Summer is for Taking Time

These are my morning buddies. They are the ones who get up most mornings and pull together something for everyone to eat for breakfast. I am not a morning person so this blesses me abundantly day after day.

My boys didn’t just start throwing together ingredients one day and call it a success. It took me taking the time to teach them basic skills in the kitchen and then stepping back to see what they could do on their own.

As we’ve finished up our school year and have begun compiling our list of activities to do and tasks to accomplish this summer, one in particular stood out to me. Most of my kids can figure out breakfast and they already do lunch each day, but what about dinner? Dinner is more complex. They need to know how to do more than open up a can of chili and pour it over some corn chips, toss frozen taquitos on a baking sheet or slice cookies from a tube.  They need to know how to make things like a basic white sauce that can be modified differently to create different sauces for different purposes, bake dessert from scratch or cook up a soup that is not from a can. They need to know how to read a recipe. How will they learn if I don’t take the time to teach them? That’s what summer is for.

Summer is for taking time.

Summer is the time in which I pick specific life skills in which I would like my children to learn (not academics) and teach and train them how to do it on their own. I’ve got a few more skills, beyond cooking, rolling around in my mind and have thought about possibly setting up something similar to boy/girl scouts. I will present a list of skills I want them to master by the end of the summer. For every skill they master, they get a small reward and then upon completion of every skill, they get a big reward. I’m still tired from the school year so it hasn’t gotten past my thoughts quite yet.

So let me encourage you…don’t waste your summer. Do all the fun stuff, but find a way to make the life skills a fun part too. Trust me, when the school year starts again, you’ll thank yourself for empowering your kids to do things on their own.


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