Written by contributor Kris of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
Summer. A time for swimming, sleeping in, watching a little more TV, reading a few more books, cook-outs and family vacations. In short, summer typically offers a more relaxed schedule and a little more free time.
Even if you school year ’round, chances are your summer schedule isn’t as packed with outside activities as normal.
More time and less structure can make summer the perfect time to learn some new skills. No, I’m not talking about the three R’s. I’m talking about those things that can make your home run more smoothly when school is back in session.
Summer can be the perfect time for kids to learn to:
If you’ve got an older child, make summer lunch or dinner times your “home ec” class. Whether you’re trying new recipes or teaching her how to make family favorites, time spent cooking together can be as much about making memories as it is about meal prep.
My teen likes to find new recipes online to try. I help as much or as little as she prefers (which usually requires that I be within earshot if she has a question, but otherwise stay out of her way). She gets the feeling of accomplishment from preparing the meal and I get a night off from cooking. Win-win.
If you’ve got a younger child, teaching him to “cook” may mean that he learns to operate the microwave or toaster to prepare simple snacks for himself. Cooking could also involve easy, kid-friendly recipes found in one of many available cookbooks for kids. It may mean help with easy meal prep, like measuring, chopping, or mixing.
When school resumes in the fall, your summer learning means that you’ll have help you can count on at mealtimes and your kids will be picking up valuable skills for caring for their own families some day.
I love using summer as a time to teach homemaking skills that my kids can take over from me or an older sibling. Some examples are:
- Cleaning the bathroom – counter tops and mirrors for younger kids, bathtubs and toilets for older.
- Sweeping or mopping
- Loading/unloading the dishwasher
- Clean their rooms (without shoving everything under the bed or in the closet)
Photo by joeannenah
When it comes to laundry, there is something for almost any age child. Younger kids can handle sorting dark and light clothes, folding towels and matching socks. Not only does this help lessen the load on Mom, but it teaches valuable skills such as sorting and categorizing and helps improve fine motor skills.
Older elementary kids can learn how to start a load of wash, operate the dryer and how to fold, hang, and put away clothes. Teens can begin to start doing their own laundry…and maybe even Mom and Dad’s!
Taking time during the summer to ensure that kids know to properly do household tasks can pay big dividends when the busyness of the school year and outside activities resumes in the fall.
In what ways do your kids help out around the house?