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Summer Survival Tips

Boredom Busters

I had an interesting conversation with a friend the other day. She was lamenting the coming of summer. Her words, “You don't understand how stressful it is to have the kids underfoot all day. You homeschool so you're used to it.” She's right and wrong on this one!

Yes, we homeschool, but summer poses a challenge all the same. We aren't year-round schoolers so the break in the school year routine leaves me with kids that tend to get bored. Sibling fighting, large messes and whining are just as normal in my house as they are in hers. I've discovered a few techniques that make summer less stressful and more enjoyable for everyone.

First, establish a summer routine. It doesn't have to be involved, but even a simple routine helps provide order. I expect the kids to wake up, eat breakfast and get dressed each morning. Lounging in pajamas seems nice at first, but kids really need to keep a morning routine. We have lunch and dinner at roughly the same time each day, as well.

Second, don't become an entertainer. The truth is, kids only remain bored for a short time. I advise turning off the TV and game console and pushing the littles out the door. Too much television seems to feed the boredom monster. When stuck entertaining themselves in the backyard, the kids usually become engrossed in something within an hour.

Third, schedule something special each week, especially if you are sticking close to home this summer. My kids know we visit a local lake on most Saturdays for a picnic, swimming and hiking. We also have a few 'big' activities, such as the Renaissance Fair, Highland Festival and a start party we attend. These events give them and me something to look forward to so the days aren't too monotonous.