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SAVOR THE FINAL DAYS OF SUMMER BEFORE THE SCHOOL BUS IS BACK ON THE STREET
When I was growing up, I always thought of the end of summer as bittersweet. Half of me wanted to spend as much time as possible shooting hoops in the driveway, playing tennis, and swimming; the other half was excited to get back to school and see my friends. I also remember trying to stay up as late as possible during August, because I knew it wouldn’t be an option come September. That’s definitely a trait I’ve passed on to my kids. My most memorable first-day-of-school experience occurred when I started first grade. Up until that day, I was the center of the universe, or at least that was what I thought. As an only child, I was used to being the sole focus of my parents’ attention. In short, I didn’t realize that the world was full of other kids just like me. When I arrived at first grade, I was in for a big surprise. There were other boys named Chris in a class of 26. Turns out I wasn’t even the only Chris in my town, let alone in the whole world. This year, Ryan will be entering third grade, so he’s pretty used to the back-to-school routine. Madison, on the other hand, will be making the big move to kindergarten. She’ll be at the same school as her brother, so hopefully he’ll help show her the ropes, from riding the bus to navigating the cafeteria. While they’re both eagerly awaiting school time, I think Maddie is even more thrilled than Ryan. Kindergarten, in some sense, is the start of “real”
schooling, and I’m very relieved she’s looking forward to it. In fact, I’m probably more nervous than she is. Before they hop on the bus, Maddie and Ryan will be heading off to summer science camp at the Cranbrook Institute of Science. Some kids might regard science camp as punishment, but they both love it. I guess I should count my lucky stars on that front! They always come back with a ton of cool projects to show off and a wealth of knowledge to share with us. Given how important the understanding of math and science is to future generations, getting the kids excited about learning these topics has always been important to Rochelle and me. Thankfully, they don’t need much encouragement.
We’ve even turned Cranbrook-style projects into year-long activities with a little help from Kiwi Crate. If you’ve never heard of the company, they create science-based projects you can do at home with your kids. Last month, for instance, we made little mice weighted with marbles and a ramp to shoot them down. The kids got to learn about physics while having a blast. There have been times while playing with the crates when I couldn’t help but think, “Man, I would’ve loved this as a kid.” If you have children, I definitely recommend checking it out. I hope everyone enjoys as much of the summer as they can before school season gets up and running again. I’ll certainly be doing my best to grill and chill as much as possible while the weather is still nice. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll be grilling even after the snow starts to fall.
“Before they hop on the bus, Maddie and Ryan will be heading off to summer science camp at the Cranbrook Institute of Science. Some kids might regard science camp as punishment, but they both love it. I guess I should count my lucky stars on that front!”
– Christopher J. Berry
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