Summer days will quickly be here. The kids will be out of school and life seems to take a much slower pace. The daily routine that we so desperately would like to take a break from gives way to unstructured days… that lead to squabbles, quarrels, and children’s cries of “I am bored!” As your family takes a break from the predictable routine that school provides, replace it with another routine that allows for learning, family time and expending energy.
Here is an idea that I found successful when my children were young. I divided Monday through Friday into learning themes. For example, Mondays were science days, Tuesdays were park visit days, Wednesdays were movie days, Thursdays were craft days and Fridays were sports days.
Each child took a turn planning the various activities for the theme. We purchased a few inexpensive science experiment books that used common household items to plan science activities. We downloaded a map of the local parks and searched the Internet for deals on the local theme parks. We established a small budget for each category. The children learned how to plan a group activity, work within a budget and amazingly, we kept up our reading, writing and math skills without a single moan.
The best part was that it gave the children something to look forward to everyday. It also served as a motivator to get those mundane household chores finished because there was something fun planned for the day. After a short time, I was just the facilitator of transportation and procurer of items—not the planner, director and mediator of the projects. My children are grown now, but those summer days are ones we look back on with fond memories—and a little learning happened along the way.