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Planning Summer TimeWe have only one week left of school, and summer planning is in full swing. I am very grateful for my husband’s flexible schedule that will allow him to take some time off, so our 7 year old daughter will have 5 weeks of camps, 1 week of travel, and 4 weeks of staying home this summer. She is really looking forward to her first solo flight to New Jersey to see Babushka and Dedushka and to a week in Camp Galileo. The other three weeks of camps will be in her familiar environment of YMCA after school facility that she attends during the school year.
Setting Summer Goals
We also spent some time talking with our daughter about her summer goals. She wrote a list of things that she wants to do this summer and then tried to spread them over weeks. While I don’t think that this strategy makes sense, at least she gave her goals some thought and they include working with her favorite art material – clay, mastering Engino Simple Machines set, learning to juggle, learning to make her own smoothies and French toast, and practicing her ukulele.
Learning to Spend Your Time Wisely
While we like Smarty’s summer goals, my husband and I talked a lot recently how our daughter doesn’t seem to be able to deal well with unstructured time. I don’t think this would be a problem for a family with several children, but she is an only child, and she doesn’t play much on her own. Usually she spends her free time first using up all her available computer time (we limit it) and then reading. This Saturday, for example, she spent an entire day reading through Book 4 of Warriors: New Prophecy series. I’ve never thought that I will have to coax my child away from books into other activities, but here we are trying to do just that.
“Rules of the Game” for Summer
My husband and I had a discussion on how to help our daughter balance her desire for computer and books with other interests. We agreed that we would really like our daughter to spend more time on the following activities – writing, art, outside adventures, making/building, and music. My husband made her a weekly summer planning card, and we suggested the following rules to her:
- She has to do at least one activity on this card before she “unlocks” her 30 minutes of computer time.
- Every activity should take at least 30 minutes, so it cannot be something that she will do to “get it over with”.
- If she completes the row (vertical, horizontal, or diagonal) on this card, she will unlock bonus 30 minutes of computer time.
Your TurnHow do you encourage your kids to spend their time wisely?
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