It never fails.
This is the time of year posts all over the internet start popping up on forums, blogs and websites. Offline conversations start having a dominant theme. They usually go something like "AAAAHHHH!!! It's summertime and school is out!!!! What should I do with my kids???" There are also parents who openly complain that they don't want to be subjected to their children all summer and count the days until school is back in session - but we'll leave them alone for right now.
My question is, do parents of schooled children really depend that much on school that they have to wrack their brain trying to figure out how to "keep their kids entertained"? Does school intergrate itself so deeply in their lives that they don't know how to spend quality time with their children without it?
Here's where parents of schooled children could learn something from parents of unschooled children. And if you're reading this as a parent of a schooled child, please don't take this as an attack. take it for what it is - an observation, and some suggestions on how to change your perspective of your children.
Instead of looking for things to fill their time with, fill that time with you.
Hang out with your kids.
Get to know them.
Spend time with them, doing what they love to do.
Get involved with something they're passionate about.
When you stop depending on the school system for social activity, creative play and exploration the whole world will open up for you, and your children.
Explore your neighborhood but look at it through different eyes. Take a a magnifying glass, a camera and a notebook. If your neighborhood is not that interesting, try another one.
Go to a place different that what you usually go to;
a different library
a different grocery store
a different way home
a different playground
Learn something new together. Try karate, cooking, fencing, pottery.
Invite your children into your world and your interests instead of looking for other people and other activites to occupy them.
Children grow up so fast and it's their time with you that they'll remember the most. Use the summer months to get in touch with your kids. Get into their world and their lives. Use this as an opportunity to be involved more.
Who knows? You may enjoy yourself so much you won't want them to go back to school. ;-)
It never fails.