Our Summer Bucket List for 2013

As summer is now upon us, many of our friends have been asking to our plans for the coming months.  While they have plans to visit family, to go camping, or embark on a family vacation, we tend to stick closer to home.  Surprised?  Our summer is packed with activities as usual but 2013 seems to be a summer of fun close to home and I am grateful. So without further ado, I present our 2013 Summer Bucket List.

summer bucket listCounty Fair

Our summer was kicked off with activity right away with the county fair that took place in early June.  We had set aside projects throughout the year specifically for fair and others (namely our Junior Feature Booth) required planning and a group effort.  Our Barnesklubb worked hard to put together a booth that communicated our numerous activities over the course of the year and we were delighted to learn we had been awarded a blue ribbon.

Summer Nature Studies

We will continue to join our Roots & Shoots club for monthly outings as well as enjoy observing, sketching, painting, or researching topics of interest as they come up. We follow along with Barb’s Outdoor Hour Challenges, but allow our own interests and discoveries to lead us as well.

Camping

We go camping every year for Independence Day.  We have a blast and take part in a variety of activities while there – white water rafting, making s’mores (who doesn’t make s’mores when camping?), frisbee golf, fireworks, fishing, and even gold panning.  My goal for 2013 is to go more often – even someplace local.  I’m aiming for Mt. Lassen as it is relatively close and we have yet to truly explore this area well.

Play Flashlight Tag

I saw this on Colleen’s list (@ Raising Lifelong Learners) and couldn’t resist adding it to our own.  I haven’t played flashlight tag since childhood myself – I need to introduce my kiddos to this fun game.  They would love it!

Lake Days

When we first moved to Northern California (Aug 2011), we were at the lake every week.  This was in part due to the fact that someone in our local homeschool community planned this outing regularly. However, we soon came to realize that we were frequently the only homeschool family there. Though our intent to meet other homeschool families wasn’t fulfilled, we had a fabulous time.  The following summer our lives got busy with scheduled activities and we spent less time at the lake.  We really missed this so this year I vow to return to a weekly lake day.

National Moth Week

Between July 20 and July 28, in backyards, woods, and fields around the world, citizen scientists will be setting up white sheets and lights for the second annual National Moth Week.   This global science project began a year ago to encourage the public to observe and document one of nature’s most diverse creatures. We’ll be joining in this year for the first time and are excited to take part.

kayak tourMoonlight Kayak Tour

A moonlight kayak tour is available for free – though reservations are required two weeks in advance. As expected, spots fill very quickly. We were never quite able to make this happen last year, I’m hoping 2013 will bring us luck.

Junior Olympics

Each year, USA Swimming establishes time standards, or cuts for each of its major meets; designed to encourage age group swimmers to step their swimming up to the next level. We swim year round and thus both of the kids have been aiming for a time standard that will enable them to swim in the Junior Olympics.  At our first summer meet in May, both kids achieved a JO Cut in several events.  The JO meet takes place in July so you can be assured we’ll be spending a lot of time at the pool.

Oregon Loop

Since we moved, the kids and I have also made it a tradition to make a loop through Oregon to visit friends and family while DH enjoys some boy time on an extended motorcycle trip.  Though our swim meet schedule puts a little pinch on our schedule, we plan to continue this tradition this summer as well.  We’ll pack in as many activities en route as time allows – tide pooling, letterboxing, berry picking, hiking, beach combing, etc.

letterboxingLetterboxing

We love letterboxing and regularly incorporate it into our nature outings and hikes.  If you are not familiar with this past time, I encourage you to read the post I wrote for Curriculum Choice a few years ago, Creativity & Nature Study. We have found 114 letterboxes to date .. our goal by summers end is to up that to 125.  We’d also hoped to take part in a letterbox gathering, but thus far I haven’t seen one planned for the local area.  Perhaps I need to coordinate one?  Hmmmmm

What are your plans for the summer?  What activities do you enjoy with your family?   Do you have a Summer Bucket List?  Join me and link up at iHomeschool Network.

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