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Train Up a Child: Time to plan the summer with the kids

It has been said that those who fail to plan are actually planning to fail. Now that the school year is almost at a close, it would be wise to sit down with the children and plan the summer. Summer provides an opportunity to spend more time with the children and teach them things that are not taught at school. Goals need to be set for improvement of needed areas in the spiritual, mental, physical and social realms. The more the children are involved in the setting of these goals and plans, the more apt they will be to adhere to them.

Setting goals involves a certain amount of self-evaluation. Children need to be asked to be honest in talking about where they think they can improve in each of the four areas mentioned. An easy way to do this is to use four strips of paper marked off in inches with one inch being the lowest and 10 inches being the highest. Use one strip to represent each of these four areas: social, mental, physical, spiritual. Ask the child to tear off the strips to show where they think they are in development in each area; then, place the strips together as if to form a square. If the child is equally developed, there will be a perfect square. More likely, however, some strips will be shorter than others. The short strips show where the child should improve. Activities for the summer should be chosen to improve the child in the areas needed. 

As parents spend more time with children during the summer, vacation and play activities can be planned as needed. Most children need more physical activity. Should this be the case with your children, one goal might be to involve them in sports teams. The whole family can have lots of fun as they take part in cheering, providing refreshments, etc. If the children need social development, plans can be made to have outings with families who have children approximately the same age to develop friendship and social manners.  There are many good activities provided by churches such as Vacation Bible School, summer camps, or other get-togethers to provide Spiritual growth. The selection of trips to educational sites greatly helps children academically. 

Schools have little or no time to teach children about the care of the home. Parents need to make sure that children have chores to do around the house and that they are taught how to do them properly. There are many minor repairs that can be done at home to save money and children need to be taught how to do them. Cleanliness of the home, cooking, mending of clothes, proper care of appliances and furniture, and lawn care need to be learned while children have time to practice things taught. Many teenage girls love to paint and redecorate a room during the summer.  Many teenage boys love to work on an old car or piece of machinery. Many teenagers will obtain their first job outside the home, but they will probably still have time to do other things mentioned.

The summer will go by all too fast. When fall comes, many will be saying, “Where did the summer go?” Plan now to use the summer wisely with children before it is gone.

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