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6 Ways To Help Your Child Stay In Touch With Friends Over the Summer

Posted on Aug 1, 2017 2:26:31 PM by Laurel Robinson

Now that the kids have had a few weeks to relax and enjoy “doing nothing,” parents might be feeling like it is time to be proactive about finding ways for kids to see their friends over the summer break. 

 6 Ways To Help Your Child Stay In Touch With Friends Over the Summer

There are a variety of reasons to work on this goal:

  • A desire for our kids to maintain relationships that started in school but have not continued into the summer due to schedule conflicts or geographical challenges.
  • A desire for our kids to make NEW friends in addition to the kids they were with every day at school.
  • A desire to keep our kids from getting swallowed up in screens for several hours a day.  

On that last point, most kids will vigorously make the case that  spending time with friends is NOT mutually exclusive with looking at screens. This is true: there is video chatting, texting, online hangouts, and of course, getting together and playing video games.  We may not be able to convince kids that there is more to life than facing a screen, so we will have to help them discover it themselves!  As adults, we know that some of the most valuable times with friends are face to face, and that when we go through a little bit of “boredom,” we can end up being very creative and having a lot of fun!.


The first step is reaching out. Social media is helpful for getting in touch with people.  If you can’t find them online, call a mutual friend to make the connection.  Most parents would be happy to receive an invitation for their child to come and hang out for the day.  It can take a few tries to make contact, and a few tries to find a time that works for everyone, but press on!  If you have never met the parents before, you might want to invite the whole family to meet your family at a local ice cream or snowball stand, so you can all be more comfortable getting in touch (and swapping kids) in the future.

 

Some ideas for ways that kids can spend time with their friends:

Host a party.  Let your kids plan it!  It doesn’t have to be a special occasion, or an expensive event.  Rather than do a lot of cooking, you can host a potluck meal, or an ice cream social, or have an evening party with a bonfire (and s’mores, of course) or glow sticks and popsicles. For older kids, there are “murder mystery” party kits, and you can also find online a kit for hosting your own “escape room” party.


Lawn games.  Water balloons, corn hole, badminton, and croquet are all fairly easy to obtain. Most of them can be played with just two people who would otherwise be hanging around bored. Don’t forget Nerf gun battles!


Board games.  There is an abundance of (sneakily educational) board games available. If you don’t have any, chances are your kids’ friends will!  If you want to buy some but don’t know where to start, check out some mom bloggers’ reviews of board games. Homeschooling blogs may also have some good suggestions. These personal reviews are often helpful because as you read the reviews, you will get a feel for whether it’s your kid’s style of game or not.  If you don’t have board games on hand, get creative: pull out a jigsaw puzzle, or take three easy ones and mix them together to provide a challenge.


Dance party.  Get a few tweens together -- especially girls -- and play some of their favorite songs from your favorite music streaming service, and it will soon turn into a singalong.  Add a twist by playing “freeze dance”-- everyone dances while the music plays, but  freezes when the music stops (at random intervals). Depending on the group, they may soon be playing one song over and over so they can choreograph their own moves to it.


Share a good deal.  Check Groupon, LivingSocial, Certifikid and similar sites for great deals on camps, trampoline parks, plays, or local fairs.  Invite a friend to join your child on one of these. Vacation Bible school or other church-sponsored camps are another great opportunity to invite friends to join your child in some fun.


Make a video.  Rather than simply consuming media, let your kids experience the work and play that goes into creating it!  If your kid and his or her friends are so inclined, give them a camera and let them make videos, just for fun.  From stop-motion videos to tutorials, almost any interest could become inspiration for a video. If you have software and the kids have the interest, the video could even get edited and shared (with your approval, of course).

Don’t let the summer slide by.  Make a phone call or two today, and get some “play dates” on the calendar!

