Making a Meaningful Summer

June 03, 2024 · by Whitney Gothra

For as long as I can remember I have loved summer, but then I became a homeschool mom. And now I LOVE summer. (Can I get an amen from my homeschool mamas?!) Summer is such a wonderful opportunity to create memories with your families and show your children some intentional love. Read on for some fun ideas!

1. Have a “favorites” dinner. Each person gets to choose a favorite dish or drink to be a part of the meal. (You choose if you cook it or get take-out!). As you’re eating your favorite foods, go around the table and talk about your favorite qualities that you love about each other.

2. Make your summer one full of acts of service. Choose one day a week to do an act of kindness for someone in your family, church, or community. Mow an elder’s lawn, leave encouraging verses on your Sunday school teacher’s driveway with sidewalk chalk, deliver cards and cookies to your church shut-ins, or mail a care package to a missionary. Help your children learn to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a world so hungry for His love.

3. Keep summer journals. At the beginning of the summer give each child a blank journal. You can have them personalize it with stickers and glitter and all the things. Then a few times a week have them write about their summer activities. You can print off pictures from your phone or even use a polaroid camera to capture some of your family’s favorite moments. Your younger ones can draw pictures while you write the caption, and your older ones can work on their penmanship and narrative skills. At the end of the summer they’ll be able to go back and remember those fun park days, church camp, special outings, and Friday pizza and game nights.

4. Focus on learning life skills. Now, hear me out. This may not sound fun at first, but with a little creativity on your part, your kids will enjoy it, and you will end your summer with children who are a bit more prepared to succeed at life. Choose some skills that your kids need to know, such as how to change a lightbulb, how to mow the grass, how to use the microwave, or how to fold a fitted sheet. (If you teach them that last task, please make a reel and send it to me. My fitted sheets live their days in the closet as artfully wadded up sheets.) Choose some skills based on your lifestyle and your kids’ ages that will best help your home run smoothly and give your children some autonomy. Then have a “life skills camp” week at home or choose one day a week to focus on learning new skills for the summer. End the season with an awards ceremony! Maybe one kid gets the ribbon for best bathtub scrubber while another kid earns a gold star in addressing letters. Just be sure and award yourself for an amazing coaching season - you earned it!

5. Make a family summer playlist. What are some things you want to speak into your family this season? Choose songs that speak life, strength, hope, and joy. Make the soundtrack of these days one that continually points your family to Jesus.

I hope some of these ideas gave you some inspiration for ways to make this summer meaningful to your family! Do you have some summer bucket list ideas that you’re going to incorporate this year? Leave us a comment on Instagram or Facebook - we’d love to hear!

Whitney Gothra

About Whitney Gothra

Whitney Gothra and her husband Timothy have been married for around fifteen years, and they have three sweet and spicy girls, Ruby, Selah, and Marigold. They pastor the Apostolic Church of Wabash in Wabash, Indiana. You can connect with her on Instagram @theflourishstudio or online at whitneygothra.com.