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As the school year wraps up and summer sets in, parents often wonder how to make these months meaningful for their kids. Everyone needs a break from the grind of structured learning, but pre-teens especially crave connection, creative outlets, and adventure.

summer spiritual growth
Middle school summers are especially important because of the identity development that takes place during this season of life. With more free time, it’s the prime opportunity for students to mature in their faith and learn more about God’s purpose for their lives through meaningful activities.

Consider these ideas for fostering spiritual development in your pre-teen this summer.

Seek Out Opportunities to Serve

Think about what your child is good at, ask them what activities they enjoy most, and brainstorm together how their skills might be put to use in your community. Whether it’s assisting the church with kids programs, serving in a soup kitchen, or joining environmental cleanup efforts, answering God’s call to serve produces spiritual growth.

Through volunteering, pre-teens often discover causes that they are passionate about and potential career paths for the future. But more importantly, they experience what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Explore Camp Options Around You

Summer camps for pre-teens offer a unique opportunity to learn new skills, build friendships, and grow in independence. Christ-centered camps have the added benefit of spiritual mentorship. Look for reputable camps in your area and consider allowing your pre-teen to have this life-changing experience.

Family camping is another excellent opportunity to move away from technology, connect around a campfire, and observe how God reveals himself through nature.

Commit to a Summer Reading Plan 

Middle schoolers are in that phase of life where they start to understand that the Bible is more than stories; it’s a living and active handbook that directly relates to their lives. However, picking it up and reading daily may still feel intimidating for your pre-teen. Check out the YouVersion Bible App for reading plans that make it simple to dive into the Word. You can choose a 90-day reading plan, a one-year plan, or a chronological approach.

There are also numerous devotionals geared toward teens and tweens, and countless books on living for Jesus, so visit your local Christian bookstore to choose some new material together. 

5 Summer Reading Suggestions from LCA Teachers:

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis — An exciting addition for Narnia lovers that is filled with adventure and teaching moments.

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen — A coming-of-age story about healing, personal growth, and redemption, and an excellent option for parents to read along with their teens.

The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan — The first installment of the Heroes of Olympus series, perfect for readers who enjoy being transported to another world with characters that feel like friends.

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix — A captivating mystery novel for adolescents, this is a story of truth-seeking with a sci-fi feel.

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood — History will come alive for readers who choose this fiction book set in Elizabethan England.

Nurture Their Spiritual Growth Year-Round

If you want to ensure your child’s spiritual growth throughout the entire year, you might be exploring Christian school for the fall. We invite you to learn more about Lenawee Christian Academy — an online middle school that offers flexible schedules, customized learning plans, and Christ-centered teaching.  Schedule a meeting with someone from our Admissions team, or download our free parent guide to learn more about our approach.