It’s already starting in my house..
“This is the worst day ever!”
“I’m so bored.”
“I have nothing to do.”
Oh…the sounds of children who need direction and some activities.
So…how can you survive this summer with your kiddos home?
I’ve got 10 ways for you to be the “Worst Mom Ever” this summer.
So let’s get started…….
Give them two weeks of college life.
For the first two weeks after school lets out, just let them do whatever they want. Let them wake up when they want and just hang out. Watch their mannerisms, weaknesses, and see what the summer holds for you. This is your “gathering information” session for the summer. You will quickly find out what goals you have for each of them and what behaviors are not going to “work” for your summer home with them. (You will then use this information to set up your daily schedule and chore lists.)
Set up a daily schedule.
I like to have some semblance of order for the summer. Of course, my days are not filled with homeschooling checklists, but the children function better when they know the “plan”. Our mornings will be pretty laid back in terms of wake up times and breakfast. At around 10am, we will gather to work on a daily scripture verse, morning prayer, chore assignments, and the schedule for the rest of the day. Our local YMCA pool will open at 11 so the children and I will set up our day around an after lunch pool time and errands and appointments will be set up to alternate pool days. Since we do have two vacation bible school sessions scheduled this summer for the mornings, it makes more sense to set up our pool times and errands for the afternoon. I have also chosen to give myself one day, Wednesdays, where we will remain at home. This will allow the children to plunder my home while I work on housecleaning and home projects. I strongly recommend this if you are in the car driving a lot. You will want to have one day that you can “veg” if you need it.
Turn off the TV: Encourage your kids to “feed their brain”.
You will be amazed at how many grocery stores, fashion shows, and lip syncs will grace your home. My kids decided to plan a bake sale for the weekend community yard that my development was having and earned $28. It’s amazing what they can do when they aren’t sitting in front of the TV.
Make them earn their ipod/kindle/ipad time:
For every job/chore that my kids do, above and beyond their responsible daily chore, they can earn 15 minutes of “technology time”. Technology is a priviledge…not a “right”. You will be surprised how many extra jobs they will do for technology time.
Institute a mandatory reading time for your whole house everyday…including you.
If you have little ones, give them the first few minutes of your time and read aloud with them. If you can fit it in, start reading a novel together. The minute I start reading a book aloud, I find that my bigger kiddos start crowding around me on the couch. The kiddos love when I add voices and really throw myself into the story. Reading aloud, at any age, will only increase their vocabulary and their knowledge of subject matter.
Make them eat their fruits and veggies.
This is way more fun if you let them help you grow them. Our strawberries just came in and the kids are loving it. I actually found that the kiddos will eat roasted veggies from the garden too if they know it was the one that “they picked”.
Make them sit down…with you.
I know…there is always so much for us to do. But….a mom sitting down is like a bug to a light. Kids LOVE being close to mom but we are rarely relaxing. Let them lay on top of you….dangle off the couch from your lap….I’m sure they and you will absolutely hate it.
Teach them more responsibility.
When my teaching hat gets put aside for the summer, I really push the kiddos in the cleaning/responsibility department. There is a greater number of “commission” earning jobs that can be done during the week for money. I also pair my kiddos up together so I can get to some summer projects that need my attention.
Make them go outside everyday.….even if its raining.
Teach them to dance in the rain and stomp in puddles. Pull out the old jump rope and teach them how to jump “old school”. Play tag or jump on their bike and take it for a ride. I’ve been known to grab one of my kid’s scooters and race them down the street. The summer is the perfect time for a late dinner and bath after a long day of outside play.
Create some “Mom Time”.
During the school year, I made sure that I had an hour a day to myself. My children played in the basement while I made business calls; watched one of my favorite shows; or ate some chocolate. Haha. It was really important for me to have this “selfish” time so that I could give to my family without frustration or fatigue. We, as moms, need to recharge. We need to find strength in our day to be our best.
Your kids might think that you are the “Worst Mom Ever”, as you are ruining their plans for their summer…but you will bask in the joys that will come from these few tips.
May you find peace and joy in your home..and in your heart.