The Summer Plan
It is my first “summer” with my kids, in that for once, it is their first summer in a place with such defined “seasons”. From the time my husband and I started our family, we lived in Bangalore, which has fairly mild weather year-round. Another reason is that, with my daughter having experienced her first year “away at school” this past school year, she would be home for the summer.
I had been thinking about it for a few weeks, how to maximize on our time together and make it as fun and also as educational as possible. Such a great number of thoughts and ideas came into my head that my brain temporarily fritzed from the sudden overload.
Okay, goal number one: take things one step at a time.
I realized that I needed to get my thoughts and ideas in order a bit and not expect too much of them … or myself. After all, it was summer!
I asked my two older children what they would most like to do and to learn over the summer, their top three choices. A few days later, I asked them the same question again, to see if things had changed. If their interests had changed over the space of a couple days, it would not be likely they would have the inspiration to stick with it all summer long.
My son remembered exactly what he had told me he wanted to learn, in the exact same wording and order. He even let me know which months he wanted to learn what things: “How planes engines turn around you can teach me in July. I can learn how cars go in June, and in August, I want to learn how bullet trains go so fast.”
My daughter didn’t remember exactly what she wanted to do, but came up with a couple new things, and then recalled the other ones as well. For some time she had been asking me to teach her to sew, so that went on the list. At the start of the year, she said that she wanted to memorize 50 scriptures, and repeated that. She also asked if she could learn more about plants and look at leaves under a microscope. Lastly, for a month or so she had an idea of going out to meet people, sell chocolates or kids’ products, and raise money for a good cause. This went on the list as well.
I also had a few goals for them for the summer, such as Allen completing his school year, Jessica getting familiar with her times tables, and both of them learning some basic Spanish and, of course, adding in baking projects for fun.
I roped my husband in as well and asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking a bit of time on the weekends to give them some basic guitar lessons.
Once we determined what we had in mind for the summer, we made a chart together (well, actually, a power point: Jess & Allen’s Summer 2011 Plan) that went from June through August and brought in each of the desired projects or goals. On the chart, it is broken down one month at a time into weekly goals, such as practice Spanish together on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Do a baking project over the weekend. Pull out the microscope on Mondays. Google airplane engines, and look for corresponding youtube videos, on Wednesday, etc.
Treats are always fun and exciting as “carrots” at the end of each project and to celebrate the reaching or completion of goals. For us, it seemed like a fun thing to look forward to something extra special at the end of each month and we put that on the chart as well.
My kids are still young and “simple joys are holy” for them, which makes it easier to think of both summer projects and special ways to celebrate.
Posted on May 29, 2011, in Education and tagged contest, contest for kids, education, educational fun, fun learning, parenting, parenting contest, projects, summer, summer contest, summer fun, summer projects, summer school. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.