Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Summer of Growth in the Lord

What to do with the kids this summer? Summer is a great time for fun but also for growing in the Lord!
Yesterday was Memorial Day, and you know what that means!  Summer vacation is just around the corner.  Kids are excited to be out of school for a few months, but sometimes it can be a stressful time for mom. It doesn't have to be.  Let's try to think of summer vacation as an opportunity to spend that quality time with our kids that is so hard to find during the school year. We aren't talking about expensive trips or impossible bucket lists either. Whether your kids stay at home with you, alone, or in some kind of child care, structure is necessary to help parents and children make the most of the mounds of free time stretching out before us.  We hope these suggestions help you to have a fabulous summer with your little (or not so little) ones.


12 Ways to Help Kids Grow in the Lord this Summer |Activities |School is out | Faith | Christian children

  1. Don't let the days slip away from you.  Although there will be posts emotionally blackmailing you by counting up the number of summers left, there is something powerful to be said about redeeming the time.  "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:15-17).
  2. Consider a schedule.  My children do not do well with loosey goosey summer days.  Having a routine in place is good for both them and me.  I'm not talking about a rigid schedule with every minute of the day planned out for two months. But a daily routine that looks something like "Breakfast, then chores, then free time, then Bible time, then lunch" etc will give shape to your days and avoid boredom, too much electronics, and crazy moms.  If your kids are old enough to be at home alone, they are old enough to start following a routine that you lay out together too. (I've used these printables to help me schedule summer days. For those Moms who are less married to a schedule, these "summer six" forms will help you ensure your kids don't spend all day on the screen.)
  3. Time spent in a shared activity like hiking, scrapbooking, swimming, or fishing is time when your kids will open up.  Having a chance to guide their hearts and minds is precious.  Keep your ears open and really listen to them.
  4. Bible lessons.  We read the Bible together year round, but the summer offers a unique opportunity to dive a little deeper into the Word with your children.  I used this Bible curriculum last year. If your child is at home alone, leave him some lessons to do during the day that you can talk about during the evening.
  5. Memorization. Whether you're home with your kids all day or not, summer is a perfect time to memorize scripture. Ways to keep the kids focused and disciplined include not allowing any electronics each day until the week's memory verse has been recited perfectly or having a fun trip (library, park, splash pad) on tap for when all the kids have memorized the week's scripture perfectly. For more ideas on how to help kids memorize check out this link.
  6. Bible Camp.  If a big family vacation for the summer is out of the picture, consider volunteering at your kids' summer Bible camp.  What an awesome way for the family to be together while you and the kids enjoy learning more about God's word.  Some churches like ours even host "Family Bible Camp" which provides classes and opportunities for campers age 2 to 92. 
  7. Invite a friend.  Kids miss their school (or homeschool co-op) friends during the summer and this might be a perfect time for some youth-based evangelism.  Let them each invite a friend to church or vacation bible school.  Who knows what good you might do?
  8. Wholesome fun.  Our local thrift store sells board games for a dollar each.  What could be more fun than family game night?  It's as good with Chutes and Ladders as it is with Killer Bunnies. Puzzles are also fun for older kids.  Pop some popcorn and just be together!
  9. Practice.  There are lots of jobs like putting up bulletin boards, teaching Sunday School, visiting the shut-ins, and making food for the elderly that Christian women take care of everyday. If your kids are out of the toddler stage, they can help.  This is not only an opportunity for your children to serve the Lord, but it gives them a crucial look into the adult world of Christianity and lets them see you living out your faith.  If you imagine they'll be active in God's kingdom at 25, 45, and 65, take them along at 5, 10 and 15!
  10. Make them work. Yes, we want our kids to have fun over the summer, but an hour of chores will not hurt them. If they are home to help mess the house up, then can pitch in to help clean it.  We have a chore chart (see here for free printables), and we do commission for some of the chores.  Others are "because you live here too" chores. 
  11. Rest time. Even if your kids are past the stage of taking naps, rest time is vital during summer months.  Make sure there is time scheduled most days for them to lay in bed (or on the couch) with a book and just rest. Call it reading time if your kids enjoy reading.
  12. Don't neglect schoolwork. If your kids go to public school, their teachers will thank you for spending a few minutes each day reviewing some skills.  This can even be incorporated into other activities.  Practice handwriting by writing a letter to a shut-in.  Practice math skills while doing the cooking for the day.  Talk about science while going for a walk.
There you have it!  We're looking forward to a fabulous summer with our little chickens, and  we hope these suggestions have given you the feeling that you can have a great one too!

Helene & Melissa


No comments:

Post a Comment