Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Insane in the Membrane

My kids are so busy this summer, and I am so bored. I am constantly looking for something to do besides watch TV or play on the computer.

HA HA HA Did you actually believe me?

My kids are NOT busy this summer. Have you seen the price of camp lately? TIMES THREE? Or joining a sports team - TIMES THREE? Or taking instrument lessons - TIMES THREE? Are you seeing my point here? Yeah, take my advice: if you are going to have lots of kids, space them out better than we did. So, the natural result of my poor planning 7 years ago is that now we are doing as many free activities as we can. Times three.

My 3 older kids have TONS of time on their hands and for some reason I seem to be the Fountain of Lost Ideas which my kids look to for "something to dooooooooo". They look to me that I might drop some golden nugget of wisdom in their laps for the best activity they've ever done in their whole lives. My response is, "Don't call me Merlin. I've got no magic tricks up my sleeves. Heck, I don't even have any sleeves. Do you KNOW how hot it is in Texas in the summer?"

If I have to hear "I'm bored. What can I do?" one more time, I am going to commit myself. At least maybe I can have a quiet, padded room.

I have two very wise friends who handle the "I'm Boreds" with two different solutions:
1) My friend, E, tells her son that if he says he's bored, even the very first time, he gets to take a nap.
2) My friend, J, has her children each compile a list of no less than 30 activities so that when they get "bored" they have to go to the list and pick an activity that they may have forgotten how fun it is... like Playdoh or checkers or washing rocks or watering the flowers, etc.

So, what have I decided to do? Force my children to learn. They WILL BE SMARTER BY SUMMER'S END, DAMNIT. Just kidding. No seriously, though, I wanted my kids to stay fresh with their academics over the summer. For reasons that probably require medication, I am nervous that my kids are in a flow of learning and that taking 3 months off will cause them to lose momentum. I know, I need to relax - after all, I took every summer off from school for my whole life and I ended up a college graduate. And I've got the alcohol tolerance to prove it.

Okay, back to real learning. I was going to go to my local homeschooling store to lay down some serious cash for lots of lurnin stuff, but I suddenly realized, HELLO? I'VE GOT THE INTERWEBZ!!! So, I decided to help myself to the wonderful resources out there and get my kids a cure for the "I'm Boreds". If you'd like to get a prescription for yoursef, here are some pretty good websites I found for keeping my children's minds and hands occupied, in case you're looking for some way to keep yourself from eating your young:

Math: this site and this site and this one for math games
Reading Comprehension: here and here
Spelling: this site and this one too
Handwriting: go here or here or here
These sites have some of everything: abcteach and Super Teacher Worksheets and TLS Books and MyTestBook.com (you have to register, but it's free).

And, there are SO SO SO SO many wonderful websites out there with just as much if not more information than the few I've linked here. Some websites will charge you a small fee for a yearly membership (like $20/year), giving you access to loads more information and downloads, which is totally worth it if you're going to be doing some home-educating long term. Me? I need other adults to love my children September through May so that I'm not drained of all my love by October.

So, how many days 'till school starts again???


Wendy said...

I have decided my MIL is right about one thing: tired kids are good kids. She had one that was so hyper you could have plugged appliances into him, and she said her mission for for the first 14 years of her life, every single morning, was to think about how to make him tired by bedtime.

The problem here is "how to make children tired when there is a heat advisory going on and we can't go outside all day?"

If it weren't for the in-laws' pool I might be crazed by now. We're really trying to get out & about in the early mornings & again in the evenings. Roller skates & bikes, yay!

Jennifer said...

You are so good at finding this stuff. I just send my kids to daycare. Of course that means I have to go to work.... It's all about the trade off. LOL

jori-o said...

I love the posts where you give us all a bunch of links! Seriously, thanks for doing my homework! ;-)

Just A Mom (Call me JAM for short) said...

Stopping by from SITS to say hello. Your post cracked me up! I'm not sure how many days are left before school starts, but I think it's about time for a countdown...

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Great info!!! I am trying to get back into some school recap stuff but we have been pretty much living at the theater!
Need to get back into the swing of things :)

Christine said...

One of my favorite online games introduces kids to physics at fantasticcontraption.com and I love edhead.com where if you have kids that think they might want to go into medicine you can do a virtual knee surgery.

I always think you should learn just as much at home as you do at school....and of course I can't stand for my girls to sit on a couch and watch TV. We used to set aside from 1-3 everyday to do indoor work which is either worksheets or reading a book. It has formed great habits and they are avid readers now with no prompting needed from me.

Night Owl Mama said...

Stoppin in from sits to say hi

Bridgett said...

My two are in camp, this week and the next two (dance this week, swim the next two). All June they were bored. Now they wish they had some free time.

Sometimes I just don't like them!

But I do. I remember what it was like.