Well hello my fellow parents! It's officially summer break in my home. My kids' last day of school was last Wednesday, but it just felt like a long weekend for us, until today (Day 1 of summer break). Today Nick started his summer semester, and Katie started her kindergarten summer readiness class. How lucky is Katie, to be able to go to a fun summer class to gear up even MORE for kinder next year?! Not to mention, its run by her preschool teacher, and in the same class she's been in since she was 3. Coincidence? Yea, probably, but it's awesome nonetheless!
Over the past 4 weeks or so, I've been gathering lots of ideas, and fun recipes to try with the kids. I don't want them being bored, or....well, I'll just say it....irritating me with "we never do anything funnnnnn, I'm boredddd". So this mama got to work and BAM, I have lists of awesome stuff to keep us busy.
Each summer my kids know that we read daily. That's something we've just always done. They are required to read for 45 minutes a day, Katie and Laura will pass that up with the first 45 minutes they are awake. They are bookworms, always have been, always will be. SO they always pass that time, but I'm not going to stop them! I read to William several times a day, and then Nick lays in bed with William after bath time, reading him the same book every night (Williams request) "A Fly Went By". So he easily reaches 45 minutes as well. Nicholas is 13, so its different. He DOES reach 45 minutes and occasionally will pass that by 10-15 minutes or so, but he certainly doesn't do it first thing in the morning. Its usually the last thing he does at night, but that's fine by me :)
I have the kids all do some type of "school work". Laura has her own workbook for second grade, Katie has a kindergarten one, and I have Nick whip up some math problems for Nicholas, and I usually print stuff off for Nicholas each summer to keep his brain busy.
We also do chores daily. The kids know what to do, and sometimes I add something new to switch it up. It's good for them to pitch in to keep their home clean and to take responsibility for their own stuff.
We have quiet time daily right after lunch, mostly for William to take a nap but Katie is still so young, she will be 5 in September but she NEEDS time to rest. Laura likes to lay down and watch the movie I pick to put on, and Nicholas will watch his own movie, use some of his video game time, or go to a friends house.
So to break up the days, and put smiles on every one's face, we will be doing something special each day. Some days it will be something big, and others it may be something small.....but that doesn't matter to kids. There is no big and small to kids. Its the fact that we are doing something together, and they see that they have parents that are present in their lives.
Today we started Day 1 with planting flowers. About a month ago we bought flowers to plant from walmart. We let the kids paint their planters, and they loved it. But we forgot about the flowers since they are in the front yard, and we mostly play in the backyard......which led to dead flowers on my front steps. :(
My father in law gave me some seeds from his flowers to plant, and what perfect place than the previous planters!? So we got to work. The kids loved it. They dug out the old dead flowers, and put new soil in. They got their hands dirty, which I love to see! Yea I'm that weird mom that enjoys a mess! :)
Nicholas decided to opt out of today's planned event, to spend time with a friend. I was ok with that. At his age, it's about giving him the choice. Some days he will stay home all day begging me to play uno with him (a family favorite) and others he will beg me to go to a friends house. He's old enough to make the decision. :)
Anyways, we pushed the seeds down, layered some new soil on and watered them. The kids were excited to see their pretty pots on the steps. They can't wait to water them tomorrow, and eventually see some gorgeous flowers that THEY planted! I will have to update you all with pictures of the sprouting flowers :)
I am hoping this will encourage other parents to not be afraid to be hands on, to allow their kids to get their hands dirty, to take time out of their day to give undivided attention to their little loves. What better way to spend a summer?!