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11 Things Creative Parents Do With Bored Kids In Summer

11 Things Creative Parents Do With Bored Kids In Summer

It’s the last month of summer. You’ve already done all the fun things you’ve planned, took a vacation together and even sent your kids to visit their grandma/auntie/cousins, so they wouldn’t waste their time in front of the TV. But, there’s still another month left and you completely ran out of ideas. Fret not! We have made this amazing list of activities your kiddos would love to do this summer. Cross each one from the list and none of you will notice that it’s time to get back to school again!

1. Organize a Photo Scavenger Hunt

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    All you need is a bunch of bored kids (done!), a few cameras or cell phones (all have them), a piece of paper where you list all the objects for the hunt (done in less than 5 min). Be creative and list various shapes (heart, square, crescent etc), along with colors and any other items that could be potentially discovered in your neighborhood. Print it out and give out to all the hunters.

    Now they should head outside and start exploring by snapping pictures according to your instructions. It could be a square shadow, falling from the window, an animal-shaped cloud, a heart-shaped string lying on the sidewalk. Find the shape, cross it off the list and come home with a bunch of cool new pictures and small rewards (for all participants, obviously).

    Scavenger hunts never get boring, as you can create different variations like neighborhood scavenger (asking the neighbors if they have certain objects from the checklist); library scavenger hunt (list questions, passages, facts etc) that could be found in books, and more.

    2. Make Up Spin-Offs of Favorite Stories

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      Done with all the planned summer reading? Now get creative and start inventing stories together. Ask your kid to write a small narrative about their favorite heroes. You can either suggest to write a “What happened next story?” or a “What if (insert their fav hero) did something another way?”

      Give the kids time to create and seriously warn them about copying each other ideas like a lot of kids like doing. It’s a great way to teach them the odds of plagiarism and fuel their creativity at the same time.

      You can turn it into a small contest with all participants reading out loud and rating each other stories, and themed prizes given out to all.

      3. Design a New Piece of Furniture

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        Summer’s usually the time when we try to get rid of our old stuff. Instead of throwing out that old armchair, give it a revamp together. Fabric colors don’t cost much and your kids would have tons of fun making their own signature design. You can either opt for different paper stencils or just let draw whatever they feel like to.

        4. Tie Dye Clothes

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          Tie Dye’s trending this season and, in fact, it never gets old or boring. It’s a fun way to update your kids’ and your wardrobe while challenging your creativity.

          Get some plain white T-shirts, scarfs, bandanas or anything else you feel like dyeing, and get creative together. Tie dying is pretty easy and you can make amazing patterns yourself simply by using different folding techniques.

          Sure, the whole thing may get a bit messy with kids. But, hey, it’s summer! You can do everything outside and clean up everything (and everyone) from the faucet.

          5. Start a Nature Journal

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            Go out on a nature walk or a short hike together. Don’t forget to take a notebook and some pencils along. Nature is truly fascinating and gives us plenty of room for creativity and observation. Challenge your child’s inner Darwin and prompt them to take notes and make sketches of things they see. Collect different leaves and flowers to scrap into your new journal later on or turn them into lovely artwork.

            6. Play with Bubbles that Bounce

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              Everyone likes soap bubbles, but they don’t last long. To extend the pleasure you should use the following recipe:

              • 1 C distilled drinking water
              • 1 Tablespoon dish soap
              • 1 Teaspoon of glycerin

              Mix everything together and let it sit for 24 hours. This way the bubbles won’t disappear immediately and bounce around a bit.  Or you can create extra large bubbles for even more fun!

              7. Learn to Make Kites

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                Kites have been keeping kids all around the world entertained for hundreds of years, long before Angry Birds or the TV were invented. Sure, you can buy a cheap one at a local store, but to keep your kids entertained for longer, learn to make your own ones. The whole process is pretty simple. All you will need is:

                • Two A4 sized craft papers in different colors
                • Scissors, pencil, scale
                • Two drinking straws
                • Glue
                • String – about a meter long
                • Some paper ribbons for the tail and decorations.

                Now follow these simple instructions to make your own colorful sky-flier.

