Put the notebook down,
and step away from the pencil sharpener!
“The first problem for all of us, men and women,
is not to learn, but to unlearn.”
The flowers are blooming. The smell of fresh-cut grass is in the air. The BBQ pit is fired up. Yup, summer is here! It’s time for sprinkler hunting, sunny hikes, long bike rides, star gazing, and a cool dip in the swimming pool.
Every year at this time, I begin the process of mapping out a loose curriculum of math and reading for my kids. Teachers encourage students to keep these skills polished so that they won’t have to spend as much time on remedial academics in the Fall.
Learning?? “Grumble, grumble…” will be the mantra from my kids. But, I’ll promise them lots of fun in the sun, day trips around town and the luxury of sleeping in on weekdays to keep their spirits lifted.
While continuing to learn is valuable, summer provides an opportunity to shake off some of the cultural norms that the kids have learned over the course of the school year. For example, the overwhelming teen drama of who said what to whom between classes… They’ll have time (and room) to stretch their legs, think outside the box, and exert some independence from the classroom pack. Additionally, fewer “official” commitments will allow the kids to experience life as it unfolds, vs. running to catch up to the calendar!
School-time cliques will loosen, giving way to reconnecting with neighborhood friends. There will be time to shoot hoops in the drive-way, play board games until after the sun goes down, and relax on the patio with a popsicle in hand.
Pulling away from school will allow the kids
to see past their suntanned noses.
There’ll be time for volunteering at the food bank or animal shelter. And, the dog-days of summer will allow for a park clean-up once in a while. Life isn’t just about test scores. There are people who look and live differently than we do. Time outside the classroom allows us all to find similarities between our world and the world of those we serve. Sometimes, in the narrow hallways, we forget that there are common threads between our lives and the lives of those who inhabit this planet with us.
The sun is shining!
What will you see when you gaze past your suntanned nose?
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