“I’m bored, mom!” Ah yes, the dreaded by-product of those wonderful, lazy days at home. I am not one to put my kids into 10 different day camps to help pass the summer. I want the time at home with the kids- but these days can be long, and yes, a little boring. My remedy? Well, I try to think of things they can’t learn at school, and teach them to the kids over the summer. Do I succeed? Sometimes yes, sometimes no, but it is nice to have some things to offer the kids on those days when there is no play date planned, and the weather is foggy (a summer thing in this beach town). Here are a few goals we are going to work on this summer.
Learning how to cook! I found this lovely book at the library last week called Cooking with Children. It is broken up into 15 lessons- starting with vegetable soup, making its way through salad making, bisquits, homemade hamburgers, spaghetti, and more- ending up with chocolate cake! I went through the first lesson with my two older kids (ages 10 and 12), and they loved eating their own vegetable soup. We are planning to go through at least one lesson a week- officially calling it “Kids Cook Mondays”.
Learn a language. Last summer we started Jonah and Abbey on French. We liked the French Fluenz program. This is a great computer program that is geared toward adults, but my kids enjoyed it. I know Rosetta Stone is good as well. Both are expensive, but a lot less expensive than lessons- and better than nothing!
Focus on some of your child’s academic weaknesses and work on it- without the pressure of school. My youngest, Elie, had a tough time with her handwriting this year. Lots of ideas, but practically illegible! My sister-in-law recommended a great resource, which is called Handwriting without Tears. Elie LOVES it, and we are already seeing improvement. She does a few pages every morning after breakfast, and gets a sticker and an M&M per page. Perfect.
Last but not least- go to the library!!! We love to read at our house, and summertime is a great time to get in a lot of reading. Take some time to do some research on great books for your child’s age and expose them to lots of different types of books. This is perhaps the most important thing we do over the summer- we went and piled up on books straight away after the last day of school. Sometimes we even do little research projects over the summer- choose a favorite subject and learn more about it. I am thinking about learning about art and taking them to an art museum. Or tide pools- that would be fun too. We’ll see!
Summer is fun, but also a really fun time to learn!