. At Liam’s 7 year old wellness check, his pediatrician gave us an article about screen time, which explained that video games are better than watching television. Video games are more engaging and promote eye and hand coordination. However, they need to be age appropriate and not violent. In regards to older children’s amount of screen time, the Academy recommends that parents consider the following explained in this article…
*We have always limited daily screen time, and we began utilizing a checklist to “earn” screen time last summer. It works AMAZINGLY! I put it in a plastic page, and Liam’s job was to check off each task with a dry erase pen.
- Learn something new!
*With the extra time summer allots, teach your child a new life skill!
*Include them more in meal planning-grocery shopping and cooking.
*Compile an extra chore list and teach them how to budget the money they have earned from doing extra chores.
* Teach older children how to do their laundry.
- Don’t stay up too late!
*It’s okay for children to stay up later occasionally, but remember, rested children are happier children LOL.
*At least a few weeks prior to the start of school, get back into the school year bedtime schedule.
***We hope you found this helpful. Comment with anything we missed!