Thursday, June 4, 2009

settling in

We're settling in to summer. It's funny, on Tuesday, our 'second' official day of summer break, my little guy had trouble finding stuff to do. (Monday was great because we were busy picking strawberries and visiting with friends) But on Tuesday, he kept saying he was bored. Oh. man. Does that happen at your house? We've been watching the calendar eager for break and when it arrives the kids don't quite know what to do with themselves. I, on the other hand, have lists that I've been chomping at the bit to get to. When I look at it honestly though, I think that an entire day without structure can be overwhelming to kids. Maybe you have kids that are complete self motivators. I don't. So, in thinking about how I would like our summer to go, I've come up with a couple of ideas to keep us from boredom. Because I know if they are having trouble with their free time, I'll be having trouble with mine. :) These bones will be in place for those days that we're just home, with no other plans. Hopefully they'll help us keep some shape to our days without it seeming too structured. Because it is summer after all!

I've asked the kids to come up with a couple of long term projects that they'd like to complete over the course of the summer. So on those days when we're home, we can take some time to work on them little by little. Maggie's chosen to complete her novel (she's been writing one all year long) and work on a scrapbook from the basketball season. Mckenzie is wanting to make a log cabin quilt top for her bed (did ya hear that Larissa?!!) as well as some jammie pants for winter. John Samuel needs to organize his baseball/star wars/trading cards and (with some input from me) make a pizza book reviewing our mammal study.
We're also going to have some time each day to do some jobs around the house. It's hard to do chores when your brother or sister are playing x-box and you're working, so if we're all chipping in together on house work, then hopefully we'll get lots accomplished and no one will feel jipped. I feel strongly that I want my kids to help contribute to the running of the house. This isn't a hotel with maid service. We all live here and part of my job is to help them grow into adults who know how take responsibility for themselves and they place where they live. (OK. I'm off my soap box now!) The other thing I'd like to add to our long, summer days is some set aside reading time. For Maggie that's not an issue, she could read the days away. But for Kenzie and Jammer, they need a little nudge to pick up a book. Once they get reading they love it, it's just starting that seems to be needing some help. So, I'm working on some book lists. They will each have their own list with a variety of genres for the kids to read with some free choice slots as well. When they finish their book list, they'll be rewarded ( with a new book :)). With some choices by me, I'm hoping they'll read something that they wouldn't normally choose and maybe enjoy an unexpected book.

So, that's my plan. I'll keep you posted! What are some of your ideas for a fun, relaxing kid filled summer?


eta: Skeins Her Way is running a little giveaway and she wants to hear your summer plans...if you've got some, head her way and give her a shout out!

14 comments:

Georgi said...

Barnes and Noble is having a reading challenge for kids this summer, they read a certain number of books and get one free. Not a bad deal, free books.

fromallstitchedup said...

I understand the problem. I retired from my job a few weeks ago. While filled with excitement there are some days when I just don't know what to do. I too am starting lists. Projects to finish, projects to start, big cleaning projects, etc.... I think it will be good to have some lists to look at. My best catagory so far is "I'll find a new job when...."

Sigrun said...

Before my retirement I was a teacher. A good percentage of the students did NOT look forward to the holidays and breaks, because they either were on their own (with nothing to do), or they would have to spend the whole time in daycare since the parents were working. THere were many tears at holiday time. Sad commentary. Your children will be more than OK because you are so involved with them. It's called holding them up so they can get strong backbones.

The WoodLand School said...

I'm totally on the soapbox with you about requiring kids to help the household run! (Besides, how would I have time to quilt if I had to do all the cleaning?!)

I'd love to see the book lists you're preparing. Have you checked out AmblesideOnline?

Happy summer - keep us posted : )

Mary said...

We are planning on swimming lessons, vacation bible school and fitness camp. Maybe throw in some days of play dates and a trip to the beach. Hmm...I remember enjoying the down time of summer and making forts, swimming pools, playing with kittens...

firstinitialp said...

summer plans ... baseball, baseball and a big vacation at the beach with some amazing family members! can't wait (fruit in water) ... see you there!

At Home Mommy Knits said...

What a great post! I agree that kids need to help out around the house. Since mine are 2 & 4 the help they give is limited but we try ;)

Sounds like you have a good handle on keeping your summer productive and fun. Looking forward to seeing that log cabin quilt!

Journeying Five said...

agree on the summer help out and then we all get to play and relax...i am never too formal in planning, sometimes impromtu stops at the bookstore or craft store add great unexpected things to do!

Kristyn Knits said...

not to the planning stage yet...have a few more days of school.

but just thinking about it outloud, I'm thinking a scrapbook, reading, basketball camp, vacation, swimming lessons, and lots of down time at home or the pool.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm, those strawberries look yummy!!!! =0) Maybe I need to take a trip to WalMart for some berries!! =0)


Kelly

Christina said...

I like your plans. I remember my mom and I keeping happily super-busy all through the summer doing the kinds of things you mentioned here: long term projects (usually sewing ones for me), reading stacks of books, keeping the house clean, canning, etc. In addition, summer was my time to focus on music and get in all sorts of extra practice.

Liz said...

Oh strawberry picking! They look delicious!

Libraries often have reading challenges too.

larissa said...

We have the "i'm bored" issue here too. I love your idea of having a long term project to work on - kids love to have their own "thing" to do so that they can work side by side with mom. and the reading is so important - now that abigail is reading on her own she can read books to me while I sew or knit and the decible level in the house is so nice when all three kiddos are reading.
how exciting to be quilting with your daughter - perfect bonding time. it'll be so fun to know that we'll be making a log cabin quilt together - it's my favorite pattern and it's one of the easiest. I love these posts about how you mother and teach your children - keep then coming!

Anonymous said...

Hi girlfriend....
You are a joy to know and bring blessings to my heart; it is so fun to have a Star Bucks together; the littlest thing we do is a memory-maker!
Never let the enemy of your soul let you think you are not precious in His(God's) sight. You are loved"and the apple of His eye". I love your last sweater; wish I could knit so well; I'm too busy with who knows what. luv