Beat Summer Boredom with Summer Resources

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This summer, I will only have one child at home.

The others work full-time jobs or have committed themselves to service all summer. So, it’s just me and my 12-year-old son. I’ve never been in this situation before! It’s sad and a bit lonely for him. I am committed to having a fun summer with him and not allowing him to waste it in front of a screen. So, I turned again to to see what they had to offer.

On their website, I went to the Resources tab and clicked on Focused Learning Centers. That is where I found Seasonal Resources. Under that, several options showed up and I chose Summer Resources.


Outdoor ideas

Scavenger Hunt

One of the options that interested me was Digging for Treasure, which are Bible-themed scavenger hunts. Looking through the lesson material, I could tell that it required a bit of prep work on my part if my son was going to have any fun with it. It would also be more fun if I invited some friends over or I set it up at a park for our homeschool co-op park day. Since my son enjoys more structured activities like these, I thought it might be worth the effort.


Nature Study

Another option that appealed to me was Nature Study. I have always taken my children to nature centers, botanical gardens, conservatories, forest preserves, and the arboretum. My favorite resource with my older children was Anna Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study. But now that most of them were grown, I feel that perhaps it’s time to look at another resource. This Nature Study class encourages collecting and drawing, with some additional suggestions for older children.



Indoor ideas


My son recently showed interest in making homemade ginger beer. I used to do a lot of what is known as “urban homesteading.” We grew vegetables and fruit, canning and fermenting the harvest. I made kombucha, sourdough, kefir, and yogurt. I also made my own herbal remedies. This course, Homesteading, reminded me of all that. While I already knew how to do many of the lessons, I didn’t know how to raise chickens. We knew people who raised chickens and goats, though (yes, you can do that in the city!). Looking at the course inspired me to teach my young son some of the things that I had done with his older siblings. And, yes, that meant how to make homemade ginger beer, too.



What better inspiration for photography than summer blooms and spectacular sunrises? The Photography course includes several challenges appropriate for summertime. I thought it might be just the ticket to challenge my son and me to learn how to take better pictures both for my business and for personal use. Since he loves fuzzy, small, and beautiful things and has an eye for color and texture, I thought it might be a fun course to try doing together. I don’t have a fancy camera, but I do have a smartphone with which he can take photos from time to time.

It’s going to be a summer of bonding for my son and me. And with so many Summer Resources listed, I know that we will be using some of the ideas from to help make this summer better than ever!


Julie Polanco is a 16+ years veteran homeschooling mom of four challenging, artsy kids. She is the author of two books for moms–God Schooling: How God Intended Children to Learn and 100 Ways to Motivate Kids–and the high school botany instructor for She teaches live middle school science workshops for her local homeschool co-op and is actively involved in her church’s women’s ministry. You can find her at where she offers natural learning & living solutions for challenging kids and their families.

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"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).