Put a Check in Every Box

Summer GoalsIt seems to be a universal truth: when a child gets to use something from home at school or something from school at home, that thing is instantly new and exciting. For example, think of what’s shared during show-and-tell. Ratty, old stuffed animal? Great aunt’s costume jewelry? The collar or tags of a dearly departed pet? Those items are rare treasures, once they’ve made the trek to school, but the rest of the time they probably hang out with the dust bunnies, under a bed, or get shoved in the back of a junk drawer.

Just before the start of summer vacation, I printed an adorable template I created for our boys to share their “summer goals” – perfect for adding to their scrapbooks, a record of their dreams and wishes at the ages of 10 and 13.

After the requisite amount of eye rolling and whining (“School’s out! Why do we have to write anything?!”), each of our boys promptly filled out their form with the least possible thought or effort. “I don’t know” was a favorite response, followed closely by “something” or “probably read.” (Have I mentioned our children are gifted? We’re so proud.)

A few weeks ago, after I finished my  gleaning and sorting of gently used school supplies, I visited a couple of our boys’ previous teachers, who had cleaned out their classrooms and wanted to donate materials they no longer use. One of their donations was a large 2′ x 3′ magnetic sheet of dry erase notebook paper. As soon as our younger son saw it, he hung it on the side of our refrigerator, cleaned it, and said, “Hey! We could use this to list our summer goals!”

After resisting what would have been a perfectly understandable rant, I said, “Go for it!”

20150706_122853In case you don’t have much experience reading 4th-grade-boy-who’d-rather-type-than-print handwriting, I’ll translate:

Summer Goals 2015

Have as much fun as possible!

Be awesome 101% of the time!

Do 5 selfless things

Try 3 new foods

Always do what you need to do, then what you want to do

(And, at the very bottom of the page)  Put a [check] in every box


It’s nice to see some of my preaching is making it past the automatic filter that swiftly processes all computer-related noise, but treats most voice commands as optional. Granted, I can’t put this giant magnetic thingy in my scrapbook, but I can take a picture of it (and blog/brag about it), which is just as good, if not better.


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