Entertaining yourself during hot summer days is difficult enough, throw a few kids into the mix and life quickly becomes chaos. Every parent, everywhere, has likely gotten to a point on hot summer days where they wonder "what on earth do I do with these kids?"
As we're quickly approaching one of the hottest summers that we've had in some time (with temperatures this week already hitting 100 degrees and above) it's likely to get hot enough that we won't be able to feel like we can just send the kids outside to run through the sprinkler, or to justify paying to take the whole family to the pool. So, what can we do at home to help ease the tensions of the summer heat? Here's a few ideas that we've come up with:
- Build a fort and watch a movie
- Facetime a distant family member
- Play board games
- Have a tea party
- Make homemade ice cream/popsicles
What other ideas do you have?
If there's anything we've learned over the past year full of home study, time away from work and school, and time stuck together with our family (sometimes for worse or for better) it's hopefully that there are fairly simple things we can do to continue learning new things, even while at home. That's a great, and necessary lesson, but when it comes to the summer learning new things may not be more important than just retaining the things we've spent the year learning.
In the summer students can end up experiencing something commonly referred to as the "summer slide." There have been several studies looking into what this looks like and how it can effect students and families. Students can, according to one study, lose up to two months of grade-level math skills and reading skills.
Thankfully there are several things that you can do with your kids to help them retain the knowledge they've been acquiring this school year and they don't have to be a formal lesson or anything boring. Below I've listed a couple of ideas of things you can do with your kids this summer to help them retain what they've learned over the summer rather than having them play catch-up when school starts up again in the fall:
Self reliance is something that most everyone strives for. People want to be independent, able to take care of themselves and their families. One of the most important traits of self-reliant people is their resourcefulness. So, what is resourcefulness and how do we cultivate it?
The definition of resourcefulness is: “the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties.” And there are a handful of traits that can be commonly found in resourceful people.
1- Resourceful people are openminded. This is something that you have to actively work on and cultivate. Being open minded to new possibilities, new ways of solving problems, thinking outside the box, and being open to the ideas of others are all ways that we can be openminded.
2- Resourceful people are confident. They trust themselves and their ability to overcome a problem and find solutions. They know that they are capable people, they appreciate themselves and the work they put in.
3- Resourceful people are creative. This goes hand in hand with being openminded. Creativity opens doors to new avenues and ways of looking at situations and can help uncover paths and possibilities that you didn’t know existed.
4- Resourceful people are action oriented. They don’t let the problem or situation continue to worsen until they’re backed into a corner, instead they tackle problems as they arise and are always thinking of new ways to be more efficient, to increase their abilities, and so on.
5- Resourceful people persevere. They don’t let the issue become something that stops them. Instead they keep working at it, sometimes slowly but still working, until they are able to find and execute a solution.
And finally, 6- Resourceful people are optimistic. They believe that there is, and that they will find, a solution to any problem, they focus on the positives while still recognizing the negatives or issues. But they don’t let themselves get bogged down in the negatives or the problems, instead they work hard to find the positives and let those light their way to the solutions they’re needing.
These all sound like great traits to have, don’t they? And while it’s never too late to learn these traits, it’s always better to start young.
What are some ways that we can teach and encourage our children to cultivate these traits while they’re young?
One of the best ways to cultivate these traits and help children grow into resourceful adults is to talk to them, talk through problems with kids and help them get into the habit of paying attention to new ideas and ways that they can problem solve.
When reading with your children and problems arise in the story that you’re enjoying that’s a great opportunity to brainstorm ideas and ways that the characters can solve the problem. This seems simple, but then later when your children face problems themselves they’ll be more likely to respond first by brainstorming issues, and may even have already developed the habit of talking it out with someone.
What are some other ways you can think of to help build these qualities in your children?
I've been seeing a lot of immune boosting food lists from people to help us when we go shopping.
Sometimes I'm tempted to eat a whole lot of a couple things because a certain doctor or nutritionist has promoted them. I learned that moderation is better than overindulgence because over eating anything can create problems. So when you look at lists like these make sure to do your own research and don't go overboard. In other words BE WISE!
Below is a list of foods that are known to help the immune system.
1. Berries all including cranberries
2. Dark Chocolate with very little sugar
4. Fatty Fish
7. Greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli
8. Kefir/ Yogurt ( with no added sugar, flavors, or colors).
9. Hot Peppers
10. Citrus Fruits
11. Apples of the more tart variety
12. Herbs like Fennel and Sage
13. Shiitake Mushrooms
16. Olive Oil
Challenge do some research and add to the list.
One day when I was bored and wanted to research something for fun I decided to find out how to turn items I owned into ways to make money. First I went around and took inventory of my possessions and my spaces then I went online to see if other people had used some of those items for making money. Then I came up with my own ideas. I decided to revisit these ideas in case I needed to have a financial boost after the stay at home mandate is over. Some I can start using now if I can still socially distance.