                8. Set up a Lemonade Stand

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                  There’s a billion of simple lemonade recipes, all of them including some lemons (obviously), water, sugar syrup and a few leaves of mint. A stand could be colored and decorated together from an old nightstand. Selling lemonade to friends, family and neighbors, in fact, is a great way to give your kids a lesson about entrepreneurship. Who knows where it might lead in ten years?

                  9. Master Body Art with Watercolor Crayons

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                    Challenge your kids’ artsy side and let them draw all over themselves or each other with watercolor crayons. They are colorful, easy-to-wash away and can give them hours of fun creating temporary tattoos. Again, you can find and print out loads of amazing tribal, floral or abstract patterns online.

                    10. Have Fun with Snail Mail

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                      Did you know there are a lot of cool things under 13 ounces that you can mail? From flip-flops and stockings full of candies to a special mail bucket and shovel. Create a beautiful care package together and mail to some of your friends, relatives or a new pen pal.

                      11. Finish a 1,000 piece puzzle

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                        Everyone loves puzzles, but not everyone have the guts to finish them. As long as school days are still a month away, you can use the desk to assemble it. When it’s finally done, you can always glue a LEGO mat or a piece of carton on top to turn it into a lovely table cover or wall art.

                        Featured photo credit: Geomangio via flickr.com

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                        Published on November 7, 2018

                        How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

                        How to Homeschool in the 21st Century (For All Types of Parents & Kids)

                        In 2016, it was estimated that 1.7 million children were being homeschooled in the U.S, roughly 3.3% of all school-aged children.[1] Although this may not sound like a big portion of the population, the growth rate of homeschooling has been 7 to15% per year for the last two decades.

                        The burgeoning numbers are not a coincidence. There are tremendous benefits to homeschooling, including one-on-one teaching, adaptability to individual needs and learning styles, a safe learning environment, encouraging learning for knowledge rather than grades, and tailoring a curriculum to the child’s interests.

                        Is homeschooling something that you have been considering for your family? With all of the tools and resources available for homeschoolers in the 21st century, it may be easier than you think.

                        How to Homeschool (Getting Started)

                        After thinking it through, you’ve decided that homeschooling is the right step for you and your family. Now what? Here are the first things you should do to get your homeschooling journey started on the right track.

                        Figure Out the Laws

                        Homeschooling is regulated by the state, not the federal government. The first step is to find the current and accurate legal requirements mandated by your state in order to educate your child legally.[2]

                        The regulations can vary widely, from strict guidelines to no guidelines at all. However, don’t be overwhelmed by the legal jargon. There are many resources and local communities for homeschooling families that can help you figure out the logistics.

                        Decide on an Approach

                        Every child’s needs are different. This is your chance to choose the homeschooling style or combination of styles that best fits your child’s learning style and interests. A brief description of seven different homeschooling methods are listed below.

                        Supplies/Resources

                        Often times, purchasing a homeschooling curriculum is done too early in the planning process, resulting in buyer’s remorse.

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                        A curriculum is not always needed for homeschooling, and other types of free or less structured resources are readily available.

                        Find a Community

                        Getting connected with a community of homeschoolers is one of the most important parts of building a successful and thriving homeschool environment for your kids.

                        Look for communities online for virtual support or a local group that you and your kids can interact with. Partnering with others fosters better socialization skills for the students and provides opportunities for field trips, classes, and outings that wouldn’t have otherwise been a part of the homeschooling experience.

                        7 Different Homeschooling Methods

                        1. School-At-Home

                        Also known as Traditional homeschool, School-At-Home uses essentially the same curriculum as the local private or public school but at home.

                        The lessons can be completed independently, but more commonly, they are administered by a parent or a teacher-facilitated online school.

                        • Benefits: formal standards, wide selection of curricula, same pace as peers, short-term friendly
                        • Drawbacks: expensive, inflexible, time consuming, parent can get easily burnt out
                        • Resources: K12, Time4Learning, Abeka

                        2. Classical

                        One of the most popular homeschooling methods used, it borrows educational practices from Ancient Greece and Rome. Subject areas are studied chronologically so that students can understand the consequence of ideas over time.

