When I was growing up in Miami, FL, summer school was nothing like it is today. Our summer "school" consisted of a different, daily activity each weekday. We met at our regular school, joined up with our regular classmates, but we all engaged in activities we could only share together in the SUMMER!...
Each Monday was the one day of the week that we stayed on campus. We played board games, hide-and-seek, treasure hunts, musical chairs, you name it. Tuesday, we rode the fun, long, yellow bus to the movie theater to see a great children's film. Wednesday was bowling day, and we competed like champions at the bowling alley. Thursday was skating rink extravaganza. Then we'd finish the week off at the swimming pool. It was the most AMAZING "summer school" I have yet to experience or hear about anywhere else!
Nowadays, homeschoolers are often seeking ways to change up their summers in hopes of making time for activities that may not get squeezed in during the school year. Well, let's see if we can share some of our summer activities with you.
Here's how we like to change up our weekdays during the summer.
1) KidsBowlFree.com! If you've never heard of it, PLEASE visit immediately, sign-up, and enjoy almost four months of amazing fun daily at your local bowling alley! We've been bowling for free for over 6 years now. Once you register at your chosen bowling center and pay a one-time fee, your children (up to age 15) can bowl two free games per weekday, all summer long. All the instructions are listed on the site here. Join today!
2) Make Homemade Ice Cream! We're talking, the old school kind with the automatic churner. This has always been a hit here at home, and a wonderful recipe to share with your children. They can practice reading the directions, writing the list of needed ingredients, measuring the ingredients, cracking eggs, dissolving sugar in milk and so much more! We LOVE the homemade old fashion vanilla recipe that came with the machine yeeeeears ago, but there are tons of modern, online recipes nowadays. The best part is not only indulging in it afterwards, but actually creating it together. Scoop away!
If you're not into pulling out all the stops just for a delicious batch of homemade ice cream, then maybe this simple single-sized batch of ice cream in a baggie is just right for your family.
3) Fruit Ice Pops! What if you're lactose intolerant, or just aren't feeling the ice cream suggestion. How about making fruit ice pops. These are ALWAYS delicious and healthy, too! All you do is fill up a popsicle mold with fresh-cut fruit. Then fill with coconut water (or we prefer fruit-flavored water) and freeze. DELICIOUS every time!
4) Book Club! Summer is not a time to completely slack off of so-called "schoolwork." So, we enjoy being a part of the local book club at our neighborhood library. The library sometimes provides a reading list of suggested books, as well as a nice bookmark to use each day. They often give coupons or rewards for free treats at the end of the summer IF all the reading requirements have been met. There are literally MILLIONS of books waiting to be discovered for FREE at your local library. Indulge! (Read about some of our most favorite books here.)
5) Paint Club! Yes, we enjoy painting so much that we have our own little summer paint club right here at our homeschool. We extend our painting activities over into summer because we sometimes pass it up during our even busier school year. We catch up on projects we've wanted to try before, and during the summer, there's not as much rush to clean up and put away for the next set of school projects. Paint away! Click here for ideas on how to start your own summer paint club.
We also enjoy Painting Rocks! Are you familiar with the rock painting phenomenon that was going around last year or so? Well, we fell victim to this exciting phase, too. We would first paint various shapes, animals, bugs, flowers, or what have you on rocks that we collected or bought and then we'd leave them around town for fellow rock hunters to collect and relocate. It was like hunting for easter eggs year around. Even though we don't leave them around town any more, we still enjoy painting on the surfaces of small smooth or rough rocks.
6) Country Meals! I don't mean "country" as in farmland and haystacks. I'm talking about choosing a country to celebrate and make a specialty meal once a week (or bi-weekly). We haven't done this in ages, but the possibilities are ENDLESS! If you're already hanging out at the library during your book club, then you may as well pick up a few books featuring your chosen country of the week, as well as a possible recipe book celebrating that country, too. Head home, read about your selection, and choose a dish or meal to make in honor of that country. It's not considered "schoolwork" if there's food and recipes involved. Explore! (Click here to see how we studied the ancient writings of Mesopotamia by making cookies!)
You could also scrapbook together which is always exciting because you get to pull out all the old photos that have been collecting dust, and your children get to see how much we've "aged" over the years.
We hope this sparks some cool summer ideas for you and your family to engage in this summer. Just remember to take lots and lots of pictures. Please leave your thoughts and comments about this article and other summer activities you all enjoy in the comments section below.
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"By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired."
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The contributors of ArtEase! consist of various authors and artists who thoroughly enjoy all elements of art and music, at heart! They enjoy drawing and painting, photography, theater & stage performance, scrapbooking, singing, playing piano, and more. They truly enjoy working with and teaching children how to engage in artistic expressions, how to become a part of active visual creativity, and how to express artistic critical thinking.
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