Summer Free Time

Welcome back to Beyond the Pew. Today I’m going to talk to you guys about what to do with all the free time that our kids have over the summer.

So we’re coming into summer time and your kids are about to have an extra eight hours a day to do something. And if your kids are like my kids, they want to just sit around the TV and do nothing, or play video games all day. Neither one of them are good. As we think about what your kids can do throughout the summer, a lot of it depends on their age.

So my kids at different age levels, they have different things that their schools kind of expect them to do over the summer, and even though your religious education, the group or your youth group, may not have anything like that, it would be good for you as the parent to take a little bit ownership on this, and do something to help develop your kids’ faith life throughout the summer.

So for the other kids find a workbook. You can find the workbook that’s around a saint or around a particular topic that you want them to do and to work on everyday, and you can work on it with them. And sit down and talk with them about it. Do it, I mean, you can do it once a day if you want, or you can do it once a week, but do something so they’re using that free time to deepen their faith life, to deepen their relationship with Christ and their knowledge about the church.

So if you have older kids giving them a workbook isn’t exactly going to work. So give them something that’s a little bit more interesting, maybe a little bit more media oriented. There are some decent Catholic YouTube channels out there that will give you some decent fodder to talk with your kids about. Maybe give them an assignment like while you go off to work, they watch this one video. You watch it while you’re at work and then come back together at the end of the day and talk about maybe what they learned about from that video.

Don’t waste this time over the summer when they have the free time, but also don’t give them like assignments.

You could even, I was thinking about this earlier, you know you can even FaceTime with your kids on your lunch break and read a scripture verse and you guys work together through a gospel. You know work thru the Gospel of Mark together as a Bible study that you do over lunch through FaceTime. That would be a kind of an interesting way to use technology to engage your kid.

Something else that I thought was interesting that happened to me recently, it was completely unexpected. So I’m driving my kid to swim team workout every night. And I started listening to Father Mike Schmitz homily podcast, and I listened to it because I would enjoy them. I thought they were great material and I was having fun listening to them. But then one day my son says, “Hey dad will you pause that because I want to hear the rest of it when I get out of practice.” And I was like, “What?! Like you want me to pause a homily so that you can listen to it later? Yeah! okay! I’ll do that. Perfectly fine by me.” Then later he asked, “Hey Dad, can you add that podcast to my iPod?” And I thought, “Hey, that’s really cool if Fr. Mike Schmitz can grab my son like that.” It may be a chance that he can grab your son or daughter in the same way.

And you can even do the same sort of thing that I mentioned earlier with regards to the YouTube channel or the videos. You can listen to it together either on the way to work or you can sit together you know on the way to workouts. You can have them listen to it during the day while you’re at work, and you listen to it to-and-from work. And then get together and talk about it. What did you think about that? Did anything come up from that that was really new to you?

Don’t waste this time over the summer when they have the free time, but also don’t give them like assignments. So if they don’t do it like if they don’t listen to the video or listen to the audio or read the scripture that you asked them to, don’t penalize them for it. Don’t get down on them. But just sit together with them at the end of the day and read it together. Say, “Okay, you didn’t have time. Well, we’ll do it together.”

There are other resources out there like formed.org and they have like some really good video resources, and as a family, y’all can sit down and watch them together. If your kid is pretty distant, I’ll talk about this a little bit later to be honest, but if your kid is fairly distant from the church, it may be better for you just to listen to these on your own with your kid around. And it might be just enough to pique their interest, to dive into it a little bit later on their own. In the end, don’t waste this time this summer, as they have all this free time. Find something constructive, faith-based for them to do during their day.

We’ll see you next time on Beyond the Pew. God bless

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