Another school year passes, and another summer begins. Our son looks forward to this time of year as much as any other kid. With school out, he can enjoy some of his favorite activities or just relax and take it easy. He stays very active during the school year with his academics, sports, and AWANA program, and as each summer approaches, we begin to plan his activities. We do not want our 12-year-old to vegetate on the couch watching television and playing video games the whole summer. He will get his times to do that, but we want to keep him active and in shape in ways that he can enjoy.
Our son plays baseball each fall and spring throughout the school year. As much as he likes it, he wants something else in the summer. His school has a summer basketball camp that runs all day for a few weeks and weekends. The coaches teach the kids skills and fundamentals, but they also make the camp fun for the kids. They practice fundamentals at first each day and then compete in skills competitions. They finish the day with full games and let the kids show off what they leaned. The kids get exercise, have fun, and learn to play competitive basketball.
Since my wife and I both teach, we have some excellent time off each summer. We take full advantage of our vacation club ownership to travel frequently each summer. We each choose a favorite vacation activity. I usually choose a professional baseball game. My wife chooses a few live shows, and our son chooses a water park or amusement park. He loves the water slides and roller coasters. We could both live without another amusement park, but we love seeing him have fun while staying active, so we endure. All of our club resorts have swimming pools. He can stay in a pool for hours longer than we can. We do not have a pool of our own, so we let him swim at the resorts as much as possible.
Florida summers can get brutally hot. We live less than half an hour from one of our club resorts. During the summer, we will often drive there just to swim in the pool or participate in the family activities. We all like BINGO, and the resort also has many kids’ activities such as hula-hoop contests and arts and crafts.
We have a very large local family game room only a few miles from our home. Every Wednesday, the management reduces game play to half-price. We take advantage of this deal two or three times each summer month and any other Wednesday we have off from school. The game room is large enough to get in a full-day’s worth of walking. Our son buys prizes with the tickets he wins from the games and sells them online.
Reading and academics
We want our son to keep his mind active as well as his body. He likes reading, and we have a large library just two blocks away. Throughout this past school year, he has read many books from the Left Behind series. He can read an entire book in one day. He will often read in the car or on the couch. We try not to over-school him during the summer, but we will occasionally review some math and writing skills. We want to keep him academically ready for the new school year.
On rainy days and any time we just want to stay home, we will give our son his television and video game time. We monitor what he watches and plays very closely, and we often watch and play with him. We may give him a time limit so he can find other activities such as a board game or playing outside with the neighborhood kids.
Active means fulfilling
Keeping our son active means giving him a summer full of many different activities. Even favorites become tedious when done too often. Giving him a variety lets him have more fun. It also gives him more to talk about when he sees his school friends again in the fall. We want him to enjoy every minute of his youth and have memories that he can one day share with his own kids.
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