I promised a couple of weeks ago to talk to you about some of the exciting learning projects I have for myself over the summer, and I am finally getting around to writing this post! First of all, let me explain to you why I set special learning goals for myself over the summer.
While I have read several wonderful posts lately about being thoroughly present with your kids during the summertime (see here for an example,) I have another memory of summer that I would like my kids to share. I remember long, lazy days of boredom in the summertime, with hardly any adult involvement. Oh, my mom was there to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and make sure we did our piano practicing. But she didn’t schedule our days, and she didn’t “help” us play. She just did her own thing (I still have no idea what she was doing — cleaning? cooking? sewing?) and we did our own thing. It was wonderful to be completely in control of my own time. I would like my kids to share that experience this summer.
I also find that although my goal as a parent is to mentor my children in their learning and set an example as a learner, my time is limited by work at home and outside the home until it is difficult for me to follow new learning projects for myself during the school year. Thus, every summer, I set some learning goals for myself. Here are my goals for this summer:
- Continue my reading about the human brain, our learning capacity and how we think. Having just finished Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (both highly recommended reading,) I want to continue my summer reading plan with Tipping Point also by Malcolm Gladwell and The Shallows, What the Internet is Doing to our Brain by Nicholas Carr.
- One of the things on my 100 things list for 2012 (my “New Years Resolutions”) was that I wanted to read one fiction and one nonfiction book every month. While I have done well with my nonfiction choices, the only fiction I have read is “fluff.” I want to finish reading The Wings of the Dove by Henry James this summer. I have read James before, so I know that I can accomplish this goal — it’s just a matter of getting through the first 300 pages!
- I have quilting projects to do this summer. Quilting is the only kind of crafting I enjoy, and I have a quilt to hand quilt on my frame right now, and a quilt to cut out. Actually, our summer vacations started two days ago and I already finished piecing the quilt for my darling almost seven year old, so I am already headed down the road to accomplishment on this goal.
- I want to focus on my music. I noticed the other day that I had spent so little time practicing lately that I couldn’t even move my fingers well to demonstrate a short piece for Max! I want to spend at least 2 hours a week with the piano. It will be hard to rob this time from the kids’ practice time — but I hope to do it.
- Eden and I have signed up for two online classes beginning in July through Coursera — one about World Music, and another about Science Fiction and Fantasy. We’re excited to try out this new way of learning. You could join us! If you decide to try it out, please leave me a comment below to let us know!
Those are my big plans for the summer — how I will occupy myself while the kids do their own thing. I hope they will enjoy themselves as much as I am planning to!
Do you make extra projects for yourself in the summertime, or do you just let the time float by? Leave me a comment below!