May is literally a few days away and, before you know it, it’s a fast dash to summer. We want to help you be READY. That’s what our Summer Planning Mastermind on Instagram right now is all about.
DAY ONE in our Mastermind series comes to you straight from the archives of 2008 when my girls (Carrie) were busy growing up. Each summer, I helped them find something to “major” in for our Summer University. The idea was to pick something they were interested in learning more about but never had time for in the busy course of our regular schedule.
Through the years, they chose topics such as famous women, sign language, magic, outer space, Picasso, and the American flag. Often their majors surprised me, but I tried to go along with any ideas they had. Their enthusiasm was key. When they had too many ideas, they sometimes had to also declare a summer “minor.”
Once they decided, I helped with library books, projects, and field trip ideas. It was mostly child-driven, but I did make it part of their daily routine to do something toward their major each day. (Each day that wasn’t a vacation or a summer camp that is.)
Not all majors have been academic. One summer, Sarah majored in gymnastics. She studied Olympic gymnasts but I also signed her up for a gymnastics class, and we invested in a mat for practice on the lawn.
At the end of the summer, we had a special graduation dinner where they shared a project that demonstrated things they had learned from their major. They could write a story, paint a picture, make a craft, do a performance…any way they wanted to demonstrate what they’d learned. I also had those tri-fold science fair posters available, and sometimes they used those to make a display.
This isn’t a hard thing to do. As it became more of a tradition, they’d look forward to it and mention during the school year, “Maybe I should major in this next summer!”
Now that they are grown and have been (or are going) to college for real, they still talk about summer university. It was always a special bonus time to pursue things they were interested in out of pure curiosity. It also gave a deliberate focus to each summer that helped keep it moving after the novelty of the new schedule wore away.
If this is something you’d like to try this summer, all you need is a conversation about a major and a trip to the library to get it going.