Here we are in the heart of winter…..
….and I’m going to tell you something about summer:
It’s time to think about your kids’ summer activities.
I want to make your life less stressful, not more. I promise.
If your kids are in elementary school, you’ll consider day and overnight camps, family trips, sports teams, arts programs, and child-care, to list some ideas. Registration deadlines and tryouts happen during winter — and you can still find the best travel accommodations and deals. Get on this stuff, or you’ll miss out on great options!
Teenagers are another story.
Teens should be thoughtful about how to use their time during the summer months, I think. They are at a stage when thinking ahead to their future is smart. And strategic.
Choosing “efficient” ways to spend the summer may make the transition to post-secondary pursuits much smoother.
I’m all for down time and R & R in the summer. Kids and teens need to chill out, and take a break from the busy lives they lead during the school year. They deserve it! Fun, of course, is top priority too.
But if your teen is smart, he’ll consider some of the following activities to get thinking of his next phase in life:
an online high school course, to move/get ahead, toward diploma requirements. Knock off a course every summer, beginning as soon as possible in the high school years. This will ease the work load and open up time to take other courses later, (and maybe get a “spare” period.)
a life-saving/swimming or first aid certification: a pre-requisite for a higher-paying, leadership summer job down the road. This is leadership development, and shows initiative.
preparation for, and completion, of a music exam. (Practical and/or theory). This kind of activity is a “feather in the cap” and reflects a student’s well-roundness and commitment.
completion (or partial completion) of required high school volunteer hours, in a meaningful role. If possible, teens should choose volunteer work in an industry or area they may pursue after high school. Not only will the volunteer work expose them to actual work in an area, it will also provide real experience when applying for real jobs and post-secondary programs.
participation in a French or other language program. Travel to, and residence in another place is an adventure, and being bilingual is an amazing thing to be.
summer and part-time employment, to get real experience in an area of interest, and/or to make money for tuition and expenses.
Kids and teens are busier than ever these days. I want them to enjoy careless summer days, no doubt. But when they do choose their summer activities, I urge them to choose strategically, thoughtfully, and with some kind of “big picture” in mind.
Have fun, but be smart!
And – if you want more information about how to get your teen thinking strategically — if they need help with resumes, cover letters, research….and even just getting started…..I’d love to help. Let me know!