Six Things to Try This Summer

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She's "graduating" from middle school this year. She was in my Sunday School class not that many years ago. I must be getting older because she seems way too young to be in high school. But this school year is wrapping up -- 17 days, she tells me, a day earlier than the non-graduates.

Summer is coming. Colorado's temperamental weather whips back and forth as usual, like a teenager learning to drive a stick shift.

You're busy finishing up school. You'll probably find yourself pulled in even more directions once your kids are on break. If you find your children looking for something to do over the summer, consider having them try one (or more) of the following:

Summer Activities

  1. Coding - more and more opportunities exist in the digital world. Computer games now compete with blockbuster films in entertainment. Websites power the economy. Apps have transformed our phones from long-distance communication tools to digital assistants, cameras, web browsers, and more. So if your child feels bored in the midst of all this technology, perhaps it's time to try programming. You can get a focused homeschool computer programming course for web or apps or games, or you could start smaller with a free introduction like Codecademy. It's easy to get started, and the opportunities are virtually limitless.
  2. Playing - it could be time to pick up an instrument or sport. Sonlight offers some piano resources, but there are many other musical options out there (guitar is popular; I played trumpet). Learn more about the benefits of playing music. Local club teams provide opportunity to try out a new sport. Sports have numerous benefits. Plus, if you find one you like, they are a ton of fun!
  3. Writing - when my wife and I tried NaNoWriMo two years ago, my wife discovered she loves writing. Well, sometimes she hates it because her skill doesn't yet match her vision, but she's developed a lasting interest in writing. Writing is free, can be done anywhere, and is a great way to build communication and storytelling skills. When bored, try writing.
  4. Experiments - do you have Science Activities you never got to during the school year? Did you use something other than Sonlight's hands-on Science programs? Then give the Explorations in Science packs a try.
  5. Movie Making - almost every phone is now a video camera and every computer comes with free editing software. There has never been a better time to learn how to make movies.
  6. Helping - getting a job is nice, but not always practical for an eight year old. Volunteer at a local center or church or agency. The experience will not only look good on a resume, but it also gives students an opportunity to put their skills into practice, develop new abilities, and live out their growing faith in practical ways.

Before you sign up for anything, I highly recommend you review the seven questions to ask when choosing an extra-curricular activity. You certainly don't need one more burden in your life. But summer offers many opportunities for things your family can try this summer.

What is your family looking forward to doing? Do you school year-round? Have a trip planned? Get involved in something else? What do you recommend as a great summer activity for kids?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian

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