School’s out for Summer!
Ideally, I could be a Mom who embraced the chaos of no schedule, lazy days, sandy floors, and piles of laundry.
Key word there? Ideally.
I’ve come to admit that while I enjoy my kids at this stage and their ages, and while I adore the memories made during the long months of Summer, I turn into a straight-up psychopath by week 3 and cannot.handle.the.lack.of.structure. End of June comes and I begin to resent my plants for needing water and my kids for needing 3 square meals and snacks. Who invented snacks? I can remember a total of 12 snacks I was graciously provided as a kid. Remember the old days, where you ate meals and only MEALS?
So, with all of that being said, 13.8 years of being a mother, 7 of them being a work-at-home Mom has taught me that Happy Mom=YES. We’ve been using this Summer Chore System for several years, and while it now draws moans and eye rolls, I ignore their disgust because the Elementary Education Major in me LOVES the laminated cards and they won’t admit it, but this system works and it brings more peace to our daily living.
You can make this system a bit more simple by laminating the cards but not with the printed labels, just use a dry erase marker to write the chore on the card. Erase the dry-erase with an Travel Cloth, of course!
I purchased the wood, cut it down, stained it, and glued on the bulldog clips. I use 3M hanging strips to attach the holders to the wall. I made 3 of these chore-holding clip systems, one for each of my children. You could save yourself a lot of time and toss your cards on the table or on the counter, but I wanted a more visually appealing system that kept cards from ending up all over the house. I also use 3-M hooks to hang a Kids Enviro, Kids Window and Kids Dusting Mitt for easy accessibility.
DeSonia Daily Routine
- All kids out of bed, dressed, fed and brushed by 9:15 am.
- Make your bed and tidy your room.
- Every kid then gets 4 “Move Out Skills” assigned to them in the morning. You cannot ask for tv or computer until you have done your jobs.
- Along that same subject, you must do something Physical, Social and Mental before you can also ask to be a Screen Zombie.
“But I don’t know what to dooooooooo…..” Let me guess. You’ve heard that line too? I combat this by having the same kinds of cards, but hole punched and held together with an O ring with tons of suggestions for each category.
15 minutes of Yoga
Play on the Swingset
Ride your bike
Walk the dog
Make an obstacle course
Play a board game
Call a friend. Talk. Not text.
Play with a friend on the block
Visit a neighbor
Go pick up litter with a sibling
Write a letter to a grandparent
Build a fort with a sibling
Write a short story
Write in your journal
Look up 3 new and intriguing words in the Dictionary and write them on the white board
Pick a motivating quote and put it on the quote board.
Do an experiment from Steve Spangler’s Book
Do a crossword puzzle
Read a section of the New York Times (we subscribe) and explain the main ideas to someone else.
Count all the money in your piggy bank
Help Mom do Norwex orders
Take photos in the neighborhood
Bake something, but clean up afterward too!
Read a book
Leaf collect from the neighborhood and identify them.
After, and only after everything above has been completed do we discuss the opportunity for screen time. In our home, it’s a privilege, not a right. We use the Circle to monitor how much time is used by tweens/teens with their phones, and computer and tv is awarded in 30 minute increments. We have also opted out of paying the kids a weekly allowance for their work around their home. On occasion we might offer a flat amount of cash for an especially taxing job that we could use an extra set of hands for, as somehow we have discovered that our kids always seem to have money, and we are scared to ask how that happens. (JK. It’s grandparents!) Maren is only 13 but has a regular babysitting job that is paying double the state minimum wage. I truly believe that if we can teach our kids to work hard, are patient with the learning process, and help them to learn to instill a sense of pride in their efforts, it will lend to employable young adults. Also nobody pays me squat to vacuum and make all this food so I’m not paying anyone to clear the table or empty a trash can. Just sayin’!
How do you do Summer? Leave me your tips and takeaways. We are always a work in progress around here and I am so thankful for all the Moms and Dads who have inspired me with new ideas and methods to keep our home functioning with some harmony.