I say this every year, but man, this school year just flew by! School is just about out for summer, and while I’m excited to have my kids home, the fighting and moans of “I’m bored!” just about kill me every year. So, I thought I’d put together some Summer Survival Tips for you (and especially for me!)
Share the Workload
Now that the kids are home, there are more hands to pitch in with the everyday chores. Putting your kids to work teaches them valuable skills, develops their work ethic, and of course gives you the help you need to keep things running. Check out this list of age-appropriate chores for ideas on ways to get your kids involved.
Personally, my kids help with laundry, do dishes, pull weeds, clean their bathrooms, vacuum, dust, and of course, make their beds and clean their rooms.
Don’t Let Them Stop Learning
The “summer slide” is real, folks. The first thing we do is participate in some sort of summer reading program. The CR Kernels have a really fun program as does the Cedar Rapids Library. Know another one? Leave it in the comments!
We also purchase summer learning workbooks to help keep our other skills sharp over the summer. My favorite ones are the Summer Bridge Activities, which you can buy online or in select stores. They have them from Pre-K/K to Grade 7-8. I require my kids to do a lesson every weekday before they have any screen time.
Manage Screen Time
Speaking of screen time, I know it’s easy to just let them veg out in front of the TV or video game screen all day. However, research tells us and my own personal experience shows, that too much screen time is not good for kids. My kids actually get more cranky and fight more when the screen time gets out of hand. Set a limit that works for your family, but honestly, less is better!
Consider a Hands-Off Approach to Fighting
I’ve kind of created a monster in our house. Too often, I tried to solve every fight between my kids, and I didn’t spend enough time teaching them how to resolve differences themselves. It’s just easier that way, right? Now I’m saying, “Work it out!” more often and I only want to intervene when absolutely necessary. It might mean things get louder before they get calmer, but in the end, I think my kids will learn how to manage conflict better. That’s a sanity-saver right there.
Let Them Play
I wrote on my own blog about how I like to keep things slow and unscheduled in the summer. I don’t have endless amounts of money to entertain them. The school year is so busy I feel we need time to regroup and just play in the summers. So yes, we do a camp here and there, and my son is playing baseball, but for the most part, summers are a great time to play, bounce a ball, try to sell lemonade to the neighbors, paint rocks, and all the other pastimes children can create when they are given a chance.
I don’t have all the answers. I can say that no matter how crazy it gets, I’m glad to have my kids home every summer. I get to know them better, we get to have fun learning and working together, and we always have fun adventures.
What’s your best summer survival tip?
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