Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Surviving the Summer: No Time To Be Bored

Two years ago we had a fun enrichment meeting at church. One of the classes provided me a life line for summer survival.  It was on what to do with the kids over the summer. I admit I thought we'd get a list of cool places and activities to do with the kids, but what I got was much better than that. An important lesson on teaching my kids to work! Our kids are expected to help and do daily jobs already, but no where did I hadn't thought about putting it in list form until this class.

Julie Mills taught the class. Her mom was a school teacher, and they had 6 kids. For 2 weeks of the summer the kids got to do what they wanted, but the moment one of them uttered the words "I'm bored!", the lists would start. Julie said if they went pretty quickly they could get everything done in 5 hours, but most days it took them longer. I'm aiming at 3 hours. Her mom had them practice the violin and the piano an hour each! Devan and Liz should count their 30 minutes as a blessing! :-)

We have a Saturday job list that includes taking out the trash upstairs and downstairs, mopping, sweeping, cleaning mirrors, cleaning toilets, cleaning rest of bathroom, etc... We pull out the list each Saturday and divide the jobs per family member. We all divide and conquer.

Her mom gave each kid $ .40 for every day they got everything done. Our kids get so many cents per year of their age. Then I have a list of $1 jobs they can do for extra money. $1 for cleaning out the van. $1 for vacuuming out the van. $1 for vacuuming all the bedrooms (an hour job). With my IF YOU HAVE TIME TO FIGHT, YOU HAVE TIME TO CLEAN PLAN, they get to do a job that mom picks which is usually is a job that they could have gotten paid for.

Here are items that Julie's mom had on the list:
Fold Laundry (I added wash to that. My two oldest do their own laundry.  I plan on teaching my 8 year old how to do his own this summer as well.)
Clean Room
Empty Dishwasher
Sweep Floor/ Vacuum
Clean Bathrooms
Make Bed
Do a craft
Do flashcards
Article of Faith practice
Piano Practice
Violin Practice
Brush Teeth
Get Dressed
Bike 1 mile
100 trampoline jumps
Shoot 15 baskets
Read a chapter
Make a birthday card
Read Scriptures
Homework Sheet (Her mom was a teacher and had boxes of worksheets.)
Play a game
Write name 5 times
Jump rope for 10 minutes
Play catch with sibling
Pick 10 weeds
Paint a picture
Play computer games
Yard or Garden Work

I made the lists individualized per child and age.  This is the 3rd summer that we've done the list, so this year the kids made their own list with my assistance.
To make it fair, I started a list for me as well of what I do in a day. My list is bigger than theirs, so if they complain I can point to the list and ask them if they'd like one of my jobs added to their list. :-)

I usually don't have to nag them to do their list.  I just ask to see where they were on their list and would praise them for how much they had gotten done. There is no swimming, video games, playing with friends, or movies until the list is done.

Julie gave us each the above paper to track the lists. The jobs are listed in the left column with the days of the week on the top. You can click on the image and print it to fit the page. Only 68 days left of summer!

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