Every summer, I hear it. As a homeschool mom, I hear it. The annual cry of: "I can't put up with my kids all summer. How do you do it all year?"
Yes, folks. Homeschooling means that these little
How might you wonder? In all seriousness, here are some sanity savers for your summer break:
* Make those children go outside! Better yet, go with them. Yes, it is hot. Go out in the morning right after breakfast. Go out with sunscreen on and play in water. Whatever it takes, go outside. Summer is too long, and there are too many wonderful things to learn and do outside to stay shut up in the house.
* Invest in some way to swim. For a few years, we had a round Easy-Set pool. It was 4 feet deep and 18 feet round: big enough for the whole family or 8-10 kids. We finally got rid of the pool- too much upkeep- and have since invested in a Y membership every summer. Nothing can beat hopping into a cool pool when everyone is bored and crabby.
* Let them make messes. Big messes. Playdo messes. Paint messes. Dress up clothes messes. Let them build a fort in the living room. Let them set up and elaborate little people town in the dining room. Let them set up a waterpark for Polly Pockets in the kitchen floor. Messes can be cleaned up. And messes keep children occupied and happy and creative.
* Limit electronics. This may seem rather opposite. Sometimes you think if you just keep the tv on all day, it will keep them spell bound and quiet. But, I have found that the more kids are "tuned in" the more "tuned out" they will be to the family. So, when the electronics have to go off, as they inevitably will, kids are more likely to snap and argue with you and each other.
* Have a down time for everybody every day. My kids are almost 7-almost 13, and we still have "nap time" every day. I am the only one who happens to sleep (if I am lucky). But, during this time, they have to play quietly and be inside. I do allow Netflix during this time.
* Sign up for summer reading programs. Most local libraries have a program. This site lists other free reading programs you can sign up your kids for. Then, once everyone has a reason to read, you can set aside a reading time every day.
* Find out about free/cheap summer outings in your area. Most theaters do free or $1 summer movies. Many bowling alleys participate in Kids Bowl Free each summer. Our local alley is not participating, but they do offer a very reasonably priced kids summer league.
Enjoy the time you have together. Before you know it, the summer will fly by. Those little children you are having so much trouble occupying now will be big children in the blink of an eye. I know this for a fact. Know that everyone has a stressful day once in a while, but look for ways to enjoy the days you have together. And together, YOU TOO, can survive the summer!