Last lesson I made a few suggestions about how to order the daily routine. Now I want to make a few suggestions about activities that you may find productive.
- Children can learn and should do their own laundry, if they are too young to do their own, they can help sort by color, fold and put away the family laundry
- Have them be in charge of a meal. For younger children that may mean that they help you plan, prepare, and clean up dinner on an assigned weekly night. When they are a little older, they can be responsible for doing it by themselves. A child 10 and older can prepare simple meals. If you really want to have a little fun, give them some money and let them plan, shop, prepare and clean up dinner. They can be responsible for doing dinner on a weekly basis.
- Reading is important. Libraries have wonderful summer reading programs. You need to make some requirements that they read history, biographies, science, good literature and make book reports to the family at home evening.
- Service projects are a must. Find someone in the neighborhood or ward that they can serve. My daughter had each of her children choose someone to serve for the summer. This could mean babysitting, lawn mowing, weed pulling, just visiting a care facility each week. Family service projects are wonderful where the whole family can serve together. The service needs to be done without pay and should require some sacrifice and working beyond comfort or it loses its value.
- This is a good time to introduce new hobbies to your children. Help them learn to use their hands and minds to create something. Teach them (or find someone who can teach them) to sew, crochet, knit, cook, swim, play chess, work with wood, fish, play golf. They need to learn how to do something new.
- Help them with an exercise program--do it with them
- Do a city run together
- Once a week have a field day and go to the museum, or the zoo, or the Fish and Game Discovery park. Boise is full of wonderful sites to see that cost nothing or very little.
- Have them plan and prepare a family outing to the mountains for a cookout or anything that is fun for your family but have them do the planning so they can learn the skill of being a leader.
- Work with them on their scouting and YW personal progress
- Have a family council and decide what are some family goals that you want to achieve this summer and plan a way to make some of them happen
- Put them in charge of a part of the garden, or your yard work
- Plan a home improvement project and teach them new skills to make it happen instead of doing it yourself ie paint a bedroom, wash all the windows in the house, remodel a room, finish a basement, do deep cleaning, put up a backyard fence.......
Summer teaching is so rewarding. They will still complain, but it will be a fulfilling experience for them and they will feel good about themselves. You may choose to have an occasional "pajama day" where they really do get the day off, but those should be the exception and not the rule. Summer will require you to work hard to plan and prepare the activities that you want them to do. It will be a lot more rewarding and in the end and you will not be quite ready for them to go back to school.
Have a great summer!
"In choosing how we spend time as a family, we should be careful not to exhaust our available time on things that are merely good and leave little time for that which is better or best. A friend took his young family on a series of summer vacation trips, including visits to memorable historic sites. At the end of the summer he asked his teenage son which of these good summer activities he enjoyed most. The father learned from the reply, and so did those he told of it. “The thing I liked best this summer,” the boy replied, “was the night you and I laid on the lawn and looked at the stars and talked.” Super family activities may be good for children, but they are not always better than one-on-one time with a loving parent."
"Good, Better, Best" by Dallin H. Oaks