Answer to "Summer Slump Survival Guide"

So you are halfway through summer and you suddenly decided you are tired of going to the pool, or your usual crowd has become lame, and you are starting to wish it was time to go back to school already. What do you do? Your parents keep hassling you - asking you, "What's wrong?" All you can say is that you are bored!
Step #1- Visit your local library - not online - in person. Check the library activities board for upcoming events for your age (adults too). Ask the librarian to help you find how to books of your favorite subject area- or a new area that you think could someday be added to your list of favorites. Some examples of books my children used to check out include: the basics of Karate (and other martial arts), books about drama, foreign language learning, how to make the best paper airplanes, how to draw cartoons, and how to do skateboard tricks. There are hundreds of books on subjects ranging from sports to arts and crafts, and from do it yourself handyman to science experiments you can do at home. It is definitely worth it to stop by your local library.
Step #2 - Do an in-depth journal of your summer vacation. Organize photos you have taken (or that others have taken of you) and write a story to go with each one. Then continue your journal with content from your newly found hobby (based on the books you checked out from the library.) If you don't like the new activity, repeat Step #1, but still write about the experience. Write what you did and didn't like about it. For science buffs, keep a lab notebook recording the finer details of your experiments, and then refer to your lab notebook for more information when you write the article for your summer journal.
Step #4- Research low cost or free events for the remainder of the summer. Events like National Kid's Night Out are always a fun way for both parents and youth to have a good time and meet new friends. Often there are other free events as summer nears a close. Some of these include free entrance into the zoo or museums on specific days. Also look for neighborhood carnivals or block parties sponsored by non-profit groups like the Salvation Army.
Step #5 - The last thing left to do is to finish writing your summer journal articles (and completing your lab notebook if applicable). Then ask a friend or an adult to review your journal before you print it out (if you are doing it on a computer). If you are writing it by hand, write your first draft articles in a separate notebook, before putting the finished book together. When you are satisfied with what you have written, and it has been checked by a friend, you are ready to print it out. You do not want to print on both sides because photos will bleed through. Place the final pages in document protectors (two pages per sleeve, back to back) and then place all document protectors in a three ring notebook. Be sure to also create a cover page with the current year. You can continue to add pages from the years that follow until the notebook is full. It is a fun thing to pull out at parties, overnights, or show and tell at school.
This is the plan my children and I used to follow to beat the summer doldrums. If you start earlier the next year, many libraries sponsor Summer Reading Programs, and many times they come with prizes or coupons to free events.


Lori S.

Writer and Artist "Annie the Great"

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