Sunday, June 7, 2009

Summer Resolutions

I recently took a class called “Raising Well-Balanced Children in a Fast-Paced World” offered at Stanford by Denise Pope, Jim Lobdell, & Madeline Levine of the “Challenge Success” group. At the end of the 5 weeks, participants were asked to come up with some resolutions for summer that were in line with their definitions of success and guiding principles established for their families as part of the course.

I decided that I should resolve to work more on my own art (I like to make cards) and music (I recently started taking piano lessons) to model having more art and music in my life for my kids and to maintain more balance in my life. Let’s see if I can stick to it…

I also decided not to schedule any activities for my kids (age 13 and 15) but to let them schedule their own activities this summer. If they find themselves bored, that’s ok, that’s part of summer.

Thankfully neither one of them has assigned summer homework, but I always try to encourage them to read for pleasure. When they were younger I used to come up with some sort of academic summer learning plan, but I’ve relaxed on that over the years. Why? Well, they hated it and would do it only to check it off their list (like most homework).

Instead I try to do equally important activities with them that we don’t often have enough time for during the school year: cooking, baking, riding bikes into town, mowing the lawn, gardening, playing games, backyard badminton, hanging out at the pool, exercising together, household chores, building things, etc.

Relax, have fun and enjoy your summer with your kids.

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