In Victoria, Australia, we are currently commencing a fortnight break for Spring school holidays. I have found that parents generally fall into 3 groups – love the time with their kids, enjoy the time with their kids but are so thankfully when they are back at school, and those who don’t look forward to trying to keep their kids occupied over the school holidays.
I am with my kids 99% of the time as I home school and generally I really love being with them. I also love the school holidays for my sake as it is a time when I can catch up on housework, dejunking, planning for the next term etc. I also like it to be a time of fun for the whole family. Sometimes, I need to intentionally plan ‘times of fun’ otherwise we can focus too much on the work needed doing and not the fun.
When our kids were younger, I used to draw up a list of activities I wanted my kids to do over the holidays and assign points to them (between 5-20 points depending on how long they would take and how much I wanted them to do that activity). This ranged from reading a book, older child reading to younger sibling, playing a board game, cooking, chore, reciting times tables etc. The kids kept track of the points by colouring in a chart. When they reached 200 points, they were then able to choose a new book or toy worth about $10. My kids loved doing this to get the reward and I found that they would always start the day off with getting at least 50 points. By the time we returned to school work, they had usually learnt a lot during that time so there was no time needed to be spent on recapping stuff they had already supposedly learnt.
This holidays, I have planned something new. Basically I have put a number of post-it notes on a sheet of cardboard and written activities on each one. Then as we complete that activity, we mark it off/take off the post-it note. Thus, whenever I hear “What can I do?” – I can point to the post-it note cardboard. It also means that there are some exciting things to look forward to and plan our time rather than let it be wasted in too much television viewing.
My list has included:
- Do a physical activity as a family
- Have a DVD night
- Play a board game
- Read a new book
- Create something
- Cook something new
- Mum-Princess date, Mum-Matey date, Dad-Princess date, Dad-Matey date, Mum-Dad date
- Walk along the beach
- Dinner with another family
- Random act of kindness for each family member
- Help a stranger
- Swim at PARC (local swimming pool)
- Visit somewhere new
- Clean out the carport
- Clean out the kitchen cupboards
- Have chocolate fondue
- Creative time with God as a family
- Bike ride
- Shopping for water bottle and accessories for Princess’ bike
- Play a card game
- Plan our family calendar for the next 6 months
- Plan our Christmas gifts for others
- Hand our socks and jackets for ‘2 Pairs Each’.
- Catch up with …. (certain people and families are listed)
It will be interesting to see how it pans out. What are you looking at doing with your family?