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Growth Spurts: Sum-Sum-Summertime

I love summertime. I love the break from a lot of schedule and structure. I love taking the kids to the pool nearly every day. I love taking trips. I love not having to be somewhere all the time. And I love that the kids (and I) don’t have to worry about homework–only about eating too much homemade ice cream.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of structure and school and such, but I’m also a big proponent of kids having non-structured down time. Time to simply laugh and play and enjoy just being kids and not having to worry with all the things adults are required to worry with. It’s so easy these days to over-schedule our children’s lives (not to mention our own). Camps, lessons, practices, and anything else to get our kids “ahead” tend to trump things like catching fireflies, playing in the sprinkler, or just allowing the kids’ imaginations to dictate their play that day.

Just because the summer days tend to lack the structure of school days, however, doesn’t mean that lessons aren’t being learned. There is plenty to be learned through playtime in the realms of sharing, problem-solving, cooperation, and creativity. And since more concentrated time is likely being spent with our children during this period, the summer season provides a great opportunity to work on encouraging positive traits in their character. Activities that inspire thankfulness, generosity, living in community, and service to others will benefit our children just as much (dare I say MORE?) as the activities that bolster their math and language arts scores. Or their soccer scores.

Summertime comes and goes as quickly as a sparkler on the Fourth of July. Let’s savor the down time and give our kids the gift of simplicity in their schedules. That’s a lesson in itself.


Carrie Bevell Partridge and her family will see you at the Northeast Jackson YMCA pool this summer! and her NEW BLOG–

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at and

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