Each summer, we are all challenged to do a summer project. This is supposed to be something new- a new skill, a new class, something you have always wanted to do, but did not seem to have the time. This is a challenge we have put out for all of us- children and adults alike. This year, my three middle children, Sarah – 14, Anne Mary- 11, and David-7, all wanted to do Tae Kwon Do as their new summer skill. I was not sure if they would all really love it, but to my delight they are enjoying it immensely. There are not many activities that can span so many ages and interests and keep them all happy, so I am thrilled for them. The school that we chose has two classes per evening, except Fridays have one class, and two classes are offered on Saturday mornings as well. I was surprised to find that most nights, the children take two classes back to back. The girls come home exhausted. David comes home with more energy than he had before class!
Another thing going on this summer is that Sarah landed her first part-time job. For several years she has walked dogs in the neighborhood and done pet-sitting (along with Anne Mary). This spring they both started volunteering at a dog training facility. This summer, Sarah was old enough to have a job (14), and now she is working at the dog training facility 3 days a week. She is doing a lot of physical work- cleaning cages, mopping floors, exercising dogs, etc and she seems to really enjoy it. I have been so proud of her work ethic. Many days in the last several weeks we were at temperatures over 100 degrees, and she would come home hot, dirty, sweaty, and tired. After her lunch and shower, she just got right into taking care of her chores. She never complained about the heat or the work. She is growing up to be somewhat like her father who often works very hard and never complains. He just does what needs to be done.
As for me, I have not yet picked a summer project! But here are some of the projects we have collectively done in the past. Since each person chooses his or her own, we do not all have these skills.
- Cake decorating
- French Braiding Hair
- Cutting Hair
- Herbs and Tinctures
- Safe Baby Sitter Classes
As you can see, the ideas are widely varied and not all are just for fun. Some are practical life skills, but spending a little extra time on it in the summer can help advance these skills quickly when there are not so many other responsibilities competing for our time.