Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Activities - The Plan

It's summertime!  School is out!  We use a virtual school, so we are used to being home together, but we want to keep ourselves busy (and I want to make sure that skills are not lost during break).  Here are some things were doing with our summer days:

Summer means more time for birdwatching.

Library Activities.  Our library district has a fun-filled summer reading program.  Kids can earn prizes by logging their time spent reading.  There are also lots of fun programs to attend.  Some are educational, others entertaining, some are for crafting while others focus on math or science.  Daughter is signed up for summer reading, and she is attending the summer sessions of 'after math', where they do various games and activities that help kids retain and enhance their math skills over the summer.  This coming weekend, there is a free children's book exchange - donate books you have outgrown in the morning, then come back in the afternoon to choose new (to you) books in the afternoon.

Music.  Daughter takes piano lessons from a high-school student.  In the summer, there is more time to practice and have fun, impromptu concerts.  She has a little 'i-cat' toy that lights up and dances to the music, which is really fun too!

Outdoors.  We are gardening this year, fishing on the weekends, playing outside with friends and generally having fun.  This week we're making 'seed bombs' with a friend.  They are a test for an upcoming library event, but I think the girls will enjoy helping us come up with prototypes!  We have also been planting seeds in the flowerbed and doing some bird watching in the cooler parts of the day.  There are chores too - tending our animals, picking up all of Taffy's sticks so we can mow, weeding and watering, etc.  We have a tent, and I plan to put it up as soon as I get the first round of mowing done.  It will be a fun and easy fort.  When it gets a little hotter we will get out the water balloons, squirters, etc.  We also have a small fire pit, where I am hoping we can roast some marshmallows on a warm night.

There will be fishin'...and hopefully, catchin'.

Flash!  Yep.  I'm old-fashioned, and we've been spending a few minutes (fewer than five!) each day with the flash cards.  If we can keep those basic math facts current over the summer, I think it will make back-to-school time a much more pleasant transition.    I'm also going to start with some penmanship 'mini pages' soon, to keep penmanship skills in place.

Projects.  I have some things saved on Pinterest that I think would be fun for a rainy day, or even a very hot day, when there is interest in 'something to do'.  Most of these are things like painted rocks, coloring pages, making walking sticks, pine cone crafts, etc.

Nature.  We'll be hiking (and possibly biking) out in nature throughout the summer.  Daughter has a lovely nature table downstairs where she can bring her collected items, and we can use them year-round.  She has found fragments of some songbird eggs, a few feathers and some beautiful stones.  She takes a field guide and binoculars with her when we go fishing, too.

Chores.  I have been asking for a little more help, and Daughter is learning a few more tasks that she can do.

Computer.  Daughter is signed up for a free program called Ten Marks.  It's a quick, daily math activivites to help keep her skills current.  After completing a certain number of quizzes (we think it's six), a game is unlocked as a reward.  She is also talking about starting to track her birding interests online.  Finally, her virtual school offers some free summertime live lessons.  We went through the list and marked the ones that are for her age, and that she is likely to enjoy.  Some are book talks, and others include science activities, a summer cooking lesson, camping skills and camp games.

Western Tree Wolf - pup (rare)

Western Tree Wolf - proud parents (rare)

Being a Kid.  I think this is the best part - just having time to explore interests, discover things and have fun!  It is fun to see just how creative and imaginative children can be, and 'down time' is important for that sort of development.  So, we are not 'on the go' all that much.  We have big blocks of time to pursue interests and create.

Me.  Me?  I want to read when I have time, and do spring (ahem) cleaning.  Today I washed the screens, windows and blinds in the living room, swept the ceiling, wiped down a couple of walls....being a grownup is fun like that!  There will be gardening, mowing, spending time with friends too, as well as my sweet hubby.

What are your summer plans?

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