Thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you find some helpful hints for organizing your time and space. My passions are to help you make home a refuge instead of a crisis center, and to help you function in peace rather than chaos - at home or at work. I have switched my main blog to 1-2-3 ... Get Organized on WordPress, so please visit me there.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Organizing An Intentional Summer for Your Children

I loved creating an intentional summer when my girls were small, and try to do it as much as possible with our teenage foster daughters. The following is a blog I posted a couple of years ago. I hope you enjoy it!

Rather than enduring through the summer, make it intentional! If your children are old enough, have them think through some goals for themselves over the summer. These could includes the following categories: physical, social, financial, vocational, spiritual, educational, mental, artistic, musical, and life skills.

If you have grade school children, you may need to talk about this with them. If your children are younger, think through the areas that would apply to your small children and come up with ways you'd like to see them grow over the summer. 

With our teenage foster daughters, we let them decide their own goals. Some of them have included losing weight, expressing anger appropriately, speaking gentle words instead of harsh words, saving money for a car, learning how to manage money, and making new friends.

Some ideas for each category:

- Physical: eating nutritionally, running a mile in a certain time, learning a new sport, swimming lessons, care of hair and skin, an athletic camp, honing athletic skills, riding a bicycle/tricycle, fine motor skills, etc.

- Social: table manners, fun ideas for dates, sharing, please and thank you, not interrupting, telephone etiquette, how to be a good conversationalist, how to be a good friend, how to protect yourself on a date, what to do if your friends want you to do something you shouldn't, etc.

- Financial: saving, tithing, budgeting, opening a checking or savings account, investments, generosity, etc.

- Vocational: shadowing someone in a field of interest, researching a profession, field trip, internship, volunteer work, getting a job, how to interview, how to write a resume, how to fill out a job application, etc.

- Spiritual: vacation Bible school, memory verses, prayer, how to study the Bible, seeing God in nature, how to know God, restoring your relationship with God when you've blown it, finding a church you like, joining a youth group, etc.

- Educational: brushing up on needy subjects, summer school, work sheets, college visits, thinking through a major, keyboarding or computer skills, how to study, how to take a test, how to take notes, learning the alphabet or numbers or colors, learning how to read, etc.

- Mental: learning more about an interest, field trips, logic exercises, games, challenge programs, learning skills, memory techniques, time management, etc.

- Artistic: art lessons or classes, art time for drawing, etc., crafts, woodworking, sewing, jewelry, cartoons, knit, crochet, etc.

- Musical: lessons, learning a new instrument, concerts, symphonies, outdoor music programs, voice lessons, choir, band, camp, etc.

- Life Skills: changing a tire, setting the table, ironing, mending, tying shoes, folding clothes, laundry, how to plan balanced meals, cooking, how to use household appliances, cleaning up toys, how to make a bed, etc.

Hope I gave you some food for thought. Tell me about your intentional plans for the summer!

More on Summer:

Peace-of-Mind Vacation Check List - What to Do Before You Leave

It's that Time Again - Swapping Out Your Seasonal Tools


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