MATT VICKERY

July 9, 2010

My Social Media Policy

Filed under: FYE 1220 — Tags: — mattvickery @ 4:11 PM

1. Connecting: Introduce yourself to the world; literally.

Upon joining my first social networking site; I spent some time creating an interesting introduction page. I wanted to keep it simple; but still allow readers a genuine insight as to who I am, and what I’m about. I introduced my family, friends- those who I mention frequently. Pictures made a great addition- giving followers the opportunity to not only read about me- but to see myself and those close to me. I was careful to leave out any overly personal information, no one needs to know where I live, what I drive, etc. I choose a writing style, starting here, that would be the basis for my entire blog. 

Connecting with other people is one of the biggest thrills of social networking- but it’s important for me to show as much interest in my readers as they do. I browse others’ sites- visiting their ‘about me’ page and reading their opinions on various topics. This helps me identify who my readers are, and what they’re interested in.   

2. Follow, add, friend: Build your reader base- just remember quality, not quantity.

When adding/meeting “friends”, my policy is simple. Give as much information as they do- without stretching the limit. Be smart about internet interactions; remember that you have no idea who is on the other end of the line. I network based upon the value of my contacts. It means more to me to have a list of ten followers, all of which communicate with me on a frequent basis- then compiling a list of 4,000 viewers. Sure, the more contacts the better- but I refuse to put my name out there for someone who’s only adding it to the list. Keep this in mind when both requesting and accepting online friends. Do you have anything to offer others? If you’re be-friending them for the sole purpose of reading what they have to say, make that clear. This leaves no room for response expectations, or dissapointments for that matter.

3. Privacy, boundaries and safety: Give whatcha get.
I give out information depending on how comfortable I am with a contact, and also what that contact gives to me. Providing false information is unavoidable when communicating online- but don’t dish out the skeletons in your closet too soon. Too much information scares people away- especially those who aren’t interested in your personal life, and are only reading your views about a certain topic. I use a universal standard for posting online information; keeping it limited to what I would say upon meeting someone in the grocery store. 

It’s understood between myself and those I connect with- that privacy is important. Find a way to express you’re opinion without exposing someone’s information. If it isn’t information that I’ve already publicized- such as my last name, or location- then it’s better left unsaid. When referring to others, I’ve found it safer to just ask. Find out if he/she would be opposed before assuming.

4. Signal to noise: The update alert nightmare.

Chances are, I follow blogs that are of interest to me. I don’t chose these sites based upon the author- therefore unless it’s relevant to the topic, it’s unnessecary to update you’re personal status every thirty seconds. That’s one thing that turned me away from Twitter so quickly. I would follow someone who had interesting viewpoints- but between every interesting tweet, there were thirty others pertaining to what that person was doing at that very moment. I’m not an overly private person, but the fact that I’m taking a shower doesn’t seem interesting to others. Who needs to know that I’m eating a PB&J? Or that I’m going to the store because I ran out of milk?

There is nothing more annoying than an overly excited updater. I try to keep status updates to a minimum; generalizing my thoughts (or activities) for the entire day.

5. Personal data and sharing: No thanks, I’m just browsing.

You know when you walk into a store- and you’re greeted with “Can I help you find what you’re looking for? Anything in particular?” My response to that goes for the internet as well, “No thanks, I’m just looking.” My intentions for blogging, networking, etc. are for browsing purposes only. I’m not looking for love or life long friends. If I stumble upon it that’s great- but for me, the internet serves as an information resource only.
 

6. My networking needs and uses: Search & Find.

I have no expectations when I browse. Usually, I’m researching a topic or reading a blog for a reason- to learn. My Facebook is the only site that serves a slightly different purpose. I can connect and communicate with friends and family, regardless of where they live. But my privacy level remains the same. I don’t share any more information via Facebook than I would on my blog. The fact that it’s one of the most popular social networking sites out there doesn’t make it any safer, or any more private. My use is basic and my needs are met once I locate the information I set out to find.

7. The overall advantage: Stick to it.

The internet can be my biggest resource to the rest of the world; but I don’t get lost in the cyber mumbo-jumbo. I stick to my task, and try not to get sidetracked. I take advantage of all the benefits the web has to offer; but I look at social networking from a business standpoint.   

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You’re guaranteed to find something you’ll like…

Filed under: FYE 1220 — Tags: , — mattvickery @ 1:50 PM

 

This website is the Mecca for all things education at Georgia Southern. From here- you can find information regarding just about anything related to the teaching field. I’ve become very familiar with this site over the past semester- but it wasn’t until I devoted some time to explore it, that I found out how much it truly had to offer. From workshops, to conferences, to resources aiding students in their journey towards graduation- the information provided is vital to the success of education students.

