Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer Boredom Busters

It was less than a month ago that our school district announced that it was going to shorten the school year by a week.  While I could go on and on about the sad state of education in Idaho (specifically) and the US (in general), I will spare you my ranting today.

Instead...I have been trying to make a plan for the upcoming summer.  I don't just want summer to be a time of TV and Video Games.  I want to make the summer productive and this means planning. Here are some of my summer plans/inspirations:

1. Summer Goals Program:

First of all...if you are trying to figure out to do with your kids this summer, hurry on over to Amazon and buy this book...

Lorraine Alldredge will teach you how to incorporate a summer goals program into your summer plans.  It is something that will take planning, but it will help you make plans for your children to accomplish a lot during the summer.  Her ideas are simple and have been tested on her large family.  It works for everyone too since she discusses adapting to all ages of children.  I know Lorraine, she is one of my heroes and she really has figured out a lot about raising great kids.

This is a big part of my summer plans.  I can't wait to help my children accomplish goals such as:  learning how to make their beds perfectly ;), sweeping floors, memorizing short poems or scriptures, reading books, cooking simple things they can enjoy, and more!  After accomplishing all their goals, we will plan a special family reward for meeting the summer goals (Lorraine stresses it doesn't have to be something really big, it can be as simple as a fun camping trip, or a special dinner out)

2.  Weekly Field Trips

I'm hoping that I can arrange some kind of fun day trip once a week with my kiddos.  Hopefully I will always be able to find at least one other family to go with us (which will make it even more exciting for my kids) and my plan is to take short day trips to scenic or historic places of interest close to us, visit the museum, the zoo, etc.  I'm trying to get a list of places to go because I know if I don't get this one planned, it just won't happen.

3.  Gardening and Growing

I can't wait to get working on my yard.  There is something wonderful about it that I just can't describe.  I'm excited to get my kids involved in it this year.  They probably won't love learning to pull weeks and pick up rocks, but there is just something good about having the kids help in the garden and this year they are both old enough to appreciate the vegetable garden that I am planning.  Nothing takes quite like peas fresh from the garden (no cooking required for this deliciousness!).


So...those are a few of my ideas of what we are going to be doing this summer.  Now...I need all of your help.  I still want more ideas!  So...please, please, please make a comment and tell me what you are planning to do this summer with your kids.  Do you have favorite websites for activities you do with your kids?  Do you live around here, what are some of your favorite places to visit?  Let me know!  Or write a post about what you are going to do with your kids this summer and then make a comment on this post telling me where to find it.  If you have been lurking, I'd be so happy if you'd de-lurk and give me some more ideas!  Please people, don't let me down here! :)


Andrea said...

We have very similar goals for the summer with the kids! I also want to focus on the garden and fun outings...but I also like the idea of goals and learning new skills. Thanks for sharing the idea about the book--I just bought it for myself. Shouldn't have --but I did. It looks like it will have lots of great ideas!

Another thing that is big at our house is reading and the library's summer reading program--they have rewards and it's fun (you can even read to the little ones for rewards.) Does the Madison library do that? Here's another idea you might like: Summer Bingo,

I've always wanted to try it, but my kids were too little. I think Elise could do this this year. Not sure if I have the get up and go to institute it or not, but it would be fun!!!

The Denney's said...

A few ideas I know that my sis in law Christina does with her kids for the summer is the Library Summer Reading program. I know you're trying to get away from watching movies a lot but the Rex has movies once a week for kids showing at the theater. It's like $10.00 for the whole summer or $2.00/movie or something like that. I can't remember the details.
Also they have free park lunches for kids (adults pay or bring their own) every M-F at Porter park or Smith park around lunch time.
One other thing that we want to do this summer is go to Pocatello and go to Ross Park. It's a swim place that has a lazy river, lots of different pools, etc that are good for kids of all ages. Anyway, of course then there is the carousel and the splash park in town as well.
Man...I just can't WAIT for summer!!! We should get together and do something fun. I know my daughter would LOVE playing with yours! Good luck and happy (hopefully soon) Summer!

Traci said...

You're such a good mom, Leslie!

I thought I'd share something my parents did with us during the summers. We'd have "report night" once a week (or it might have been once a month). Some summers we did book reports, some summers we learned about animals, or different jobs, or constellations, etc. My favorite summer was when we learned about different countries. We'd pick a country for all of us to learn about. One of the kids would learn the history of the country, one would learn about the culture, another the food, ect. Then on the report night we'd dress up and make food appropriate for our topic. It was a fun way to learn during the summer.

As far as activities...I have a lot. Go ride your bikes through the old railroad bed below Mesa Falls, have tin foil dinners at Beaver Dick park, hike or rent a canoe at Jenny's lake near Jackson, borrow my parent's telescope and look at the stars out by R mountain, learn about the weird earthquake at the visitors center near Quake Lake...I could go on. Call me if you want more! I'm getting homesick thinking about it all!

You'll have a wonderful summer, I'm sure of it!

Camille said...

Lot's of great ideas Leslie! I haven't gotten around to making a plan, maybe because I always do and my kids don't like it. Maybe I'll make a plan, but I won't tell them about it and pretend I'm being spontaneous. Perhaps that'll work? But I love the idea of weekly field trips, it would give them a reward for working on the other things during the week. I'm giving Colin space in the flowerbeds for the plants he grew in scouts. He's really excited, thanks! And, I'm hoping to save some time each week to teach Maddie piano, she's been begging me. I also ordered Ramona and Beezus. I want to read it to the kids and then take them to the movie when it comes out. We might need a little air conditioning this summer, right? Cross our fingers. So far those are my ideas.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Your kids are blessed to have you as their mother!

We love the summer reading programs held by our local city and county libraries. We go to the library on a weekly basis.

Richelle said...

Such a great idea to have goals and a plan. I love the idea of a weekly outing. I think I might have to try that, too. There are some gardens here we are thinking of becoming a member of that has a splash park and a tree house and gardens to explore.

There are lots of places to hike and camp not too far.

Get grandpa to take you boating every once in a while!

Wish we lived close enough to come play with you! :(

Richelle said...

I just saw this in my email. It has some fun ideas:

lois vuitton said...
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