3 Ways to Give Back On MLK Day

Posted on Jan 16, 2017 10:00:00 AM by Nikki Roberti Miller

Celebrate this Martin Luther King Jr. Day with your children in a way that reflects what he stood for: standing with and serving our fellow people. It’s not uncommon for us to volunteer or do charitable acts during the holiday season. But in the New Year, there Martin_Luther_King_-_March_on_Washington-RightsFREE.jpgtends be a lull in acts of kindness. While you have your children home from school on MLK Day this year, why not take the opportunity to instill a giving and serving spirit in them? Here are three ways to teach your children more about Martin Luther King Jr. and his “dream” while also following Jesus’ command to love thy neighbor.

1. Find a Way to Serve Your Community

Volunteer opportunities are always abundant in any community, but take a moment to pinpoint the needs that serve people different than you and your family. Find a soup kitchen that needs volunteers, bring baked goods and spend time with the elderly at a nursing home, help build a house with Habitat for Humanity or sort through the clothing donations with another non-profit. For a more low key and easy-to- do service project, pass free water bottles out to people at a safe park or mall on the other side of town.

Showing kindness to strangers teaches kids not to be closed off to those different than them and to be sensitive to the needs of others. MLK Day is a great time to get out there and serve where you’re needed most.

2. Find a Person To Give To

Giving to strangers is one of the most important skills we can teach our children. This MLK Day, have your children get involved in picking random strangers to bless. Maybe it’s buying the coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru or going out to dinner and anonymously paying for a family who seems to be having a rough day. Or, for a bigger project, take your children to the Dollar Store to pick out affordable necessity items like socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, combs and granola bars. Together, sort them out into large Ziplock baggies, roll them up and rubberband them so they’re easy to toss or hand off, and stash them in your car for easy access when you run into a homeless person begging on the side of the road instead of driving by.

Making giving to others more tangible than a monetary donation helps children associate value to the act while also making memories together as a family.

3. Find a Cause to Speak Out About

Martin Luther King Jr. was also known for his involvement in the Civil Rights movement. Teach your children about being involved in causes worth fighting for by spending your day off talking to them about the news and other issues going on in society today. Together, pick a cause they’re passionate about and brainstorm ways they can be involved. Look up your local senator’s contact information and have your child call or write a letter about the cause. If your child is passionate about the environment, find local clubs or organizations they can join to be a part of the change.

Finding ways to be involved in society on an ongoing basis prepares children to be lifelong servants and leaders in the community. Martin Luther King Jr. Day can be more than just a day for your children to be off of school. Make it a valued experience by teaching your children how to serve people different from them and set them up for a life as adults involved in the wellbeing of their local and national communities.

Liberty Christian School Family Event Tuesday, March 4th @ 7pm- Reading night with Author Wayne Batson

Posted on Mar 1, 2014 7:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

Family Fun Reading Night Featured Author:  Wayne Thomas Batson

Author_Wayne_Thomas_BatsonLiberty Christian School’s annual Family Fun Reading Night will be held on Tuesday, March 4th.  This event offers students and their families the opportunity to participate in author presentations, book signings, ice cream eating, and fellowship.  As one of our presenters, we are excited to welcome back local author Wayne Thomas Batson.

Wayne Thomas Batson is the Bestselling author of fourteen adventure novels, including the fantasy epic Door Within Trilogy and two books in the Adventures in Odyssey The Imagination Station series.  A middle school Reading and English teacher for over 20 years, Batson loves to challenge and be challenged by his students.  

final_storm_bookWhen he began writing stories to supplement his school district’s curriculum, Batson’s students were so taken by one of the stories that, over a period of years, they pushed him to make it into a full-length novel.  The story became The Door Within.  Since then, Batson’s students continue to be his frontline editors.

With over a half a million books in print, Mr. Batson believes his books appeal to so many kids and adults because, at a deep level, we all long to do something that matters, and we all dream of another world.  To learn more, please visit his blog at http://enterthedoorwithin.blogspot.com/