Solo Episode, chatting about all things summer! Organizing yourself and your kiddos, fun activities, keeping up with academics and staying sane!!
Tip 1- Get Organized
- To Do Sheet – A few years ago, I used a “No Screen-time Until” sheet to this one to get us organized. I customized ours to reflect the things I wanted my kiddos to do each day. Here is a link to a great example. https://www.yourmodernfamily.com/no-screen-time-until-free-printable/
- Mom Bucks – Last year I used a more elaborate system of currency during the summer. My kids could earn “mom bucks” for doing chores, reading, spending time outside and then could spend the bucks on time playing video games, a special treat, or could save up to exchange for real dollars. The blog I based my system is this one. http://faithfilledparenting.com/mom-bucks/
- Organizing a summer with a Planner – This year, I am using an individual planner to keep my big kids organized. They are filling it out with daily and once a week chores. Check out my blog about using the planners here. https://boysbuiltbetter.com/education/summer-planner-lessons-for-tweens/
Tip 2- Keep Up the Academics
- Math Facts – A small amount of time each day spent keeping up with math facts will make a big difference next school year. We get a packet sent home, but you could easily make your own based on your child’s level or buy a practice book. Tip! If you buy a book, put the pages in a sleeve protector and use a dry erase marker to complete, the book will last longer!!
Here are some practice books specific to elementary school:
- Read 20 minutes a day – this is another great summer habit that will pay off next year. If you happen to have a reluctant reader, take the pressure off and choose books that your kiddo finds fun. This is the time to read for enjoyment!! The less pressure, the better.
- Handwriting lessons- Does your school teach handwriting? A lot of elementary schools have dropped this and no longer spend time working on it in class. I still think being able to hand-write is a great skill and there is research that states it supports the growth of reading, writing and language ability. Summer is a great time to work on growing this forgotten skill. And LOOK! There are even handwriting books developed just for boys:
Tip 3- Activities
- Perler Beads – This has been our favorite summer activity for three years straight. My boys started out copying designs and have now graduated to creating their own (sometimes 3-D) designs. Check out my blog about getting started. https://boysbuiltbetter.com/arts-and-crafts/getting-started-with-perler-beads/
- Rock Painting – This is the activity that I am introducing this summer (blog post coming soon). We recently went to the craft store and bought brushes https://amzn.to/2suZDmf, acrylic paint https://amzn.to/2syiH2U, varnish https://amzn.to/2JkEaCX and a great book https://amzn.to/2JmmQNI. I love this craft because we can hunt for rocks in our neighborhood and now that I bought a few supplies there is no additional cost for the canvas! We have already had a few neighbors around painting.
- Family Show – Because the summer is so open ended, I think creating some routines is helpful for kids. This year we decided to start watching America’s Got Talent together as a family. My husband, who often works nights, has set Tuesday’s aside and we are all sitting down together to enjoy it. A regular game night would also be a great option.
- Sci-Fri – I forgot to include this in the episode, but a few years ago I started Science Friday or “Sci-Fri” days during the summer. I got a small science kit https://amzn.to/2LqJJjA and we would work through an experiment every Friday. The kit is great because it includes the experiments as well as hard to find supplies.
- Evenings Outside – Another routine we started this year, is committing to spending sometime outside after dinner playing a game. There is something special about being outside just before dusk. We found a great outdoor game https://amzn.to/2szsHca that has you hitting a soft ball, but the included discs make the best Frisbee that is super easy to throw and catch.
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