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When summer begins, parents and children pack in a bunch of activities. There’s likely some combination of vacation, playdates, community events, sleepovers, or camp. But usually a few weeks go by, the list of plans have been exhausted,and what was new and fun now isn’t. What’s a family to do?
To start, let your children stay bored awhile. That’s where creativity often comes from – when your mind isn’t preoccupied or being called to attention by the TV or the phone. With a little guidance, letting your children figure out how to occupy their time with can lead to problem solving skills. When is the last time your child came up with their own game show instead of watching one? Or built their own outdoor waterpark?
If boredom has already taken over and you need some additional ideas, here are a few more suggestions to fill the void.
Review the Past School Year and Plan Ahead
Now is a great time to discuss the past year because the usual hustle and bustle of the school year is not currently present. Review some homeschool materials you collected during the year and go over the “ups and downs” with each child. Review some homeschool materials you collected during the year and go over the “ups and downs” with each child.
For example, some parents have children who love math, but struggle with reading. They will talk about the difficulties and also discuss how they might improve before the next school year starts. Another child may read like an educated adult, but struggle with math. This reflection can lend ideas to skill building efforts to occupy some of your student’s summer days. It can also help shape the goals for the next school year. Who wouldn’t love a head start on that?
Use Fun Games as Educational Tools
Summer seems synonymous with the outdoors. So the thought of having your children on the computer may not be appealing unless it’s educational. Using your review of the past school year, you can ask your older children to identify some learning game sites in the areas they need to review. Although it may not be formal or follow traditional school work, the online lessons will make for good practice and help occupy some of their long summer days.
It’s likely you’ll find similar sites for reading, vocabulary, phonics, science, and more. Gather up a shortlist of sites that you like and find reputable, and use them on rainy days, or when you just can’t hear, “I’m bored,” one more time.
No one likes the prospect of being bored, but with some constructive ideas and direction, it isn’t always a bad thing. Let your children use their imagination outdoors. And, use the time to look back on the past school year and plan ahead to the next one. Use your analysis to come up with some skill building activities, which can include online learning games. Let your children busy themselves, while improve their skills.