By Teachers, For Teachers
With summer just around the corner, it's the time to make sure those sunny school-free days don't pass us by. Let’s make the most of this summer without blowing out the budget.
Here are my top 12 ways to rock your summer break on a budget!
Now is the time to make the most of your hometown and explore your own backyard.
Step 1: Set aside a day or two with your family or friends to dedicate to your hometown adventure! Otherwise, you’ll all get caught up in your own thing.
Step 2: Choose your destination.
Step 3: Have a blast!
Though you may not be ready to say good bye to summer, that doesn’t mean you don’t miss your students and the way learning encapsulates your life during the school year.
Get your fix by creating fun learning opportunities for the kids in your life. These steamy days are perfect for lemonade stands, family book club or field trips to museums, aquariums, or local nature preserves.
Summer weekends get packed way too quickly. Take advantage of your weekday freedom to get back in touch. It’s a nice escape from the office for them and an entertaining afternoon for you.
With 162 games in the MLB system, America’s pastime is all but impossible to escape and way more fun than your typical full-time job. Why not embrace that fact and inject some hard-hitting excitement into your summer? Hop on the bandwagon for your local team.
If you’re not usually baseball fan, it’s a good excuse for an afternoon in the sun or evening under the lights, not to mention the tasty snacks. Local, semi-pro teams also offer the same good times for a much smaller price tag.
Summer is a great time to get back into walking, biking, jogging or just playing outside with your kids. Getting active now will make it easier to keep it up when you go back to school in the fall.
When the summer hits the heat wave season, it’s all about swimming, boating and anything activities you can do in the water.
And remember: a rockin’ playlist leads to a happy, healthy workout.
Put together a calendar of all the fun, free events around town so there’s always an option when you find some glorious free time.
Reading is such a relaxing yet guilt-free way to unwind. Anytime I actually have time to read though, I forget about all the amazing books on my to-read list and end up drudging through whatever’s lying around.
A little tip I picked up recently: Saving wishlists on Amazon or Goodreads.com can be a great way to keep track of books you want to read when you have more time.
Figure out what continuing education you need for your credential/license and take care of a few hours when you’re not so busy with school work.
Many districts offer PD opportunities during the summer. It’s tempting to stay as far away from school as possible, but you’ll be happy you gave up an afternoon when you had the chance. To find other free or inexpensive PD options, check out Cheap Ways to Sharpen Your Teaching Skills This Summer.
If you’re anything like my HDTV-junkie friends and family, you’ve always got big plans for how to make your home or yard even more amazing than it already it. Tackle a small project of two while you’ve got the time.
Don't be afraid to use your teacher status to get discount. Home Depot, the Container Store and Lowes all have some kind of discount in place for educators. You may be able to find deals on outdoor furniture and décor.
A tip I picked up from the best DIY gal around: always check the pre-mixed paint options customers didn’t want at your local home stores. If you see a color you like, you’ll get it at a big discount.
Here are more Cheap Yet Chic Home Improvement Ideas the Chicago Tribune gathered from design experts.
Taking a few hours a week to think about the school year, plan your classroom setup or prepare the first few units will make the transition in August/September that much easier.
For some more tips to keep those teaching muscles from atrophying over the summer, check out Teacher Training in the Off-Season.
The crazy day-to-day requirements of teaching make volunteer work seem nearly impossible, but summer break is a great time to jump in.
Try volunteering for local programs through your park or religious organization. For more excitement, volunteer with a local Habitat for Humanity program (as a group or an individual) to really feel like you’ve accomplished something. It’s also so different from teachers that it won’t feel like another day at work. For the rest of my life, I can say I built a flight of stairs in someone’s home. That’s pretty cool.
My favorite thing to do on breaks: Sleep, sleep and sleep some more!
That also includes rest for those of you who are working over the summer or whose summers at home with the kids are more taxing as your days in the classroom. This is your chance to take a break, so DO IT!!