                        Socratic dialogue fosters effective discussions and debate to achieve beyond mere comprehension. There is often a strong emphasis on Great Books[3] as well as Greek and Latin.

                        3. Unit Studies

                        Rather than breaking up education into subjects, unit studies approach each topic as a whole, studying it from the perspective of each subject area.

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                        For example, a unit study about animals could include reading books about animals, learning about the classification of animals, figuring out which animals live on which continents, etc. This method is often used as a technique in other more comprehensive educational methodologies.

                        • Benefits: promotes thinking about concepts as a whole, not monotonous or redundant, student-directed, bolsters weaker subject areas, beneficial for teaching multi-age students
                        • Drawbacks: incomplete, knowledge gaps, curriculum-dependent
                        • Resources: Unit Study, Unit Studies, Unit Studies Made Easy, Konos

                        4. Charlotte Mason

                        This Christian homeschooling style utilizes shorts periods of study (15-20 minute max for elementary, 45 minute max for high school), along with nature walks and history portfolios.

                        Students are encouraged to practice observation, memorization, and narration often. With a focus on “living books” (stories with heroes, life lessons, socio-ethical implications), reading plays a big role in this student-paced teaching style.

                        5. Montessori

                        Maria Montessori developed this method through working with special needs children in the early 20th century.

                        With a primary focus on the student setting the pace and indirect instruction from the teacher, this approach includes free movement, large unstructured time blocks (up to 3 hours), multi-grade classes, and individualized learning plans based on interests.

                        6. Unschooling

                        Unschooling is a learning model largely based on the work of John Holt.[4] The teaching style focuses mainly on the students’ interests, putting priority on experiential, activity-based, and learn as you go approaches.

                        For basic skills such as reading, writing, and math, a systematic technique is employed, but testing and evaluations are typically not utilized. Teachers, in general, play more of a facilitator role.

                        7. Eclectic/Relaxed

                        As the most popular method of homeschool, eclectic homeschooling is child-directed, resourceful, and non-curriculum based.

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                        Parents can sample any combination of homeschooling methods and styles or resources. One growing sector of eclectic homeschooling combines part homeschooling with part traditional schooling.

                        How to Facilitate Homeschooling with Technology

                        One of the reasons homeschooling is more feasible than ever before is due to the accessibility of tools and resources to enhance the learning process.

                        Email

                        Email is a tool that has really stood the test of time. Invented in 1972, it is still used today as a primary means of communicating on the Internet.

                        It is a great way to share assignments, links, and videos between parent and student.

                        Google Drive/Calendar

                        Google Drive offers a multitude of essential programs that can come in handy for homeschoolers, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

                        With its sharing capabilities, easy accessibility, and auto-save ability, it’s easier than ever to organize and complete assignments. It will improve students’ writing and typing skills, as well as eliminate the need for paper.

                        Google Calendar is an excellent tool for tracking assignment due dates, planning field trips and activities, and developing time management skills.

                        Ebooks

                        Rather than invest in physical copies of books, ebooks are a wonderful option for saving money and space. There are plenty of places that offer a free or paid subscription to a wide selection of ebooks:

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                        E-Courses

                        When a structured curriculum is necessary for teaching a certain topic, an e-course is the way to go.

                        From watercolors to calculus, there are e-courses available about almost everything. Including different teaching styles that vary from the parents will encourage students to learn in different ways.

                        The visual and auditory stimulation will also be beneficial in helping students understand and retain the concepts being taught.

                        Some recommendations:

                        Youtube

                        Youtube is not just a platform for music videos and cats doing funny things. There are a number of Youtube channels that produce quality educational videos, free of charge.

                        Creating a playlist of videos for various topics is a great way to supplement a homeschool education.

                        Some recommendations:

                        Final Thoughts

                        Homeschooling in the current age looks much different than it did ten years ago. There are more options and more flexibility when it comes to educating kids at home.

                        Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of homeschooling your children if it could make a positive impact on your family.

                        Featured photo credit: Hal Gatewood via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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