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Put More “Summer” in Your Life

Put More “Summer” in Your Life

Ahhh, the lazy, hazy days of summer are finally here. Now is the time to create a summer plan that will put more summer into your life. Working five days a week, we tend to cram all our summer fun into the weekends. A summer plan is designed to change the routine and add some time to be spontaneous. Being spontaneous applies to what happens naturally rather than being planned or influenced by external forces and the summer is the perfect time for it. First you will need to take a look at your schedule to see where you can squeeze in summer. I hope you have a vacation already planned, if not, that should be your first priority. We all have the same 168 hours per week how are you using yours? Are there any weekly or monthly activities that you can cut down or put on hold? Could you get up an hour earlier now that the early mornings are bright? Ease up on the hectic pace and change the routine to see if you can’t gain an hour or two a day for yourself. Block out some time in your planner then if something comes up it will be easier for you to say “No, I am sorry I already have a commitment on that day.” Just by changing your routine and easing up on some things your attitude will change. Next add some summer fun during the week such as; breakfast on the deck, lunch at the park, a picnic dinner at the beach, read for 30 minutes in the hammock, or camp out in...
Summer Learning is Fun

Summer Learning is Fun

Summer is a great time to help your kids strengthen their learning skills. The more they use them the less they will “lose” them. Summer learning doesn’t have to be pages and pages in a workbook but with a little creativity you can have fun and learn at the same time. Most schools now expect students to read one or more books over the summer. Whether your child is just learning to read or reading to learn, finding books that interest them is key. Don’t just send them to their rooms to read but show you are interested in what they are reading. Be curious and engage them.  Have them summarize, compare or simply talk about what they liked about the book (don’t just accept it was a good book). Reading increases vocabulary, critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, comprehension and increases their knowledge base. I think it is the number one skill for learning. If your child is a strong reader, then they can learn anything. Reading and math skills can be used; while “playing” school, planning a vacation or a day trip (give them a budget and have them make a plan), grocery shopping or making something in the kitchen (with supervision of course). One of my favorite activities was a competition with my Dad and my sister to list the 50 states in five minutes or less. We still talk about those nights at the dinner table racing to see who could list them the fastest. We also tried the capitals, countries and the presidents (which I did not do well at). The ideas are unlimited....

Tip 2: Plan B for summer fun

Last week we talked about being prepared for the summer by checking out all the kids’ toys, games and sports equipment to be sure they are in good working condition. This week the second tip to having fun this summer is to always have a plan B. Thinking ahead and having some activities and day trip ideas can prevent the “I’m bored” syndrome. Spending time with your children is an important role. Playing together strengthens family bonds and builds important social skills. Children are often so busy doing things that they don’t have time to play. Use the summer to cut back on the “doing” and have more fun just “being” together. Get into the action by having the whole family involved in an obstacle course (designed by the children), or a fitness test done several times throughout the summer to see if each person can beat their personal score or design a treasure map or scavenger hunt.  Plan a day trip and be a tourist in your own town. Are there museums or historic sites nearby that may help your child understand next year’s history class a bit better? Find other activities happening in your area by searching www.whofish.org. Simple things like a picnic in the park or campout in the backyard can add some fun and excitement too. Get the children involved in the planning for vacations, summer camp or a week at Grandma’s. Buy a few games or toys to pull out on rainy days and be sure to have plenty of craft supplies for creative minds. Use your imagination and have fun together. You can also find other great ideas at: kids...