Good ‘Ole Summertime with Your Kids

summertimeA defaultless summertime

Summertime can be a fun time, or it can be a chore. Having a meaningful summer with your kids does not happen by default. You have to plan if you want a successful summer. You know your schedule, your kids, and your community. Put together a plan that meshes with schedules, vacation, work, and community.

Ask yourself some questions. When you fill in the answers, you’ll have your plan.

Summertime Goals

What do you truly want to accomplish this summer with your kids? When the school buses start rolling again, what will you want to have happened in the months before? Work? Play? Service? Learning? Plan things that will add to the education and skills of your kids. Have your kids help come up with the goals of the summer.  At the end of the summer, go back and look at your list and see how well you did. Use that analysis as a springboard for the following summer.

Summertime is a time to work on character qualities in our kids. If your child is a procrastinator or prone to tantrums, come up with a plan for consequences. Use the summer when your child is at home to focus on those weak areas.  Sometimes it helps to chart progress with a reward at the end of the summer if goals are met.

Education

Summertime can be a time of learning, especially for a child who struggles in a subject. Make learning fun. Use games and activities to incorporate things your child needs to hone in on before the next school year. If math is an issue, incorporate games that require math. Use your Library as a resource. Take your kids to story time in your local library or sign them up for a summer reading program. Require a quiet time each day when kids have to settle down and read. Fifteen minutes a day does wonders for a child’s spelling and vocabulary and they won’t think of it as school.  Crafts are educational and can help kids learn about science, art, or history. Plan several field trips. You do not need to go far. Visit the local fire department, rescue squad, library, museum, or historical points of interest.

Incorporate Bible reading and memorization. This broadens your kids’ knowledge of God and the Bible. It also clears  their minds. What better summertime activity is there than filling the minds of your kiddos with the beauty of God’s Word?!

Fun

By all means, plan fun things to do! Learn to know the history of your community and the people in it. Help your kids learn about history by exploring your own town. Kids can have fun at home without constantly being on the go away from home. Help them mesh with home and learn to enjoy being there. You can also plan play dates with friends or family. Add important sports and events to your schedules to increase fun times for your kids.

Physical Exercise

Your kids should be outside as much as possible. Provide a safe place for them to play. If you have no outdoor space, take them to a park or school playground for exercise. Your kids should be doing physical play. TV, videos, video  games, I-pads, and electronic devices are a detriment to the minds of your kids – and thus also to their bodies. Keep them moving. Boys need this for their testosterone – ask me how I know. The more “shut in” your kids are, the more trouble they will cause. Keep them moving with outside chores or helping others.

Service

The day one of our foster boys was bored, I sent him to visit our neighbor. “Mr. Tom has five children and none of them live around here. He is lonely and needs a boy to come talk to him. Ask him if he can tell you what it was like when he was your age. I promise you won’t be bored.”

Our boy walked down the path through the woods to the neighbor, knocked on the door, and said, “Is this the man who is old and lonely and needs a boy to talk to him?!”

I was mortified and the neighbor loved the visit. Any child who is old enough to work should find someone to help. It might be an aunt, grandparent, neighbor, or lonely retired person you know. Have your kids offer their time to clean out a flower bed, mow their yard without charge, or provide a meal or plate of cookies once a week. Your kids can help make or bake these treats!

There are so many seniors who need a friend. Kids are a wonderful contribution to a visit, and the seniors will love them no matter how old or young they are. Service projects help your kids build relationships with others and help cultivate a heart of service, being able to look out for the underdog or the lonely. It’s a win/win for all involved – building character in your children and someone is receiving love and help who needs it.

Summertime Schedule

Your schedule might not look like someone else’s, but you need a schedule. If you don’t schedule in service projects, reading, library visits, or field trips, they won’t happen. Build a schedule that is flexible and that works for your family, then stick with it for this summer. Let me know what you think when the summer is over!

Pinterest Summertime

 

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