Items that can be used to make money:
Cell phone, computer, and internet (if I only made $30 I'd be paying for my cell phone bill)
Car ( I could deliver items to shut ins and help pay for gas and oil because the car is paid for)
Piano or other musical instruments ( I could teach enough students to pay for my student loan bill)
Sewing Machine ( make masks, reusable wipes, repair clothing instead of buying new, etc.)
Washer and Dryer ( do others laundry to pay for soap and water bill)
Garden Spot and supplies ( I could see about selling at the Gardener's Market or trading with others)
Kitchen ( I could create recipes and demonstrate them on YouTube)
Crochet hooks and yarn ( I could make baby afghans, hats, bags, to use for gifts)
This weeks financial challenge is to use the above list along with things you add and create ways you can make money using them.
Yesterday was a really off day for me. I just didn't feel like doing anything but I forced myself to try to sew face masks because we didn't have any at home. I made about seven different ones not because I wanted to but because I would try one pattern and it didn't work out for one reason or another. (Stupid mistakes, hurrying, etc.). So instead of stopping I just kept going bound and determined to concur this activity, but to no avail. I felt really cranky during and after this four hour escapade.
Today I felt a little better and made two more masks this morning. So now I have 9 different masks none of which I like perfectly. I chose the one that I liked the most and wore it to work because I needed to write and article for this blog. I couldn't think of what I wanted to write about so I kept putting off getting started.
Maybe I need to think about how to take care of myself while I'm isolating with my Mom.
There are times when I feel contrary and don't feel like doing anything and just want to stay grumpy. That isn't a good idea when I have to be around another person because they get verbally abused and then I have to repent. Well then what do I do to get out of this predicament. The first thing that came to my mind was I needed to try some laughing yoga so I went to YouTube and found someone that didn't irritate me too much and I started following them. Within ten minutes I felt a little better. What did I learn? When I feel out of sorts I can change what I'm doing for a bit or take a break or pause.
Other things I could do:
Walk and talk it out
Breathe in and out while counting
Watch short funny or inspirational video clips
Take a soak in the tub or soak my feet
Listen to nature sounds
Call a friend or family member I've been missing
You get the idea right?
Be good to yourself and give yourself a little break.
I hope you all have a peaceful, pleasant, safe and healthy week!
Welcome back everyone. I'm excited for today's blog because it will give us all something to focus on besides our current inbound situation.
My Mom grew up in a time where everyone saved everything. That has driven me crazy the last two years that I've been living with her because I hate to feel crowded and she saves almost everything.
The past few months I've been throwing out some of her many used plastic containers and talking her into saving less bottle lids and other miscellaneous items. This month I've wished I didn't throw away so many plastic containers because we are going to start growing our herbs and greens inside. That happens sometimes so I need to forgive myself and move on.
Do any of you remember a time when you were cleaning out a space and found something you forgot you bought and it felt like a present? Well I thought we could have some fun, while creating the opportunity to save money and not have to leave our homes.
Today's challenge is to have everyone in your family go on a treasure or scavenger hunt through your house. You could just look for a certain list of things or you could just go through different rooms and see what you can find. You can make it a race or just a slow family bonding activity. Notice the reactions of your family when they find certain things. Taking a video of the activity to post would be a good way to spread the word and bring joy to others.
You can sort what you find by category like money, unopened items, clothing, toys, tools, etc.
Then decide how you can use those items to help supplement what you already have on hand or to create something you really need. You can put things you want to use now in a special place and store away the ones you feel you won't need for now. Maybe you can have a yard-sale or a swap.
At the center we are doing this and we'll be saving some good usable items to put in our community swap. This will help us clear up space and help out families who've struggled through the pandemic. You can save your items to come join our swap or create your own community swap when all this is over.
I hope to see some comments telling about your experiences and the fun things you found in your family treasure hunt.
BE HAPPY, SAFE AND HEALTHY.
Every one is scared I get that, but we need to be grateful for what we have and do our best to take care of ourselves.
One way to do that is to take care of the senses we have to navigate this world.
So besides keeping our skin clean (which is our organ that helps us feel the world physically), we need to keep our eyes, ears, noses, and mouth clean and nourished.
I make sure to keep on hand a eye wash cup with eye wash, a neti pot with nasal rinse, an ear syringe, hydrogen peroxide for a mouth rinse, and a skin brush for my skin. I found several recipes for home made eye and nasal rinses on the internet and use the ones that have what I keep on hand all the time. I also learned how to use these items from friends and by watching YouTube demonstrations. I do these cleansing protocols a couple times a week but I will up the amount to every day as a precaution.
We have been told to keep things moist to fight the corona virus so lets even keep our air moist by keeping a humidifier going or by boiling water on the stove throughout the day (if you can make sure you don't forget it so your pans don't get burned).