But looking beyond the College of Education- Georgia Southern offers a wide variety of cultural, traditional, and entertaining events for all students. The campus calendar provides an organized way of keeping track of these opportunities. It even gives you the ability to create a personalized calendar- allowing you to determine which events are of interest to you, and note the day/time to attend. The Professional Image Lunch & Learn event, for example, takes place on July 15. Any student interested in learning more about their social image in life and at work- is welcomed to attend. Not into your reputation? How about watermelon? GSU hosts their annual watermelon cutting event this month, and I’ve heard its exciting. Not into watermelon either? Free movies are offered on a weekly basis, athletic events are practically free for students, there’s even a bubble exhibit on the 24th. Still not interested? Don’t worry; although you may be rather boring- there’s guaranteed to be something that you’ll like.

I’ve attended more than one college in the past, before settling at Georgia Southern. The amount of effort put into student activites and campus involvement at GSU never ceases to amaze me. There are so many things offered to you- but it’s up to you as a student to take full advantage of them. This summer has been a little crazy for myself and my family; juggling work, a daughter, and two parents who are both students at different colleges; but I’m sincerely looking forward to my fall semester. My work load will decrease, and things will slow down- giving us a little more time to take advantage of these opportunities.

July 8, 2010

Ties that Bind

Filed under: FYE 1220, Personal Postings — mattvickery @ 8:44 PM

 

As we travel along the road of life, we’re faced with obstacles big and small. It’s been said that the way in which we react to these obstacles defines our character. Along that same road, we experience moments that will never be forgotten. Moments that change our lives forever. But I believe it’s what we take away from these blessings- what we learn, and how it affects us as people- that determines who we truly are. That’s both the beauty and frustration of life: there is no remote; no pause, no stop, no fast forwarding through the hard parts or rewinding to the good times. We must simply continue on… letting the memories of the amazing things outshine the shadows of the tough stuff.

I’ve been fortunate enough to encounter more breath taking moments during my life than many. The day Jennifer decided to vow to put up with me forever (haha), the day my daughter was born, or the day my family walked through the door of our first home- these scenes can never be tainted. But as sunny as it all sounds, I had the chance to experience these feelings in a whole new perspective last week- and I deemed it worthy of sharing. Here goes…

We arrived in Jacksonville around two o’clock that afternoon.  The radio meteorologist warned listeners of the heat advisory and record high temperatures. The sun was unavoidable as we made our way to Cleveland Arms, not knowing what was in store for us once we arrived. Seven of us, all the best of friends, knew that the upcoming week would be rewarding- but I had no idea it would impact my life forever. As we turned off of Main Street and into Cleveland Arms, my anticipation was interrupted by what I saw. Twelve foot wrought iron fencing surrounded the entire complex. Run down buildings and deserted convenient stores sat vacant on every street corner. A brown haze covered everything; giving off a dirty, polluted, uninviting feeling. It was then that I realized what everyone had warned me about. This is a ghetto, and this is why I was here.

We parked the van in a spot designated for visitors, and it was obvious that we were exactly that. I stepped off of the bus and spotted a make shift playground in the corner of a large field. As I made my way to the rusted swing set, I noticed that the ground was littered with things that made me sick to my stomach. Glass, beer cans, lighters, used condoms, even needles, peppered the entire vicinity. I shuddered as I noticed the sandbox, afraid of what was under it’s gritty surface.

A crowd of children began to form as we set up the tents and snacks. Some parents accompanied them, although few seemed interested in what we had to say. They seemed confused by the fact that we weren’t there in an attempt to convert anyone, nor were we recruiting for some larger force- we were just a group of friends, who stumbled across the opportunity to spend a week of our summer with kids in less fortunate areas.

We divided into groups in order to ease the stress of managing such a large mass of kids. There were ten on my team; all within the ages of seven and eleven. Although each were special and unique in their own way, one child stood out from the rest. His name was Carlton. He stood slightly shy of four foot, wearing a tattered smile and a stained T-shirt. His hair looked as if it had never seen a brush and his shorts were six sizes too big. But there was  one thing that struck me beyond his ragged appearance- he wasn’t wearing any shoes. To see a seven year old running through the yard without shoes on seems normal- but considering the filthy ground that his feet endured every day made me cringe. I knew there was something I had to do.

