As the weeks go by, the school year is winding down. To be honest, I’m ready. It feels like we slam into summer every year, completely exhausted by all of the events and obligations. Sometimes it feels good to be busy, but when you go as hard as this family, it’s exhausting.
The downside to have so much going on is that when it’s time to plan our summer days, my kids won’t commit to anything. They can’t fathom doing anything other than hanging out and relaxing. I fell for it the first few years. Now I know better. That bliss lasts about three days, then I start to hear a healthy combination of “We’re bored” and fighting.
So how do you cope with the summer blues shortly after it starts? Here are a few tips I have for keeping things moving.
- Do some school work – I can’t believe I just said that, but it’s true. We’ve experienced the summer slide in years past and it was senseless. Five days a week my children are required to read 20 minutes and do at least one worksheet. It doesn’t matter to me if they break their reading up, or choose to do several worksheets on one day. I work in week increments. They can only get so far behind or ahead. And we don’t move on with our day until this small amount of work is done. It takes no more than 30 minutes and, fortunately, there are several cool summer reading programs through each local library that keeps it fun.
- Stick to some sort of a schedule – On Mondays we make our own fun at home, Tuesday we go to the pool, Wednesday we go to the water park, Thursday we see a movie, Friday we go to the beach. Often I’ll do a Facebook shout out to friends letting know where we’ll be on any given day. Voila, it’s an instant playdate! Having this schedule gives the kids something to look forward to, keeps us active, and connected with friends. It also keeps me from hearing, “What are we doing today” every day.
- Take vacation time – Even if we don’t travel, my husband and I try to take time off from work to enjoy true downtime with our family. It’s so important to recharge your batteries and we’re lucky enough to have fantastic local scenery that’s worthy of staycating. Each summer we camp in the Myrtle Beach State Park and just breathe. Even if you can’t get away from home, take a break from the hustle and bustle to enjoy one another.
- Try something new every week – It doesn’t matter if it’s a recipe, craft, or activity; I like to try new things all the time. If your little ones are old enough, let them have an opportunity to choose. Last year we made watermelon sorbet and attempted kayaking.
- Be on the lookout for free things to do – Living in a tourist town has its pros and cons. The pro is that there are tons of attractions. The con is that they’re all pretty expensive. The good news is that there are several summer programs that give you hours of fun at little or no cost. Check out KidsSkateFree, KidsBowlFree, free kids summer movies, free outdoor movies, and free story times at libraries. There’s no need to break the bank when it comes to summer entertainment!
There’s only a few more days of school, friends. We can make it!
Do you have tips to add? I want to hear them!
Photo credit: Flickr
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