When my older kids were “littles,” we did a fun thing in the summer for many years. Well, lots of work for me—and fun for them because they all loved school! I made them “Summer School Goals” booklets. With these, I would sit down each child and tell each one what I wanted him or her to work on in various areas (reading chapter books instead of picture books only, writing out Scripture, math drill, etc.), and then I would ask each child what he or she wanted to do. Their ideas could be anything: swim a lot, play games with Dad, read a certain book series, etc. Then I would pull all of this information together and make each one a “Summer School Goal” booklet.

At first, it wasn’t fancy—eventually, I made them on the computer, and they were a little more official-looking. (On the early ones, I used card stock, and I wrote at the top of each “goal” what it was, how long the duration should be (or how many pages, etc., depending on the goal), and how many of that goal the child should try to meet for the summer. Then beneath that I put large boxes (boxes as in similar to a large graph or tic-tac-toe board). Then I dropped down and put the next goal. I sometimes put the goal in abc order (i.e. reading came before swimming in the alphabet) and sometimes put it in order of ease (the hardest ones at the front of the booklet).

Then we met again to discuss how they were going to meet these goals—we had a certain amount of time three days a week or so devoted to “Summer School Goals” that were at home, academic types of things, so they would work on those types of goals then. I penned in beside each goal approximately how many times they had to do each one each week in order to complete it (i.e. chapter book reading that was half an hour a week might have thirty boxes for ten weeks and need done three times a week to meet the whole goal).

Then they took their Summer School Goals booklets and packages of stickers and started in. Now this might seem like a nightmare to some kids ,but my kids thrived on it. (You have to keep in mind that these are the same kids who thought you did school on Saturdays and in the summer until someone at Sunday school told them differently at about age eight!)

More on Summer School Goals tomorrow—including a ready-made, editable chart (a Freebie from Graham Family Ministries!) that would work well for this type of goal setting or any summer fun or summer goals and a list of ideas to get you started making Summer Goals!

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