The next morning I woke up early and made a four block trek to a nearby thrift store. Used and discount clothing sold for nearly nothing here. I skimmed the aisles until I found the children’s section. A large rack of mismatched shoes were marked half off, and I knew I had found the right place. As I left the store I clutched that plastic bag under my arm. I knew it’s contents would be worthless to passing strangers- but it meant everything to me.

The next morning Carlton lined up with all of the other kids, eagerly waiting for his breakfast snack. I stood off some distance and laughed- filled with a similar anticipation. Today was field day. The day’s activities included kickball, basketball, baseball, and tug of war. Carlton grunted as I pulled him out of the snack line, reassuring him I had something much better than PopTarts. I set him on a picnic table and told him to wait there until I returned. Confused, and slightly disgruntled by the fear of missing out, he sat on that picnic bench patiently and watched my every move towards the van.

Upon my return, I told him I had a surprise. His eyes lit up and a smile emerged. I watched him slowly reach into the plastic bag and fumble around for what lie inside. He couldn’t hold back the tears when he discovered a pair of black sneakers with new white laces. Unable to hide his emotion- he attempted to stutter a few words before throwing himself into my arms. As I laced up Carlton’s new shoes, it was a perfect fit. As he caught his breath he explained that it was the first, the only, pair of shoes he’d ever remembered having. He went on to say (between huffing and smiling) that he would never forget the person who gave them to him. I smiled, and afraid that I’d let him see me break- I told him to run off and play with the rest of the group. I kept a close eye on him for the rest of the afternoon- sporting a big smile and a new pair of shoes.

That one moment, his bright smile, opened my eyes up wider than I thought possible. I realized that some of the things I take for granted the most- are the very things that these kids are missing. I walked away with a genuine appreciation for everything I’m blessed to have. Every day since then, I’ve found myself stopping more often to take in my surroundings- forcing myself to slow down in a world that constantly seems too fast paced. I went on this trip to make a difference in a child’s life; to be a friend, to talk, to learn- but now I question what really occured. I think I walked away from that experience gaining more than I gave. It ended up being an amazing learning experience; and I can only hope I made a child feel a fraction of the way they affected me.

One hot summer day- last week- a smiling, shoeless seven year old changed my life forever. You’d be amazed at what spreading a little bit of summer love can do.

—- Haven’t had a chance to upload my pictures yet- but here’s a couple of my wife from a friend’s camera.

                           

                          

Success? Maybe not…

Filed under: FYE 1220, Personal Postings — mattvickery @ 6:01 PM

While having a conversation with a friend the other day, I was presented with a question that I didn’t quite know how to answer. I was asked to define the true meaning of success. I struggled to find the words that embodied my idea of it’s meaning; but it wasn’t until long after the conversation subsided that I realized- I really wasn’t sure…

It was then that I decided to blog about it. So here it is. It may sound scatterbrained, or slightly undeveloped; but do keep in mind that I’m only rambling about my thoughts.

You see, success can be defined in multiple ways; the amount of money in the bank, a high paying job, a college degree, the list goes on and on. Granted- possessing these things do lend to the connotation of being successful- but they don’t include it’s real meaning. Webster defines success as a favorable or desired outcome, but also as the attainment of wealth, favor, or eminence. But at the end of the day, who determines how successful you truly are? My answer is… it’s simply relative. Let me explain.

Consider the CEO of a large bank for instance. He has an accredited education and specializes in what he does. He gets paid a high-end salary, enjoys traveling all over the world, and is rarely seen in anything other than a fresh pressed suit. However, when he wakes up every morning- he dreads the day ahead. Still, he gets into his luxury sports car and exits his gated housing community- but at every traffic light between his home and the bank, he contemplates turning around. He thinks about the meetings that await him at work, the phone calls that need to be returned, and the emails to be answered. The only thing motivating him to push through the revolving doors each morning- is the five figure paycheck he’ll see later that week. Is this success?

Take, for example, a stay at home mom. She has the science of homemaking down to an art. She has healing abilities in the power of a kiss and can get a stain out of anything. Dinner is served on schedule every night, and by eight o’clock the kids are bathed and the housework is done. The household runs smoothly because of her ability to juggle dance class, ball games, homework, and the organization of the weekly carpool. But she secretly wishes for that nine-to-five job; one with rewarding benefits and a real salary. Don’t get me wrong, she loves her family; but dreams of waking up at seven to get ready for her job- one that doesn’t involve dirty diapers and sack lunches. Is this success?

