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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Mar 8, 2008

Does that sound familiar?

Even though it seems as though we’re in the depth of winter (which we are) and that summer is a long way away (sure seems like it, doesn’t it), summer vacation will be here before we know it.

And you know what that means.

The kids will come home. And all that energy they’re used to getting rid of in the gym or the playground will go … where?

Hopefully, they won’t be sitting idle in front of the television or the computer playing video games. Now is the time to plan the best way to make the most of your children’s summer.

Studies show that children who read through the summer are far more prepared for their next level of studies than children who just let the summer float by. Find books that will challenge your child’s reading level. If possible, find a reader or textbook that your child will have next fall. It will give him or her a great jump on that next class.

You can also enroll your child in a summer reading program. They’re available at every public library.

Another option is to start a reading group with your child and his or her friends. Make some fun of it. You could have children set reading goals and reward prizes for when they reach them.

Summer is also a good time for children to brush up on their musical talents. Encourage them to sing or play their instrument. Maybe buy their favorite music. Or go one better and open up your garage to their friends and see what kind of band they can form.

With summer comes home repairs. You can either hire a repairman, or you can hire your kids. Sure, the work might not be quite as professional, but at least they’ll learn the discipline of doing a job and the sense of accomplishment of finishing it. The work done will be a lot more meaningful to you as well.

If you don’t have the cash outlay to pay the kids for household chores, now is the time to come up with a list of things you need done this summer. When your children finish the list, reward them with a vacation or camping trip. Watch them work up a storm!

There are also jobs in area stores and on farms. Don’t wait for a want ad to appear in the paper. Encourage your older children to go around the neighborhood and ask people if they need their lawns mowed or other chores done. If they get eight or 10 repeat mowing customers, they could earn a tidy sum through the summer.

Summer doesn’t have to be boring for kids — or for that matter, frenetic for parents. With just a little planning, you can make it rewarding for everyone.