We’re currently experiencing neighborhood terror from some naughty young teens. They’re ringing random neighbors’ doorbells, unlatching fences to let dogs out (ours included), throwing eggs at homes and hitting folks out exercising with paintballs. Clearly these young blessings need some activities and supervision to keep them busy.
I’m home all day, year-round homeschooling and my kids aren’t immune to turning into little monsters when they have too much time on their hands either, though I’m around to keep them in check.
Boredom can be beneficial as it can lend to an environment of creativity. However, sometimes kids just need to be provided with some things to do. There’s actually A LOT of things kids can get involved in that not only keeps them occupied, but will help them when they’re adults. Let’s call them life skills, shall we.
Educational Internet Print-Outs and Videos
You don’t have to be a homeschool parent to educate your children at home. The internet is swimming with free grade-level activity sheets for all ages. Buy the kids some new pencils, a new pencil sharpener (we like this one) and let them have at it. Act like it’s the equivalent of a fun crossword puzzle. Try to act excited about it.
It’s easy to catch your child up during the summer with any subjects they had problems with during the school year. (If they have issues with math, this is an amazing resource, here) If they don’t need that kind of help, it’s also easy to review topics or move ahead. It’s also possible for them to gain interest in subjects that their school may not even offer for their grade level, like: foreign languages, chemistry, physics and different biologies.
They could also begin to learn how to play the piano even if they’ve never had lessons. There’s a free online academy here. No piano, no problem. Check out my favorite piano substitute here. We chose this for our family because regular piano maintenance is pretty expensive.
How are children supposed to learn how to take care of themselves and a household, if they never try? Get them involved with you. Never act like your work at home is drudgery or they’ll view it that way as well. Make it a positive experience full of learning and explanations. Age appropriate chores can be found here.
Get Them In the Kitchen
As you may well know from reading this blog, I’m very passionate about the idea that a lot of our health begins in the kitchen. Knowing how to cook from scratch also saves money and is an activity that lends to a lot of creativity. Teach kids about knife safety and have them do the chopping chores before meals. Teach them how to sharpen knives. If you don’t know how to do that yourself, look it up on Youtube.
For younger readers and up into middle school and high school, I really recommend this book. It’s an amazing resource. Also, most of the recipes on this site are kid friendly for older children.
Getting children involved in the kitchen can help YOU have a better school year because they’ll be accustomed to kitchen chores by then.
Get Them Growing Things
Right when most schools let out for summer, give or take a few weeks, it’s a GREAT time to start fall pumpkins and winter squashes. These things practically grow themselves as long as they have adequate water. They’ll be ready by the time fall comes around and your child can help you prepare pumpkin pies, muffins and pumpkin spice lattes. Another good one is sweet potatoes. When your kids start harvesting things they grew with their own hands, they’ll feel an amazing sense of accomplishment.