Lastly, picture an average teenager. He graduates high school and enters the work force at the bottom of the food chain. He makes minimum wage spending hours flipping burger patties at the local fast food joint. This is not because he needs additional resources to continue his education- he just chooses to settle for this. He lives day to day avoiding the threat of failure. Lazy, and indifferent to the benefits than an education provides, he lacks the drive to do anything with his life. Hard work is something he’s not interested in. He maps out the rest of his life- jumping from one job to the next- where he has no responsibility and no one to please. Although he knows life has much more to offer- he’s content with his lifestyle. Is this success?

 

The truth is: success isn’t about money, responsibilities, or your job title at the end of the day. It’s about being satisfied with who you are- and what you want to make of yourself. Success is reaching your goals, however small they may be, and setting new ones when those have been accomplished. It’s about striving to making yourself happy; and if that means frying french fries- that’s your perogative. Success has no number value, no membership card; it varies with everyone you meet. The idea of what success encompasses depends on the things you’ve set out to do, and as long as you’ve accomplished them (or at least made an attempt)- then congratulations… the true meaning of success has revealed itself.

July 2, 2010

To post or not to post…

Filed under: FYE 1220 — Tags: , — mattvickery @ 6:03 PM

They say it takes less than twenty seconds for information to reach across the entire globe via the web. For example, post your full name, address, and phone number on the internet and in less than a minute- someone on the other side of the world officially knows your personal information. Sounds scary doesn’t it?

Have you ever tried Google-ing yourself? Information comes up about you that even YOU didn’t know existed in print; newspaper articles from high school soccer games, biographies about you written by people you don’t know, etc.  The internet can be both an informative resource, as well as an invitation to creep into your personal space and privacy.

Posting inappropriate information on the internet cannot be advised against, unless you define what inappropriate entails. You are just as susceptible to exploitation by posting your full name and address- as you are by posting a sex tape. It takes one ounce of information to allow someone to open your personal can of worms; exposing the skeletons in your closet so to speak. Inappropriate information doesn’t just consist of the things you wouldn’t want your mother to see… which leads me into my next point.

More so than we realize, employers use the internet as a viable resource to identify what kind of person you are once the interview is over. As a partner in the ownership of a business, we rely heavily on the reputation and information provided by browsing the internet when it comes to wheeling and dealing with both clients and new employees. I’m not saying that we intrude upon anyone’s privacy- but sites like Facebook and MySpace lend a public view of the ways in which people carry themselves.

The safest way to avoid posting inappropriate information is to avoid posting anything. I’m not saying you should be an internet prude to avoid your information being leaked- but just consider every possibility before making your information public. Ask yourself; would my parents think twice after reading this? What about your grandparents? Your employer? The entire world?

The internet is a vast, and continuously growing source of information. One that, if used correctly, can be a great learning resource. But again, think twice about allowing personal information to be accessed publicly on the internet- because more people may be Google-ing you than you’re aware of…

Additional sites related to posting personal information online & how to avoid it:

http://www.ehow.com/how_11814_avoid-giving-personal.html

http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com/personalfinance/experts/practicalmoneymatters/columns/20090904_internet_privacy.php

http://ezinearticles.com/?Keeping-Personal-Information-Personal-on-MySpace&id=316692

Huh? Podcasting? What?

Filed under: FYE 1220 — Tags: — mattvickery @ 5:41 PM

Upon first hearing about podcasts, I would’ve guessed that it was some sort fishing mechanism- a way to catch a pod of fish, dolphins, whatever your gaming choice may be. But as a self-proclaimed fisher, I knew that indeed, that wasn’t the case, so I decided to learn more about what “podcasting” actually entailed.

I opened my iTunes store, and began sifting through pages and pages of podcasts. After making a choice, I clicked on the link and was directed to another page of options. I spent the next few afternoons listening to various clips from various podcasts, surprised at the variety of topics covered. From animals to fishing, from gardening to vacation destinations- I’m now officially obsessed with podcasts.

I use my iPod every day; whether at the gym, in the car, or background music at home. I never spent time looking into Podcasts- nor was I aware of what they were really about. After finding a few that I was interested in, I downloaded them to my iPod. This is a great alternative to my music library. Granted, I’m always listening to music- but having access to podcasts is almost like watching episodes of a mini television series. And the coolest part about it? The majority of podcasts are in some way informative.

