Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bring On Summer! Keep The Boredom at Bay and Get It All In!

Bring on summer!!  We just came back from my daughters kindergarten graduation and that means summer is officially here!!  Watching them sing and seeing them stand up there was the sweetest thing  If Bella wasn't going next year I would be crying at the loss of these amazing teachers.  We started off our summer with 90 degree weather, a clean full turtle pool, the girlies in bathing suites, homemade popsicles, and napping in the shade!
 Hoping for more of the same!  I have been giving our summer some thought.  With 4 kids and one more on the way we need some kind of a plan to accomplish what we want, keep the learning going in a fun way, skip the boredom and still get all our chores done while having a blast!  Tall order... so I have been reading different ideas on pinterest.  These are some of the things on our summer to do list!
 Ride horses with Grandpa up at his house
 (just a few miles away).
Hit the zoo again with the grandparents!
As far as new ideas for how to plan our summer..
First I wanted to start a new end of the school year tradition I read about in THRIVE magazine (by Focus on the Family).  The author picks her kids up on their last day of school and takes them all to a pancake house to celebrate a year well done, talk about highlights, and set up a fun summer fun bucket list off all the fun things they want to do by summers end.  That sounds awesome to me!  However we had just eaten at a kindergarten graduation and we have no pancake house.  I do want to go out thought to celebrate the official start of our summer break and make a bucket list with the kids of all the fun things we have to do this summer!

Some other ideas for giving summer a little structure include these...
A light schedule that designates each day of the week with a theme...
Masterpiece Monday- a day to work on art, go see art, or create!
Time to cook Tuesday- a day that you plan ahead for so you and your kids can cook up some fun!
Wet Wednesday- A day for the pool, splash park, or other water activity
Thinking Thursday- fun educational day, field trip, library discovery trip, research a fun child chosen theme like dinosaurs, etc..
Family flick Friday- homemade pizza, and a good family flick for Friday night!

Other ideas  I read about include creating a daily list (with rewards) of what everyone must do 5 days a week like...
30 min reading, their chores, something physical (bike riding), practice a skill for 20 min (piano, typing, drawing, etc..).  Each to do item has a monetary value that when all completed every day (5 days a week) adds up to the amount needed for a family fun outing like the admission price to a theme park.  You can read more about that here at "Do it yourself summer camp".

How about a looser schedule like before breakfast we make beds, get dressed, pick up rooms.  By lunch we read 30 minutes, finish chores, and play with a sibling.  Afternoons can follow a theme like dinosaurs for a week.  So every afternoon we explore the topic with library trips, science experiments, field trips, and research and book reading.  The themes would all be kid picked and slotted in ahead of time.  Thinking art, the wild west, wild animals, science, and trains would all be fun themes.  The morning part of the routine would have a reward system as well meted out every weekend for a fully completed week.  For example a trip to the pool, a trip to dairy queen, etc..

 I do not plan on shuffling kids here there and everywhere to every learning opportunity as I do not have the energy or the desire to spend the summer just driving my kids around.  With that being said I am looking forward to the local VBS program, and the local "college for kids" program on Fridays for my oldest.  Even those will not be an every week evernt.  We will pick the ones he is excited about and take it easy on the others.

What are your ideas for keeping boredom at bay, continuing and fostering a love for learning, and getting all the fun in?  Love some new ideas!


Rosalie said...

Kristy, thank you for sharing such wonderful, creative ideas. How coincidental that last night I sat down to brainstorm the exact same thing for our Summer schedule. Considering that preschool is now over, we definitely need to implement a new schedule to abide by, which will hopefully make for a more fun, flexible, organized, memory-making Summer! Happy day to you & the family...and congratulations on another blessing!

www.apronsandapples@blogspot.com said...

Thanks Rosalie! We are excited about coming little blessing! We started out summer schedule today with printed out "chore charts" for lack of a better word with all the activites they need to fit in a day, plus chores, etc... and we are focusing on dinosaurs this weeks with fun printables, books, and activites. It was fun today. I will have to get a more detailed post out on what we are doing exactly. :) Thanks for the comment! Love to see who is out there!

Unknown said...

Great ideas all! We consistently do the Super Summer Challenge http://farmfreshiowa.blogspot.com/2010/06/super-summer-challenge.html

but I think we do need some more routine in our every day...

www.apronsandapples@blogspot.com said...

Great idea Jessica! :)