What to Do If You’re Dreading Summer Vacation

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Can you believe it? Now that we are one week into the month of May, summer vacation looms ever closer. From now until the end of school, be sure you tell the teachers in your (or your child’s) life how much you appreciate them.

Quote of the Week: “Don’t just teach your children how to read. Teach them to question what they read. Teach them to question everything.” –George Carlin

Movie of the Week: To extend the impact of George Carlin’s educational quote, I want to recommend the 1989 movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. In it, George Carlin plays a terrific character who must put Bill and Ted on the right career path. It is a corny movie, pulling in many historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and more. One of the best quotes in the movie is “There’s something afoot at the Circle K.” It also stars Keanu Reeves (before he hit the big time) and Alex Winter.

Joke of the Week: Why are pianos so hard to open? The keys are on the inside.

Nugget of Wisdom of the week:  The theme of the blog today has centered around school and the fact that summer vacation is on the horizon. Before I got my job working at a school, the two most dreaded words I could think of were “summer vacation.” Even when I had only one child, the prospect of keeping him occupied over the summer seemed a daunting task. Then, we had a second child. Then, when we became foster parents and finally adopted our children, we had five children—all with different interests and varying in age.

So, what can a parent do to keep sane and not become overwhelmed? Plan, plan, plan. Create a schedule, but leave some time for spontaneity. And don’t think that all of your activities must cost money.

Family game nights are a big hit. Be sure to choose a game that the youngest member of the family can play or let them be on your team. Apples to Apples is a great game to play with younger children. You can also enjoy a puzzle night while listening to your favorite music. Or perhaps you’d schedule a movie night, complete with popcorn, to catch up on the new releases you missed at the theater. You might even plan to binge-watch your favorite TV shows. Be sure to include some outdoor activities, such as time at the zoo, a park, or even the pool.

Have a good time and be present with your children.

Shout-Out of the Week: This week, I want to give a shout-out to all of the bus drivers who serve our public schools. These individuals pick up and drop off our children every day, in all types of weather. Be sure to thank them as you would a teacher, because they also hold your child’s life in their hands. I cannot imagine driving a vehicle as big as a bus, let alone remember where each child lives. These folks are amazing. Thank you, bus drivers!

Have a great weekend. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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