Summer with your college student – Part 2
By Diane Schwemm
If you’re lucky enough to have your student back home this summer, here are some just-for-fun ideas from other college parents for making the most of a short, sweet season.
- Welcome your student home with a freshened up room, clean sheets, and new hangers in the closet.
- “The past few summers I’ve drawn up a big family calendar,” says Amy, the mother of two high schoolers plus a college sophomore. “As soon as we know what we’re doing, we all put our schedules on it. This makes it easier to see what days are ‘free’ so we can plan some outings.”
- Make a point of going to that place you’ve been meaning to go to for years but never seem to find the time.
- Plant window boxes or a vegetable garden. At summer’s end, transplant herbs to indoor pots, including one for your student to take back to campus if she’ll be doing her own cooking.
- Make dinner together now and then. Let your student pick her favorite home-cooked meals — you can teach her how to cook them and start compiling a recipe file for after graduation.
- Go to a drive-in movie.
- Take on a new challenge together. “After she started college, my daughter Katie and I started running a half marathon every summer, just the two of us,” says Kathleen of Boston. “Our training runs mean we spend time together even when we’re both busy with other things. She just graduated but I hope we’ll keep up the tradition for years to come!”
- Over the course of the summer, sample and assign a grade to every flavor at a local independent ice cream shop. “Coconut Almond Joy won with an A-,” says college dad Brien after completing the “report card” with son Quinn.
- Fit in a family trip, even if it’s just for a few days.
- Take a family photo so you have one for a holiday card at the end of the year.
- Volunteer together. “For years, our whole family has ushered at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival,” says Eliot of Boulder. “We hand out programs and tear tickets, then watch the plays for free. Our son, a freshman, and his younger brothers are all looking forward to doing that again this summer.”
- Return to a few of the simple traditions — hikes, bike rides, a meal at a favorite local restaurant — that rekindle family connections and create new shared memories.
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