Summer School: Lessons Learned by a First Time SAHD

As school is starting and the house is without the noise of kids running around, I had the chance to reflect on the summer and what we did.  I never thought I would have the feelings I had when the kids left for school, but never the less I had them!  I’m not going to lie; I had those days when I couldn’t wait for summer to end.  But I also had days that I wished the summer would never end!  I think these feelings are normal (at least I hope!).  Here are just a few things we did this summer.

This is the first summer that I was able to stay at home with my kids.  I became a stay at home dad at the first of the year due to my disease.  I have ankolysing spondilitis, and it forced me to have several surgeries including a hip replacement.  All of this being said, I was determined to make this summer a great one for my kids.

You would be amazed what kids find fun.  I know my kids were just happy to be spending time with me.  I didn’t have to spend a lot money or take them to places that required us to be gone for long periods of time.  I started the summer off  by just taking them to our community swimming pool.  The cost was just a few dollars, but the kids had so much fun! I would have paid a lot more just see their faces while we were there!   We also spent some time at our local museum.  This was a fun time for kids to learn about things without it seeming like school.  I’m sure most communities have places like this.  And simple things like going to the zoo provided hours of fun for a minimal cost.

Another great way to spend time as a family is setting aside one day a week for family game night.  Just pick one board game a week to play.  You can jazz it up by making popcorn or fixing your kids their favorite snack.  Afterwards you could rent a movie and watch it with your kids.  I truly believe that kids need this time to bond with their parents.  I know life can be busy, but kids are so special we should be able to at least devote one evening to them.

I think the lesson I learned this summer was that kids just love to spend time with their parents.  It didn’t matter what we did, they seemed to have fun as long I or my wife was with them.  As a first time stay at home dad I thought I needed to spend money to make them happy.  Just the opposite proved true.  Kids just need the feeling that they are important and loved.  As parents we should be able to find ways to this without spending a fortune.

For more info on how save money while still having fun with your kids go to

Image credit: Afonso Lima

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