Do you have friends with children who are or will soon be released from the school system? Are your friends as frantic as mine are? "What will we do with little hooligans?" they ask you.
Like most homeschooling moms, I just don't understand the complete look of terror that these parents have. We are constantly looking for ways to keep our children productive (um... not entertained - there is a difference) during the year.
So, here are some simple ideas that I have for you.
Make something together:
Try something fun.
Go to a you-pick farm and make jam afterward. Strawberries and cherries should be in soon. Blueberries are next up. Even better, learn to grow your own. Get some books on growing, then canning. Your child will have a skill that they use for life.
Put your child in charge of the menu for a week. Go grocery shopping for the ingredients together. Cook together. If you have an child that is on the verge of being a teenager, they may be ready to jump in to couponing and learn how to save money before the shopping. Challenge them to get 50% or more off on groceries and then make a weekly menu out of what they bought. Now that is a skill!
Bake together. Do it now before the weather is too warm. Fill up your freezer with snacks and breads that you can pull out each week during the summer.
Learn Something New Together:
We recently bought a beehive and my son and I are planning to care for the bees and eventually harvest honey.
Chickens are another big project around here. I was so excited when I found out that our family (or any family) can enroll as a 4-H group. The process was really easy. That way, we have access to very inexpensive curriculum about, not only farm animals, but all sorts of interesting projects (ie: sewing, small machines, so much more!) I was able to get information on chickens and eggs. I hope that my children will soon be showing chickens at our local fair. All without having to go to meetings or paying fees.
What about sewing or quilting? If your children are young, start off with some hand stitching. Seven or eight year olds can use the sewing machine with help. If they are ten or older, they will become proficient in no time. You say you have no idea how to even start? Get a book from the library or take a class.
Do a little research and find some books that are a little above your child's reading level themselves. Pick a chapter book that is of interest to them. Do you remember one that you especially loved from your childhood? A lot of the classics are still just as good today. Read a chapter or three to your child everyday. Maybe in the afternoon when it's too hot to be outside. They will look forward to what happens next.
Set a goal. Start off walking a mile at a time. Work up to three or five. Or run. Sign up for a race or marathon together.
Above all, spend time:
Don't think that you can buy your child a couple of super soakers and new beach towel for the summer an all will be well. The real key to relationship is that you spend your time WITH your child. Be with them. Do things with them. You'll never regret it.