Prepare for a Purposeful Summer

The school year is winding down here in Washington, but for some in southern areas of the country summer break has already started. With all the busyness of the end of the year, I haven’t had a minute to think about our summer and what we might do with it. All I can think about is the joy of not having to make lunches or get up early for making breakfast. But, I also know that summer will fly by and before long, I’ll be looking forward to lunches and schedules once again!

So, what will we do this summer? We are going to make a plan. We’ll kick the break off with our annual chinese food lunch on the last day of school and there we will start some brainstorming.

Summer Bucket List

At our special lunch, we’ll get out a piece of paper and write up a “summer bucket list”. We’ve already been talking about it. What do we want to do? This year I will make them come up with ideas for two categories: things to do and goals.

For the last couple years, one thing we’ve done was take a ride on public transportation to the mall. It surprises me that, of all the things we’ve done, a city bus ride is the first one they remember and want to add to the list.

Some of our goals this summer will be things like hiking 50 miles (not all at one time) and reading some amount of hours and visiting some amount of parks (yet to be determined). It won’t matter if we accomplish all these goals, just that we aim and measure our progress.

Keep the Brain Working

Something I’ll add to our list for the summer will be continued learning. I am going to stop by the local teacher store and get some workbooks. It won’t have to be much and we will probably focus on math, but it will be just enough so they don’t lose any ground over the summer.

With my recent homeschool experience I can see both the value of this sort of work and the simplicity of it once it is set up as part of a routine. To keep it interesting and fun, I may work in an incentive for them…at very least, it can be a way for them to earn a little screen time.

Work on Household Help Skills

Here’s a new concept I want to try out…household skill certification. In any job, you need training to learn how to do it right. My hope is to take my girls through a”training” process to get them lawn certified, bathroom certified, and maybe even dinner certified. If I can make it fun and an honor to be “certified”, perhaps they’ll enjoy participating in these household duties and even earning money, since they’ll be able to do it right. I’ll let you know how that goes!

At very least they’ll have more time to get their chores done during the summer and will need to do so to earn their privileges and fun times. Life isn’t all fun and games, so I suppose summer should include responsibilities. Also, I don’t want to burn myself out, so I will need their help!

Important/Non-Urgent Activities

In a leadership training class we recently discussed how we tend to spend our time. There are important things and there are urgent things. We spend a lot of our lives doing the urgent things and never getting to the important things.

Important/non-urgent activities are things like planning and preparing. We usually put these things off, but if I stop and take some time to do the important things when there are less “urgent” activities (like delivering forgotten lunches and volunteering at the school), I’ll save myself time and stress later.

Something important I’d like to do over the summer is schedule my Girl Scout meetings out for next year. That means I need to read up on a few badges and put some things on the calendar. It doesn’t have to be too detailed…just enough to rest my brain a little. I will also spend some time doing the same thing for the upcoming year for our church’s children’s ministry and should probably even do the same for this blog! This type of planning doesn’t take long, but you have to make the time to do it…BEFORE it becomes urgent!

Remember, rest and relaxation are in the important category, so I’ll try to get plenty of that in as well. The other thing to consider is getting rid of the non-important/non-urgent things I find myself doing sometimes like messing around on Facebook or getting lost on the web. I want to use my time wisely, so I plan do summer on purpose. Perhaps it can even be a habit that rolls over into the next school year!

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Shawna Wright

Shawna Wright has three daughters currently in 4th, 7th, and 9th grades. While she graduated college with a degree in Chemical Engineering, she chose to stay home and begin raising her family. She and her husband, Michael, purposefully chose to put their children in the public school system with much prayer and perseverance. Shawna volunteers in the local school district. She is also a hobby web designer, writer, speaker, graphic artist and Director of Communications at her church. Her heart's desire is to be a light in her community and help her own children to be lights in theirs.
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