As mentioned before, I like to grill. I’d venture to say I’m pretty good at it. Give me a select few ingredients from the kitchen, a blank canvas (be it vegetables, steak, seafood, etc.), and a six pack of Bud Light- and I can make anything taste good. The grill, however, is where it stops. I leave everything else up to my wife. If it involves pots, pans, directions, or a conventional oven; it’s automatically defaulted to her end of the kitchen. It’s not that I lack an interest for cooking inside of the house- but my level of expertise ends at boiling water.

There are tons of podcasts devoted to cooking, many designed for beginners. Start Cooking is a great example. The web site for this podcast seems relatively cheesy (no pun intended); but provides excellent tips and instructions for beginning cooks. Food Guru is another favorite.

All in all, I’m glad I discovered podcasts (or was assigned to discover them rather). I never realized such existed- but from now on I’ll continue to subscribe to favorites, and refer to them frequently for new information and ideas.

June 18, 2010

twitter quitter

Filed under: FYE 1220 — Tags: — mattvickery @ 3:16 PM

Tweet, twit, quit. I’m done with my twitter.

I find it hard to believe that there’s anyone left in this world who is unaware of the social networking site Twitter. Maybe a few nomadic tribes living in the deserts of far-off countries, but chances are they’ve heard something about it too. I decided to give it a try this week/weekend for my assignment, promising to myself that I would try to find the positive ways in which a twitter account could enhance my overall wellbeing. Believe me when I tell you, my list was very short.

Granted, I can see where a networking site such as this one could connect you to people all over the world. I can understand how it links you to those who share similar interests, and can provide comical relief throughout the day; but how does it appear valuable to someone with a life like mine? Or someone who has trouble finding enough time to get things done as it is; without the demand of notifying the rest of the world about your every breath? I’ve come to the conclusion that although Twitter may be an excellent resource for many, it’s definitley not for me.

I’ll admit to having a Facebook account, although I rarely log on (and am quite unfamiliar with the navigation). But Facebook serves a purpose for me. I can reconnect with highschool friends, keep up with old teammates, or communicate with family on the other side of the world. This blogging thing has been interesting too. Blogging enables me to browse information on almost any topic, and read opinions from people of every creed, color, and profession. But to me, Twitter is nothing more than a way for others to stay all-knowing about the lives of those they follow. After all, 140 characters leaves little room to express/explain whats going on in the life of me.

It may seem that I’m being harsh, or irrational about my distaste for Twitter. I don’t mean to offend those who couldn’t live without updates every few minutes, but to each their own, and I genuinely see no point in informing the world every time I sneeze. Or eat. Or laugh for that matter.

I have a full time family, a full time job, and a full time academic schedule that engulfs the majority of my waking hours each day. I do enjoy surfing the internet from time to time, or looking into something that interests me via blogs and web resources- but it’s rare that I come across something that I think is worthy of sharing with the rest of the world. Maybe I’m too private of a person? That I don’t know, but taking the time to stop what I’m doing in order to ‘tweet’ about it is seemingly trivial, not to mention irrelevant.

Maybe down the road I’ll learn to appreciate the concept, but for now I don’t see the point. Usually, life seems too short to take time to smell the flowers; but to take time to smell them and also tell the rest of the world thatI’m doing so? Ludacris. Until then, I’m quitting the twittering, and closing the door (as well as the rest of the world) behind me. Farewell fail whales, live feeds, excerpts of useless information, and time wasted.   

 

June 13, 2010

FIFA 2010 BEGINS

Filed under: FYE 1220 — Tags: , — mattvickery @ 9:19 PM

 

 

Before I begin, let me state: I bleed red, white, and blue. I have two friends (and former teammates) representing the United States in the FIFA World Cup this year, and I couldn’t be more ecstatic about our draw with English National on Saturday. But let’s be honest, the US team caught a major break this weekend. Plenty of soccer fans fantasized about the idea of defeating England in a blow-out game, but few actually predicted it could happen. And although hopes and wishes can take you places- the reality of victory for the United States team is a little far-fetched.

As an avid soccer fan, and an ex player, I look at the game from a very critical perspective. To many onlookers, a team’s playing strategy, technique, and true ability are unnoticed. Their loyalty to a team relies on their consistent ability to win. I dissect each team; watching each player work together. This, to me, is both in appreciation for the game and love for the sport. This, to most, is being way too involved.  But regardless of which side of the fence you fall- the skill level that both teams displayed on Saturday was admirable. Anyways… back to my point.

