Friday, May 18, 2012

Making the Most of Summers

Several years ago, I wrote a blog post on my other blog about summers in college, and how I thought diversification was a good practice.  That is, out of three summers (between freshman and sophomore years, sophomore and junior years, and junior and senior years), you should try to make sure that you mix things up.  You should live at home one summer, in the city of your school one summer, and abroad one summer; and you should do white collar work one summer, blue collar work one summer, and missions or civic work one summer. 

Because I am an INTJ, I have always enjoyed these kinds of planning exercises.  Now that I’m a dad, I get to think about these things for my kids, as well.  Hopefully not in a controlling way, but in guiding way, in terms of helping them think about how they can make the most of their opportunities and their time.  I hope they will follow my advice about summers in college, and it strikes me that my proposed diversification strategy applies to their high school summers as well, although the time periods may be condensed: they should aim to spend a portion of one summer in another city and a portion of one summer abroad, and they should divvy their summers up between white collar work, blue collar work, and missions or social work. 

While I’m on the subject of my kids and their summers, let me record one more thing here, more for my own note-taking than for telling others.  Aaron and Jada are getting to the age where we can think more outside the box when it comes to summer travel.  Heretofore, we have had three weeks of travel per year: a week in San Jose over the holidays, a week in San Jose during the summer, and a week at the Shore or the Poconos during the summer.  But, starting next summer and running all the way until Jada gets into high school (i.e. six or seven summers’ worth), we might want to try doing some or all of the following:

1.       National parks
2.       Disneyland or Disneyworld
3.       Another big city
4.       China and/or Taiwan
5.       Some other country

Do other parents have any thoughts on good places to go, and good ages to go to those places? 

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