Cure Your Summertime Boredom Blues
Most children and parents can’t wait for summer only to have a few weeks pass before everyone is bored. That’s because families typically stack up activities at the beginning, but don’t have enough to do to keep them occupied the whole summer through. Want to beat the so-called boredom blues? Here’s how.
It’s OK for Children to be Bored
First, let your children know that it’s OK to be bored. They may not like it, but children will learn to exercise their creativity and imagination when they aren’t consumed with activity after activity. Many parents like to have their children look to the outdoors for entertainment.
The weather is perfect for informal science explorations, or a game of wiffle ball. There is more and more research supporting the idea that it’s actually good for children to be bored. So, the next time your child says he/she is bored, remind them of all the times they wished they had downtime to ride a bike, play cards, take pictures, etc.
Identify Skill Areas that Need Improvement
Most parents know that their children need improvement in some aspect of their schooling. During the school year, it’s difficult to have a conversation that isn’t wrapped up in a specific assignment. Summer is the perfect time to review areas of strength and weaknesses more broadly, and to get your children’s perspective.
Once your children understand where they require help, let them tell you what would help them. If they don’t know, have them do some research and try a few different approaches. Maybe workbooks can be more easily tackled than reading textbooks. Or, perhaps note taking helps with retention of materials. Taking the time to do this exploration now will make the upcoming school year that much easier.
Look for Fun Online Lessons
During the summer, it’s pretty common to choose skill building exercises your children enjoy, even if they aren’t as rigorous as their regular school year work. Learning tools that combine entertaining qualities with educational lessons are often great for “digital age” children. And, let’s face it, there are going to be rainy days, or days that are too hot to be outside.
It’s not too hard to find online games that combine video game-like characteristics with a curriculum feel. You’ll just want to make sure that the sites your children are using are safe and legitimate. And, you may want to put time limits on their use – it’s easy to let time get away from them.
Finding your cure for the boredom blues may all be in your perspective. When your children realize that being bored may not be as bad as they initially think, spontaneity and creativity can grow. When you need some structure, use the downtime to review the previous school year. It can help shape skill building activities to occupy your children’s summer days. It’ll also give you a leg up on the next school year. Finally, consider online educational sites to fill in your students skill gaps. It’ll help the days pass more quickly and set your children up for the year ahead.