First off, the US players are (for the most part) more athletic and have more speed than the majority of opposing teams. However, winning on a stage such as the World Cup requires excellence in numerous factors and abilities that the US team sincerely lacks. The skills and experience levels of the teams we’re up against this year leave us looking like beginners. Many of our opponents began playing soccer as young as the age of four- and have been trained, harnessed, and influenced by some of the world’s greatest players. Even more were introduced to the sport long before they learned to read and write. Not to say that these countries do not value education as much as the United States, but this is where we cannot compete- and ultimately, where we will fall in our conquest for international soccer supremacy.  

Secondly, there’s a little thing called passion that can make or break any athletic team. Passion is one thing that US National has not yet captured. Even though soccer is on the rise regarding popularity and participation in our country- it doesn’t compare to football and baseball, sports that are instilled in almost every American child. In the countries of our opposition, soccer is the only sport that matters. Soccer has the ability to bring countries, even those facing political turmoil or depression, into a frenzy of celebration. It links populations, brings enemies together, and gives everyone something to look forward to.

This passion for the sport may have little effect on the outcome of a game, but when your entire country is watching your every move for the next four years, you think a little harder before each touch of the ball. The sincerity and support of soccer patrons weighs heavily on each athlete. The intensity these nations have for victory is insurmountable.  I stand confident beside the statement that the United States team will never stand a chance against the world’s greatest teams until our fans learn to appreciate the sport the way others do.

On a better note, the effect that the FIFA Cup has on its host country this year is magnificent. Over a decade ago, Nelson Mandela gave an amazing speech on the same grass we’re playing on. The disease, famine, and devastation that Africa suffers from are outshined by the world’s support of this event. We get the ability to see the people in a different light, one evoked by happiness and hope.

To wrap up my thoughts, I’ll return to the fact that I’ll cheer the US team on (from the recliner in my living room) as long as they hold their ground in this year’s World Cup. I would love nothing more than to see them come out victorious in the end. But no matter the outcome, my love for the game and appreciation for the sport remain untainted. May the best team win and the games play on

June 11, 2010

BRAIN DRAIN

Filed under: FYE 1220 — Tags: , , — mattvickery @ 4:12 PM

      

 Summer is here; along with fireflies, boatrides, popsicles, and slip and slides….and the dreaded fear of your child’s summer-brain-drain. School is out and the upcoming  weeks hold nothing but the promise of fun in the sun. As a parent it can be tough to find a balance between activities that your kids enjoy, and those that stimulate them both mentally and physically. So who has the answer? Is it relative to individual families and kids? Does anyone know where to find the Effectively Planning Your Child’s Summer for Dummies book?

  The truth is this: for kids, the one thing that makes summer so exciting is the fact that there is no schedule. There’s nowhere you have to be, no homework to turn in, no projects due. But it becomes convoluted for parents when the expression “I’m bored” begins to sound like a record player stuck on repeat. Deciding how much scheduling is too much scheduling, coming up with things to do, and still maintaining both the budget and your sanity is merely impossible. But don’t raise your white parenting flag just yet- because help is around the corner.

 The most vital step to planning summer fun is knowing what your child’s interests are. I’ve found it helpful to jot down a list of the things my daughter enjoys doing most, places she may like to go, etc. Also, I note the things that I find most important for them to do; whether it’s spending some time at grandma’s, working on spelling, or helping out around the house. I use this list as a reference when coming up with new ideas and activities; because the farther you stray from their interests, the farther you get from their idea of fun.

There are tons of websites dedicated to summer activities for kids. For penny pinching parents (which seems to be everyone these days), tips to making the most of your summer budget can be extremely useful. Turning an everyday chore, or boring task, into a game can spark the enthusiasm of any child. Creating a game doesn’t necessarily mean keeping score or having an opponent- it can be as simple as providing helpful behavior with a small reward. By using the resources around you (be it odd items in the garage, the computer, or construction paper and a little glue) and adding a little creativity- you can find numerous ways to keep summer both fun and beneficial. Be sure to look into websites of favorite TV shows, books, or characters. There are a variety of online games and learning opportunities available, as well as printable activities.

In closing, don’t forget to relax. Summer can be overwhelming if you attempt too much. Make time to do nothing, sleep in late, or lounge around. After all, that’s what summer is really about…right?

 

                                   

A tarp, some soap, and a lot of water turned our backyard into the neighborhood’s coolest slip-and-slide.

 

      

She really enjoyed building, painting, and decorating her bird house kit. (She’s the next Picasso!)

 

 

                   

Vacationing (at sea) with her grandparents.

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