Kids At Home: 5 Tips To Avoid A Summer Struggle
Let me tell you this up front: my kids are home every season. Every day of every week of every season.
We homeschool, and there is a completely different element in your family when you spend more time with your children (and it's not as crazy as I imagined it would be... or should as I say, I'm not as crazy as I imagined being home with them all the time would make me).
When you're not used to it, however, and especially when you're transitioning from a corporate work environment to working from home and topping that with your kids being out of school for the summer, it can be pretty intense.
Can you make it work? Absolutely.
Let me share some of my own tried-and-true tips for juggling life and family during the summer especially.
1. Take Advantage Of The Great Outdoors
Save those screens for when you'll really need them (if you will at all) and give marching orders for outside.
Not only does this give everyone a daily dose of natural vitamin D, but it gives them physical activity (exercise) they may not get otherwise. Whether play, physical yard work, or both, everyone benefits by spending time outdoors.
The imagination of a child tends to be freer, fuller, and more fun when they're not confined by walls, so get them outside (and out of everyone's hair). Even if you have to do it first thing in the morning while it's still cool, or in the heat of the day with some water play, the outdoors will be your best friend.
(And keep the sunscreen handy, and applied!!)
Last on this point, make sure you catch this post about creating an outdoor office, so you can all enjoy the outdoors together!
2. Keep Them Engaged
Don't over-schedule (please... stop doing this!) but keep your kids engaged in summer activities.
Whether it's regular playdates, camps, vacation Bible school, or some other activity, keep the kids on an activity routine where they know who they can spend their summer with, what doing, and when it will all take place.
Keeping kids engaged with each other will be paramount for everyone to have a happy, fulfilling summer.
3. Keep The Snacks Stocked & The Water Cool
Keep popsicles in the freezer (even fruit juice frozen into ice cubes will do the trick!) and keep the cupboards filled with munchies. While the kids are running around, burning all kinds of energy, the last thing you want is for them to end up dehydrated or hangry.
Push fluids all the time, make sure they have an abundant source of snacks to choose from (apple slices, crackers, cheese, nuts, raisins, blueberries, yogurt, cucumber slices, etc.) and access to water at all times. (We use stainless steel water bottles - they can take a beating, and they're so easy to keep filled!)
It's REALLY IMPORTANT you have all of these things accessible - either already portioned out, or at the very least in a convenient spot your kids can reach. This way, they can help themselves, and your interruptions will be cut nearly in half if they don't have to ask you every time they need something to eat or drink.
4. Keep Making Lunch the Night Before
I know, I know... one of the celebrations of school being let out is not having to make your kids' lunches the night before! Except...
If you keep doing this, they can grab and go - whether to eat outside, eat at the table, eat on the way to a friend's - if you've already got lunch made, you've already got them taken care of and they can help themselves to it when they need it. (And there's no arguing over what to make or who wants how many slices of what - it's already done!)
5. Enjoy Them, and Summer
This won't last long. The days seem long, but the years fly by as they say. And it's so true! These hot summer days with the kids at home will be but a flash in the pan when you look back one day.
The easiest way to get the most out of your time at home - working or not - is to take breathers regularly to just enjoy those kiddos. Their favorite memories are going to be the times they spent with you. Cherish it, make time for it, and relax and enjoy it.
Kids being home for summer can be a bit overwhelming, even for us veterans over here, but it's always rewarding, and completely workable.
Get outside and enjoy some sunshine, and soak up the laughter from the kids as they play.