School’s Out!

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School’s Out!

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Tips For Entertaining Your Kids While Running Your Home Business

By Suzanne Martin

It’s the big challenge every summer for self-employed parents who work from home: How to keep the kids busy during those hot, school-less days...and run a business at the same time.

Not to worry. We’ve got 10 tips and ideas ready to go. Some will surely work for you and your youngsters.

  1. Sync your work schedule with programs for the kids. Plan the bulk of your work for the hours, days or weeks when the kids will be out of the house at summer camp or Grandma’s or a friend’s.
  2. Find half-day activities for the youngsters. Soccer lessons, art classes or day camps will free up a few hours of your time for business phone calls or meetings.
  3. Don’t overlook longer-duration summer camps. They come in all flavors—from basketball and cheerleading camps to music and art camps. And they last from a few days to a week or more.
  4. Find enrichment programs to ignite your child’s imagination. Many major museums are child-friendly, with interactive exhibits that feature everything from dinosaurs to rockets. Some offer half-day activities that don’t require parental guidance. For other programs, you’ll need to be present while your child explores. Check out art museums, planetariums, natural history museums and cultural museums.
  5. Go mobile. Take the kids to the park or the beach or the playground. And take your smartphone, iPad or laptop with you. The kids can run and jump. You can work.
  6. Send the kiddos on a short vacation. Grandparents might love a few days with the youngsters. What about uncles, aunts and cousins? Short vacations can give you a few days of uninterrupted work while your kids strengthen their relationships with extended family members.
  7. Let your kids act out at a local children’s theater. You can drop off older children for rehearsals and grab some time to yourself. Younger kids sometimes practice on stage while parents sit quietly in the theater. Consider that an opportunity to recharge your own batteries.
  8. Local libraries can be great kid-friendly summer resources. There are story times, puppet shows, storytelling events and other activities to keep the youngsters occupied. And you can catch up on a little business reading while you wait.
  9. Check the local recreation center for organized sports classes and activities. Many offer classes in gymnastics, hockey and other sports. Prices are usually reasonable.
  10. Even the hectic days of summer can offer a bit of structured learning for your kids. Consider enrolling your children in lessons for history, math and other subjects. Many classes are offered through tutoring companies and local community centers. If you can’t find one, consider a private tutor who will come to your house for a few hours each day or week. Local college students make great tutors and usually charge less than professionals.

Suzanne Martin
, a freelance editor and writer in Dallas, always liked summer day camps when she was a kid.

Read this article in PDF form here.

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