It’s that time of year again. Morning madness. School kid drop-offs and bus stop pick-ups. What’s for dinner? Do your homework. At the end of the day, you find yourself asking, “Where did the time go?” Aside from all the busy-ness, there are ways you and your child can stay connected throughout the school year.

Create simple school year traditions that you can all look forward to. On the first Monday of the month, have a special breakfast – Monday Morning Muffins, or start a tradition of swimming on Sundays. You can always break up the school week with a Wild Wednesday Game Night. Bring out a board game or two – it will be a nice break from homework.

If school isn’t close enough to walk to, park a few minutes away and walk with your child. Point out the different colors, watch them play with sticks, rocks, and leaves along the way. Start a school year scrapbook with your child. This can be an ongoing project that the two of you work on all year. Think of how fun it will be to look back at all that’s happened over the year. These small gestures will make big memories.

Pick up a new sport that you and your child can learn together. Leave the homework and housework behind and take some golf lessons at Blackthorn Topgolf Swing Suite. If you’re not up to lessons, just enjoy some time with your child in a Swing Suite. When it comes to playing at Blackthorn Topgolf, the possibilities are endless. The interactive simulator offers a variety of games all on the big screen. Playtime with your child is priceless.

Have you tried pickleball? It’s a wonderful sport that the entire family can learn. In fact, did you know that there are free pickleball beginners lessons every Monday from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the Harris Township Park on Elm Road in Granger? Like other sports and activities, pickleball will increase your child’s confidence. Pickleball is challenging, and when your child starts learning the game, their confidence will soar. An increase in confidence will spill over into other areas of their lives like school, for example. Plus, the whole family will be bonding together at the same time.

Go outside! Don’t just send your kids outside – go outside with them! Make a family pact to spend time in the outdoors every day – even if it’s only ten minutes. Maybe it’s a nice walk around the block after dinner or a quick drive to a park you’ve never been to before. Does a neighbor (or you) have a dog that needs walking? Play some old-fashioned Hide and Seek! Start off by hiding yourself and have your kids try to find you. Or hide a toy or stuffed animal and look for it together. Create your own obstacle course using items found around your home. Tree stumps, water hoses, and tires …you’re on your way to your own ninja course!

Choose a volunteer activity that you can do with your child. While kids are packing their schedules with after school sports and music lessons, many kids want to do something to make a difference. It’s essential to teach your kids early on to give back, no matter how old they are. Volunteering offers an excellent opportunity for your child to develop compassion as they learn the value of helping others. Not only are you giving back to your community, but your child is learning new skills as well. Service activities offer the chance to learn from other kids or adults in a way that engages kids’ innate drive for competence.

Staying connected with your child during the school year may sound complicated, but with a little effort, you can make this school year one for the books.

Bring your report card to Blackthorn Topgolf Swing Suite and get a discount off of your swing suite rental during the month of September.  If you have an A on your report card you’ll receive 50% off of the rental, a B earns you a 25% discount and a C will get you 10% off the rental.

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