Wednesday, June 4, 2008

School is out! ~What to do now!

We have been done with official school work since a little before Memorial Day. In the past I have thought about having summer school just to make sure we don't lose any of what has been learned and so that we stay in the routine, however some things I have read recently made me realize that a break is a good thing. But that doesn't mean that we can't still be learning! I thought I would share some of my plans for the summer, ideas that will reinforce what the kids have learned through the school year. Also for Works-for-me-Wednesday we were asked to do a "Mom I'm bored" edition today. Being bored is not an option at our house (I think saying that shows that you aren't willing to use the brain God gave you), but we do try to keep plenty of things to do around here.

Some fun things to do that also teach are:

~ Catch a monarch caterpillar and put in in a jar, feed it and watch it make it's chrysalis and then come out a butterfly. This is lots of fun and teaches science.

~ Write letters to Grandparents, Great-Grandparents and other friends and relatives. This is a time to practise writing, penmanship and spelling. It also is a way to encourage others.

~Do lots of cooking and baking together. This can reinforce math skills (using fractions, adding when you double a recipe) as well as being a great skill to learn.

~Read a lot! When we go to the Library the kids get to pick a lot of fun books, meanwhile I am picking books too, fun ones as well but ones that teach. We read both types of books. Mara does a ton of reading on her own and enjoys fiction and non-fiction alike. We also do a lot of reading aloud at naptimes and night times and sometimes in between. Jonathan is still the process of learning to read well so we plan on having him read aloud to me throughout the summer.

~ Do science experiments. We have a lot of books that give instructions to do these and there are also a lot at the Library. In the winter it seems we don't have time to do as many as I would like so I am hoping to do more this summer.

~Continue on our learning about States. We have been learning about a state a week, doing a lot of reading, eating foods that are special to the state and trying any other activities that we find out about.

~Spend time doing arts and crafts. Each summer we enjoy entering stuff in the County Fair and the kids like to paint or draw pictures to bring. We have some fun books that help the kids learn how to draw and we want to use them this summer.

~Watch for and identify birds. We have a bird book (though we are wanting to find a better one) and we have been having a lot of fun watching for birds and learning about them. We have also put out some food to attract them.

~Garden. There is a lot of science to be learned in the garden as well as learning how to work hard and getting the fruits of your labor.

~Use a nature notebook to record and draw pictures of things that we see out in the woods. We also like to use our flower book to learn the names of all the wildflowers around here.

~Practise music. This is something that keeps going through the summer. It can also be a nice time to work even harder at it.

~Bring out your stuff for recycling and let the kids have fun making stuff out of it.

Here are some fun things we like to do that give us good exercise and fresh air:

~ Climb trees

~Go on Bike rides.

~Go on Nature walks.

~Play in the sand pile.

~Build forts in the woods.

~Dig in the dirt and make mud pies.

~Blow bubbles.

~Draw big beautiful pictures with sidewalk chalk.

~Have a water fight. (you can use old shampoo, soap or ketchup bottles that are very well washed out to spray water with.)

~Have a neighborhood party. I am dreaming about having one soon (if I can manage it) that is centered around the kids having fun and getting to know one another.

~Go on a picnic. (Even if it is just in your backyard.)

~Play tennis. (the whole family)

~Let the kids help with building projects.

~Wash your vehicles and get wet!

~Go swimming.

~Have 3 legged races, play "pom, pom pull away" or "Red Rover".

~Watch or walk in parades for 4th of July and then watch the fireworks.

~Hold a garage sale/bake sale. We enjoy doing this and then donating the money to help our church or a missionary.

~Go Exploring when you are out driving or bike riding and take roads that you have never been on before.

~ Go and visit people who may be lonely (especially the elderly). It is fun to pick some flowers from our garden or bring some baked goods as a gift.

~Play in the sprinkler while watering the grass.

~Fly kites.

~Have a scavenger hunt. Maybe you can use verses that you have to look up as clues.

~Make an obstacle course for the kids to ride their bikes through.

~Host a tea party. This can be a fun way to teach the kids about hospitality. They can help plan the menu, make invitations, decorate (you can have it inside, on a porch or out on the lawn) and then help make the food and have fun dressing up.

~Go camping.

~Make a tent out of sheets or blankets using the clothes line.

~Play croquet.

~Take your barbies or dolls outside and have fun dressing them in leaves and flowers to make them look like fairies.

~Make a fairy house in the woods.

~Make princesses out of flowers.

~Press flowers in a flower press or in the pages of a big book so that you can use them to make cards or other pretty crafts.

~Go berry picking. (and then clean them and make jam or other yummy treats.)

~If you have mud puddles then have fun making and floating boats in it.

~Go sing at a nursing home.

~ Get involved in all the fun activities offered at church.

~Get together with other families and have a casual and fun game of softball.

~Take advantage of free concerts and other fun family activities available in your town.

~ Cook outside over a campfire.

~Go fishing.

~Go boating, canoeing or kayaking.

~Practise circus acts and then perform them.

~Make baskets.

~Practise and put on a play.

I have such great memories of playing in the summers and my kids love it too. I hope yours do as well and maybe some of these ideas will help your children not to be bored. I would love to hear some of the things your family enjoy doing!


Heart of Wisdom said...

Wonderful ideas, you are on the right track for sure. I used to call it switching gears...Not the traditions textbook learning but enriching learning...the kind that build memories and gives you the warm fuzzies...

Good post, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This is such a fabulous and thorough list. Hmmm...I wonder how many of these we can get done this summer?

Jason said...

You are a pretty smart person it seems to raising kids. I can't believe how old Mara is. I remember when...Anyways have a fun summer.

Martha said...

Nice picture of you and Ken. Learning with ones own children is such a blessing. I am always so thankful that our parents took the time to teach us and that I can be the teacher for my children! Every moment can be a learning growing time! Love you! MJ


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