Category: Parenting Encouragement

3 Tips to Make School Holidays Easier {FREE Download}

3 Tips to Make School Holidays Easier {FREE Download}

Hooray, the holidays are here! Having our children home from school (whether it’s fall break, winter break, spring break, or summer break) is a wonderful gift of time and family togetherness. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to go on fun adventures and learn through play. However, school holidays often fall during the time of year when we are inundated with extra activities and a longer-than-usual to-do list.

How do we enjoy the break while still getting things done and keeping our kids learning and happy?

Summer Survival Infographic

3 Tips to Make School Holidays Easier

Take a Break

It’s important that we build in time for kids (and ourselves!) to relax during school holidays. Getting up early, following a schedule, and doing things we don’t really enjoy can take its toll. Before your kids get out of school, block off a day or a few hours to do absolutely nothing. (YOU TOO!) Snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie, do a puzzle, or take a nap. If you know you’ll have a busy afternoon, take a slow morning. If you have a busy travel schedule, build in a “recovery day” for the entire family.

Offer Choices

Being a student is hard work. Children are told where and how to sit, when to go to the bathroom, when to eat lunch, and more. There are a lot of benefits that come from being part of a larger learning community, but our children also need to learn to self-regulate. Offering our children choices during school holidays can lead to more confidence and cooperation.

When your children are younger, offer them two choices that you like. (Would you like apple slices or applesauce with your lunch?) As they mature, you can give them a more open-ended opportunity to plan their entire lunch–or outfit or schedule, etc.

Designate a Line Leader

Several years ago, I grew tired of listening to my two children bicker constantly. I decided to use one of my tools from the classroom to make things easier on all of us: the line leader. On odd days of the month, my older daughter gets to go first in the shower, up and down the stairs, getting in and of the car, you name it. Our younger daughter gets to be line leader on even days of the month.

It sounds silly, but it can negate one hundred arguments each day. The line leader chooses the vegetable for dinner, who gets to push the cart at the grocery store, who gets dropped off first at AWANA, you name it! And of course, Mom and Dad always get a veto.

30 Winter Activity Ideas for Families | FREE School Holiday Survival Guide at flourishwithyourfamily.com

Summer or Winter?

You can click here for our summer schedule guide or scroll down below for our winter guide!


FREE School Holiday Survival Guide from Rolling Prairie Readers! Get yours at FlourishWithYourFamily.com

School Holidays Survival Guide

Over the years, I have created a handful of printables that make our home life a bit easier. I have bundled them up into a FREE downloadable guide to help your family flourish during the school holidays.

Here’s what’s included:

  • a weekly calendar template with tips for creating a flexible family schedule
  • a “menu” of more than 20 low-prep activities to keep your children happily engaged
  • lists of recommended seasonal books to grab at the library
  • a family reading log
  • our favorite resources for learning at home
  • AND seasonally-appropriate boredom busters!

30 Winter Screen-Free Boredom Busters

FREE School Holiday Survival Guide | activities for kids, family activities, holidays, raising children, fall, winter, design your day, free printables

make school holidays easier

Create a Flexible Family Schedule: Fall

Create a Flexible Family Schedule: Fall


Scroll to the bottom to get your FREE gift!


Just last week, I posted on Instagram that we had hit our summer “sweet spot.” My two girls have been getting along, playing creatively…for long periods of time…with very little direction from me.

Now it’s time to switch gears and get back to school (home school, that is). Cooler weather is coming, and so are our family routines.

For the last month or so, I’ve been reading The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families for our online Mom’s Book Club. Thanks to author Lindsay McCarthy’s wisdom, I’ve been getting up an hour earlier than usual to set the tone for the day.

Now that I’m awake earlier, we’re gradually moving toward our full fall school schedule, which will kick off officially the week of Labor Day.


Looking for our homeschool schedule? That post has moved here!


 

Create a Flexible Family Schedule | family time, indoor activities, outdoor activities, back to school routines

We like to use our weekly calendar template to create our flexible family schedule!

The benefit of a flexible family schedule is that you can adjust your routines any time, regardless of the season. Some families prefer to have a full calendar, with lots of extracurricular activities…while some families prefer a more relaxed, spontaneous approach.

And then some families–or MOST families, I would imagine–are a mixture of both when it comes to their weekly schedule: some crazy busy and some that are totally light!

For that reason, I found that using a blank calendar template is best for our family. It allows me to see, at a glance, those open pockets of time where I can be a more intentional mother.

Fill in your information below, and I’ll send you a FREE copy of our calendar template, along with a menu of twenty, fun family activity ideas! This template is great for ALL families, not just homeschoolers.

Three GREAT Resources for Parents

Three GREAT Resources for Parents

We’re having lovely, cool weather here in Iowa this week. The girls and I took a long walk around the neighborhood this morning and then came home to plant seeds for our fall garden (we’re trying lettuce, peas, and garlic).

I am not a natural gardener, so I am relying on the information found on the back of the seed packets and this lovely post from Amy at Gardens That Matter.

After planting our seeds into soil and watering them, the girls helped me find places around the yard to place our pots. (We have little critters–rabbits and deer, mainly–that like to eat our seedlings if we plant directly in the ground.) We talked about the needs of the plants: how much sunlight and water they need to grow properly.

Just as every plant has unique needs, so do our children.

Our children have unique needs, just like plants.

Our first daughter was born unexpectedly at just 26 weeks gestation. To be completely honest, I was under-educated about being a parent from the moment she entered the world. I was given a crash course in having a newborn in the NICU, changing a diaper on a one-pound baby, and later–navigating a speech delay and keeping the knees clean on an almost-two-year-old who was not yet walking.

Thankfully, I had resources–supportive NICU nurses, our kind pediatrician, three helpful therapists who came to our home weekly, and a parent mentor from our local school district. They were the best resource for us because they knew my daughter and could give me personalized tips and activities to help our girl blossom. 

I started my business five years ago because I wanted parents to truly understand their children and make personalized decisions about their development and education.

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

When I first heard about the Parenting Super Bundle, I immediately thought of y’all–my favorite parents.

Grab your Parenting Super Bundle!

The 2017 Parenting Super Bundle is filled to the brim with helpful resources for all families.  

It’s a collection of 35 eBooks, 23 printables, 10 eCourses, 9 workbooks, 2 audios, and 1 membership site, designed to help you:

  • Become a kinder, more intentional parent
  • Choose consequences that are more effective
  • Raise kids you actually (ahem!) like and want to hang out with
  • Find healthy ways to release your frustration
  • Eliminate the “gimmes” and teach them to serve others
  • Plus, so much more!

The combined value of the resources in the bundle is over $1,270, but you get EVERYTHING for 98% off!

Check it out here!

If you want to put more joy back into your parenting, the Parenting Super Bundle is here to do help you do just that.

And be sure to follow along with us on Instagram and Facebook this week as I share three of our favorite resources found in the bundle: Cooking Around the World, Nurture Art, and the Homeschool Planner Pack.

Every family deserves the BEST resources for their parenting journey. Grab yours at rollingprairiereaders.com!