Our noses need fresh air, and wonderful smells so bring on the walks and smelling flowers or essential oils. Oils have wonderful health benefits as well. You can diffuse them, dilute them in a carrier oil, or put small amounts on your skin as directed on the bottle.
Our eyes need rest, light, color and beautiful things to look at for nourishment. There are even yoga exercises for eyes. What a good idea while we are spending so much time online while working and schooling from home.
Our ears can build up wax if we listen to too loud music for a long period each day. There are safe and not so safe ways to remove ear wax if needed so do your research before attempting to remove it on your own. So make sure to give your ears a break now and then and soak in some silence. Listen to nature and calming music every day. How about singing lullabies to your family.
Our mouth needs special care to keep our teeth and taste buds happy and our breath fresh. Brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, and rinsing are common ways to do this. During this time when we can over do on comfort foods of the unhealthy sort we could make a list of the different tastes of foods and give our tongues and adventure. Maybe we can utilize all the unfamiliar things that are left on the grocery shelves and discover new favorites.
Our skin is the biggest organ we have and besides washing it clean we can give it an all over body scratch if you have a long handled body brush. Brushing my skin causes me to feel happy and rejuvenated.
Well that was some food for thought. I came up with a schedule that fits my lifestyle and I challenge you to so the same. Figure out what you can do at this time and make it a ritual. Your body will thank you for it.
Good luck and be safe, and stay healthy!!
I want to have a fighting chance in this crazy world. So I was pondering about what things I can do that can help me feel like I have more control over my reactions to this pandemic.
As I was pondering I remembered taking a Successful Adult Relationships class at Yakima Valley Community College taught by Sharon Cox. One day she told us about a study that was done on different world cultures and what they all had in common when it came to healing in all areas of their lives. There were four things that most cultures had in common.
1. Singing 2. Dancing 3. Story telling 4. Silence
Over the years I've used these in difficult times to keep myself going. Now people are starving to socialize but have to be isolated. So some pretty unique things have come about because of the resource of the internet. Think about the story of the people in Italy who opened their windows and sang with each other and the YouTube performances from musicians who had to cancel concerts, events, or tours. (Singing) I have also seen people getting online together to put on music and just dance. (Dancing) Libraries, preschools, and famous people are reading stories for free for children to watch and listen to. We are taking part in that starting on March 31. We'll post the stories on this site and our Facebook page. (Storytelling)
Lastly people are sending out invitations to join in prayers and meditation for all the people of our world. (Silence) Interesting how all those things match the four activities I mentioned above.
My challenge to you is to come up with ways you can incorporate these four things daily in your life in ways that fit your circumstances. Everyone is asking for ideas on things to do so here are some of mine:
I plan on singing while I play the piano and also with songs recorded online.
I found dance instructors on YouTube so I'll be doing that.
I'll be reading stories and videoing them for grand-kids and patrons.
I'll be praying and meditating every day.
GOOD LUCK, STAY SAFE AND HEALTHY!!!!!
Please comment and share the activities you came up with relating to the four areas listed above.
If you have a subject you'd like me to address please comment below.
This blog is for families who wish to learn how to become more resourceful during tough times.
We are definitely going through that with the pandemic that we're experiencing.
Yesterday I was talking with my cousin and we were thinking back to what life was like before cell phones and internet. We actually had to use our imagination to invent things we could play with and create things to do or games to play when there seemed to be nothing else to do. If we didn't have a crown to be a princess we'd make one out of whatever we could find.
In affluent societies where children have access to new technology that isn't limited the child becomes disconnected from themselves and their own creativity. When my children were growing up I'd cancel cable service every time they'd quit spending time outdoors, reading, practicing their talents, or relating to the rest of the family. Presently, I find I have to uninstall a game app whenever I feel I can't wait to play the game before I do anything else. I'd tell myself "You can play after you get this done". It'd only works sometimes so I then had to force myself to let it go and uninstall the game. Am I losing my creativity?
So how do I do a restart?
Stop going to the store when I think I need something. Instead find a substitute or do without. Examples:
Problem 1: No toilet paper.
Find old towels or fabric and cut in squares and sew around the edges if you know how to sew.
Wet them before each use if you'd like or look up how to make a portable bidet.
Problem 2: No eggs to bake a cake.
Use ground flax seed. It has instructions on the bag on how to use in baking instead of eggs. (I found a can of dried whole eggs I had purchased a couple years back. I have to solutions for one problem). Yay me! I've heard you can use mayo and gelatin in place of eggs. Find a cake recipe that doesn't use eggs.
OK I confess I looked up ideas on YouTube and Google for some of those things.
My challenge to you and your family is to see if you can create solutions to problems with things you already have at home. If the problem isn't life threatening you can probably do with out some things at least temporarily. I often wonder how the first family on earth made it before all of the ingenious inventions of our day. Oh yeah, they had to create things themselves with resources from the earth.