By Nicole Mion

Most homeschooling families look for quality, wholesome entertainment that is relatively inexpensive when summer rolls around. Here are some suggestions that my family has enjoyed over the years.

If you have one minute: Expand the whole family’s vocabulary with’s Word of the Day (

If you have two minutes: Get your kids to do a ‘magic trick’ with you and hopefully they won’t catch on that they’re doing chores. Soak a paper towel with distilled vinegar and wrap around any chrome (like a faucet) that has calcified areas. Leave it on for a few hours, and then take off and rinse with water. Presto! Sparkling chrome (thanks to for this helpful tip)!

If you have five minutes: Visit YouTube and watch a “Kid Snippet” by the Bored Shorts TV channel. “Proposal” is one of my favorites.

If you have thirty-five minutes: Make a batch of brownies, then pour on mini marshmallows and broil for a minute or two in the oven. S’mores brownies are amazing and so is the genius who thought of them, which unfortunately was not me.

If you have an hour, you already probably know what I’m going to say- read aloud! I highly recommend By the Great Horn Spoon! by Sid Fleischman. It’s historical, humorous fiction about the Gold Rush era.

If you have the afternoon, have a real lemonade stand. Sit outside in the hot heat (sorry) and get some fresh air. Chat with your neighbors, perhaps turn a profit and sneak in a small economics lesson on the laws of supply and demand.

If you have the whole day, pick up some chalkboard paint and devote a good sized portion of wall to a new message board/ budding artist creative center. This project is most suited for older children, but is something the whole family can enjoy when finished.

Happy Summer!


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Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.