By: Prestonwood Christian Academy North Parent, Angela Emens
Summertime parenting is a whole different ballgame. We are supposed to relax, let the kids get bored, and prevent them from destroying the house in the process. In the midst of all this relaxing we must keep food in the house, make sure the kids don’t forget everything they learned during the school year, find, register, and pay for fun summer camps, continue to do mountains of laundry, and hold down that other full time job that pays the bills. To be clear, I am not complaining. Please don’t remind me how many more summers I have before they are 18 and summertime is never the same. I feel the tug on my heartstrings to take it all in, to make memories, to remember the giggles, and hold onto that hug for an extra second.
I wish I could say that I have the perfect way to do all these things, but to be honest, I think the answer is to be content with what you are able to do and fully present in those moments that you can enjoy with your children.
With that in mind, here are some of the ways we do summer in the Emens House:
- Each day of the week has a general category topic:
- Make it Monday-crafts, baking
- Thinking Tuesday- reading, math facts, writing, skill building
- Water Wednesday- pool, splash park, water balloons
- Trippin’ Thursday- get out and go on a field trip
- Family Friday- Fun activities/games together
- Each Week I select a theme for the week. I try to include a broad theme, a children’s book, a place to explore, and a memory verse or scripture that ties into the theme. Here are a few of my themes from this summer:
Draw Near To God
The Day the Crayon’s Quit
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
The Pigeon Books by Mo Willems
Playdate with friends and family.
Psalms 107:9 “For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
God Bless America – 4th of July
John, Paul, George & Ben by Lane Smith
Fireworks, family gatherings
John 15:13 “Greater love has no one then this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Building and Construction
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Rinker and Lichtenheld
Perot Museum- Lego Exhibit
Matthew 7: 24-27 Build Your House on the Rock
Bible verse handwriting practice: If I have time I make worksheet I will make something that includes writing the verse, defining the words, summarizing, and an application portion. If I don’t have time I grab paper and we do each part together and I lead them step-by-step. My oldest must practice her cursive, my middle must write using his best handwriting, and my three-year-old colors a word from the verse in different colors.
Activities and Crafts: These tend to be related to the theme and differ each week. For example, The Day the Crayons Quit the kids surveyed their friends on their favorite colors and used the results to make bar graphs.
For the Pigeon books my kids acted out different portions of the book:
Pinterest has a lot of great ideas!
- Miscellaneous to have on hand:
- Coloring Pages: Great for all ages! I have them sitting out for my kids to grab at any time.
- Flashcards: My kids quiz each other in a circle (sight words, letter recognition, multiplication facts)
- Word search, sudoku, crossword puzzle books
I leave you with this picture of my little ones at the Crayola Experience. Only 1 of my 3 children are even looking at the camera! This is real life! Instead of feeling frustrated, I am going to laugh at that cheesy grin and the little boy who is saluting, and breathe in the joy.