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As we continue our venture into this summer season, it’s time to tackle the issue of the added stress it can have for families.  With these three *Summer Survival* tips we hope to make the remainder of your summer more of a dream than a struggle.

1. Summer is the perfect time to encourage Self-Directed Learning.

*Create a learning space that encourages independence. If you want your children to be independent then you need to make sure your home is set up so they are able to be. Are their belongings kept where they can access them without your help? Do they have free access to learning materials and art supplies so they can utilize them whenever inspiration strikes?

*Let them answer their own questions. When a new interest arises and there are questions upon questions, instead of just giving them the answers, try to encourage them to research themselves. You might ask:

‘What do you think?’
‘How do you think we could find out?’
‘Where could we look for the answer?’
‘Who could we ask about this?’
‘Where could we go to see this in real life?
Set out materials with a resource on their current interest to encourage them to explore that interest further.

2. Avoid brain drain during the summer. Don’t let your child’s gray matter turn into mush. Here are some fun and easy brain-strengthening tips to keep their synapses firing all summer long.

*Have your child learn to play a musical instrument. Studies show that learning to play a new instrument is complex and over a long period of time it is ideal for strengthening the mind.

*Get Moving. You can do simple exercises with your child like sitting and touching your right elbow to your left knee. Do this five times and then do left elbow to right knee. Repeat several times. Go old school and have the kids play outside. Send them out with minimal toys and see what they come up with. Kids of all ages like bubbles, running through sprinklers and body paints. Have an old-fashioned water balloon fight or watermelon eating contest.

3. Limit Technology

*One of the quickest ways to watch the summer slip through your fingers   and spend your days with combative and grouchy kids, is to let technology take over. Technology is a part of life and there are so many benefits to its usage, but too much will hurt us. Make it clear how much technology is allowed each day so that things don’t get out of control. Some families like to allow their kids to earn their technology by doing extra work around the house and yard. Or by doing extra things to serve and help others. However you decide to monitor your technology, be mindful of the time your kids are spending in front of it.
Happy Summer!

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