Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘volunteering’ tag

July 26th, 2013 at 10:26 am

Curing Summer Boredom


Summer may only be half over, but it’s still not too early for boredom to already set in with you or your children.  After all, you can only spend so many hours at the pool or beach! There are still plenty of ways for everyone to stay occupied until school starts again.

  • Visit a local museum, zoo, or even an aquarium. Chances are the building will be air-conditioned and you’ll get to learn about all kinds of cool animals, artifacts, or science experiments.
  • Look for any upcoming events in your community, such as food festivals or carnivals. Some places even do outdoor movie nights to give you the experience of a drive-in movie without the cars.
  • But if you and the kids want a full drive-in movie experience, there are still some locations around the country. Maybe there’s one near you!
  • Check in with local churches, shelters, and community centers for volunteer opportunities this summer. Children can very often get involved and they will soon learn how rewarding it can be to give back.
  • Geocaching is fun for everyone, and all you need is a smart phone or GPS! Go to and search for the closest ones to you  The kids will love hunting for the geocache and seeing what’s inside!
  • Plant a garden.  There are many plants that grow well during the summer months, like cucumbers, lettuce, and radishes.  You can even get a head start on planting fall flower bulbs!
  • On really hot days, have a backyard water balloon fight or play in the sprinkler. These are easy ways to cool off without having to pack into the car.

Enjoy the second half of summer and take advantage of the beautiful weather while you have it!

How do you and your kids stay occupied during the summer months?

Pin It

August 20th, 2012 at 10:27 am

Parent Involvement in your Child’s Education

The start of the school year means new opportunities at school. I get to decide whether I want to help in the lunch room, serve school lunch, help in the classroom or office, volunteer during events, or even pop popcorn on a friday.

When I think back to when I was growing up, my mom always helped make copies for the teachers and also ran classroom parties. I loved seeing her at school, so I try to volunteer for my kids during the school day also. My oldest, loves seeing me at school and getting a mid-day hug. I am fortunate to have that opportunity because I work at home. If I worked outside the home, I would have to help over my lunch hour, if possible, or at evening school events. Helping at school is only one piece of the school puzzle. Showing that education is important in your family is the most important piece.

I once read that a home environment that encourages learning effects a child’s education greater than income level, parents’ education and cultural background. Our family fosters that environment in addition to volunteering at school. We have always made it a priority to read with our children and make endless trips to the library. It warms my heart to see my oldest now read on his own. I’m finding he seems to be a history buff and his latest book is an early reader on the Declaration of Independence. I love to discuss the books he is currently reading and the facts he may be learning.

Another way we show the importance of education is by setting a homework time in our daily routine. While doing this I like to challenge my child and set goals for him. This may be all the points on a weekly spelling test, or striving to reach a certain reading level. We also talk a lot about school – what he may be reading or learning and how he did on the latest quiz. I feel an important way to find out what is going on at school is reading the school newsletter, website, or even talking to the teachers. An easy example is keeping track of events at school. We have a “Kindness Connection” once a month where the school assembly focuses on what the kids did to fill each others buckets. I always try to make sure to ask what some of that month’s examples are. We also carry the “bucket filling” into our home.

It truly is a lot of work to help your child succeed while in school, but watching them meet their goals and succeed is so much fun!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.


Pin It