Setting Summer Goals for Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults
Summer breaks are meant to be enjoyed! However, our Heart of Dakota tweens, teens, and young adults are used to fulfilling days of learning. When summer breaks come, we can look at the amount of free time they have and mistakenly fill their time up with the same types of things they do during the homeschool year. A few school-like things during summer break are fine! Especially if there is a skill or two in which our children need some extra help!
However, I think filling our tweens’, teens’, and young adults’ summer break entirely with school-like things is a mistake. They no longer feel like they are on a break, and they also never have to ponder what they’d truly like to do with their free time. I believe this is a skill our children need to develop. When they have free time, what will they choose to do with it?
Helping Our Tweens, Teens, and Young Adults Set Summer Goals
We can help our tweens, teens, and young adults set summer goals without dictating exactly what they do. How? Well, I like to type up an open-ended list of ideas. My husband and I come up with a lengthy list of ideas we are both okay with our sons doing. Basically, after I’ve gotten my husband’s ideas, I combine them with mine and type them in broad categories. I also add any ideas our sons have mentioned having an interest in doing. Behind each broad category, I try to include a few specific ideas on how that summer goal could be met. You can click here to see our list of categories.
Pondering and Praying About Summer Goals
Once I have made the list, I print a copy for each of my sons. (I also print a copy for me – I like making summer goals myself!) Then, we meet and I briefly go through the list. I make sure to always include an “other” section at the bottom. This way, if we have other ideas we can add them. Each of us goes our separate ways to ponder the list. I do encourage prayer as we each ponder what we’d like our summer goals to be. Likewise, I do say the first two broad categories must be a part of their summer goals somehow. (They are “Personal Relationship with God” and “Relationship with Family.”) We take a week or two to think about our summer goals.
Choosing Summer Goals Based on Personal Interests
After a week or two, we meet with our filled out sheets. We share what we goals we have with one another. Some things are kept private if they are more personal. I tell our sons that the original categories’ list I made is like a buffet. The point is to choose the things you like best! No one should have a goal for every single category on the list. Too many goals are overwhelming, and it is self-defeating to think they can all be achieved during a summer break.
Through this, our sons are learning a very important skill – choosing wisely what to do with their time. The summer break will be over before they know it! This is true with most free time in our lives. As we become adults, we have less and less free time, and it is often ‘over’ before we know it. Choosing wisely what to do with free time is important.
Summer Goals We Have Made Together This Summer
We are now a few weeks or so into our summer break. Each of us is doing our own Bible Quiet Time. Together, we are meeting once a week to read and discuss Battlefield of the Mind. I am leading this Bible Study, and I am loving planning for this! We also do prayer requests for each other at the end of the Bible Study, writing our requests on sticky notes we keep in our books. Wyatt volunteered to get donuts for our Bible Study too. Everyone loves that!
Personal Summer Goals Wyatt Has Made
Wyatt made goals in about five additional categories. For the “Budget” category, Wyatt is tracking his expenses so he can create a budget for next school year. Under the “Social with Family” category, Wyatt is intentionally making time to play with his brothers. For the “Try Something New” category, Wyatt wanted to try laser tag and try a new weight lifting program at the gym. Under the “Personal” category, Wyatt is starting a leg workout five times a week to improve his vertical jump for basketball. For “Develop Hobbies,” Wyatt is having my husband teach him how to grill. He has already started on all of these and is enjoying his summer immensely!
Personal Summer Goals Riley Has Made
A few of Riley’s goals under “Try Something New” are to try laser tag and to learn how to do the moonwalk. For the “Developing Hobbies” category, Riley is building his own nerf guns using a 3D printer. He also is playing team basketball at Great Life, our local gym. For the “Intellectual” category, he wants to read his Redwall series again. He also wants to write a new Mice and Mystics story for the board game he and his cousins play together. Under “Work Not for Pay,” he wants to help with house chores. He has already started on all of these and is enjoying his summer immensely!
Personal Summer Goals Emmett Has Made
Some of Emmett’s goals under “Work for Pay” are to increase his work hours and mow. Under “Health/Fitness/Fresh Air,” Emmett wants to go biking with Mom (me) and play baseball with Beau (his cousin). For “Develop Hobbies,” Emmett wants to work on his woodworking and go fishing. Under “Intellectual,” Emmett is going to work on his math goals and keep up with the news. He has already started on all of these and is enjoying his summer immensely!
Personal Summer Goals I Have Made
One of my goals under “Relationship with Family” is to lead and write weekly discussion questions for our Tuesday Bible Study. I also want to shore fish with Emmett once a week. Under “Work Not for Pay” I want to create a new housecleaning plan. For “Health/Fitness/Fresh Air,” I want to do Zumba twice a week, run on our treadmill the other days, and lift weights three times a week. Under the “Try Something New,” I want to train for a Tough Mudder event and do the event with my husband and sons. For “Develop Hobbies,” I want to begin to make a family cookbook of our favorite recipes with photos on Shutterfly.
Try making your own summer goals with your teens, tweens, and young adults!
I hope this encourages you to try making your own summer goals, along with your children! Summer break is a great time to refresh, to make some new goals, and to do some things outside of homeschooling. If you are taking a summer break, have fun making some new summer goals! Who knows? You might find something you love to do long after the summer is over!