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Last week was the launch of summer vacation here in Texas. That makes my youngest son, Ryan, officially a high school sophomore. With the onset of summer, I’m reminded of an annual event I began the summer before Ryan’s second-grade year when he still struggled to read. We called it Camp Momma.

That summer we read about caves and concluded Camp Momma with an amazing tour of Cathedral Caverns in northeast Alabama. During the summers that followed, we studied many interesting topics to include Latin, writing fiction, and simple machines. 

Our last official Camp Momma was in 2013 when we studied physics; in particular, the big bang theory, black holes, and the behavior of particles and waves. Once Ryan entered middle school, Camp Momma just wasn’t… well, cool.

I miss those days because I get excited about learning. And since I was teaching, I had to make sure I knew my stuff. In a moment of nostalgia, I recently asked my now 15-year-old if he was interested in learning anything together this summer. I offered up an investing certification that we could do together as well as a Spanish course. He looked at me like a trapped animal before shaking his head and saying, “Right now, Mom, I just wanna chill.”

Forging My Own Path

I’ve decided to do Camp Momma all by myself this year, and I’m gonna have so much fun learning new stuff. Here’s what I’ve planned:

Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization: Offered through Coursera, an online community providing universal access to some of the world’s best educational institutions (most of it free), this course will teach me the essential skills for portfolio management and personal investing. Why is this important to me? It goes back to my undergraduate years when I dropped an introductory course to investing because it felt too challenging. It was the only class I ever backed out of.

Let’s just say that now I’m ready to tackle it. I’m excited to learn how to design, execute, and evaluate investment proposals that meet financial objectives. I’ll even play the virtual stock market just to make it more real. This summer course will require a time investment, of course, and I’m serious about diving in feet first. Learning the necessary tools for long-term investment management success will require a time commitment. I’ve decided to make it a priority which means I will fit in between writing, coaching, and dancing. 

So while Ryan is “chilIlin” during his summer break, I’ll be managing a very tight schedule. Who knows, I might discover a new career! What’s most important is that I’ll be doing just what I enjoy most – learning.

If you haven’t checked out Coursera offerings, have a go at it. What would you like to learn?

For more inspiration, join best-selling author Sheila Callaham and the Braveheart community on Facebook and Twitter!

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