Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summertime, and the living is easy

Today is the first "real" day of summer.  As in, nothing going on, most of the kids home, and reality kicking in.  That's code for:  Mommy's summer plan.  Chore lists, restricted time on screens, required reading, you get the idea.

Despite much grumbling during its approach, the kids did well today.  I fully believe they thrive in a structured setting, and I know for certain that I do.  A few willy-nilly days here and there are fine, but a free-for-all all summer would do all of us in.  We have always had a summer plan, but I felt I needed to give ours a bit of a shot in the arm this year.

What's a mama to do?  Go to Facebook of course and ask all of my 701 friends what they do with their kids during the summer.  Bingo-blammo - and a schedule is born!  How on earth did I ever parent without Facebook?

So here is the plan:

Each day, the kids have a list of things that must be completed.  They are used to lists, since they have a list every day during the school year.  Each day, they must do most of the following (the chores rotate daily, so not all chores are every day of course).

Play with a sibling for 30 minutes
Exercise for 30 minutes
Read for 30 minutes
Practice their instrument
Make their bed
Straighten their room
Put away their laundry
Clean the bathroom
Vacuum a room

After lunch, if we are home and not running errands, we will have some sort of quiet/reading time (mama's favorite!).  After that, and if their list is completed, they may have two hours of screen time to be used however/whenever they want for the rest of the day.

My oldest son, the most screen-obsessed one of all, actually did not use all of his screen time today.  I was shocked!  He is attending a handbell camp at school and had to be gone this evening, cutting his screen hours short.  And he chose to play outside with water balloons and the hose this afternoon instead of being glued to the computer or Wii.  So, perhaps this is a tentative success?  A child choosing outside over electronics?  I'll keep ya posted.

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