Last week I basically let the kids do what they wanted to. No schedule, no chores, no summertime school work...just relax. That didn't work, although I am quite sure they felt differently. I was constantly breaking up fights between my two usually cooperative children. I was yelling way too much, picking up after them too much and looking at the clock anxiously awaiting bed time so I could drown myself in a glass (or 3 or 4) of wine too much. Foot down and determined to make this a good summer, I set out on a schedule and some other tricks I had up my sleeve. With a full weekend agenda, my husband coming home from one trip only to leave for another, and a spur of the moment trip to the beach on Monday, I didn't get as much planned as I wanted to...but at least I got started.
I was able to whip up these cute chore cards. I saw the idea over on Melissa's blog and knew I had to give it a go. (She even has them saved on as a Google doc to download...although I couldn't get Word to work correctly so I made my own).
Despite K telling me that we didn't need a picture of the chore cards (as I was taking one) because she hated them and didn't want any extra reminders, they are working very well. The top card has their name and morning routine (which includes making their bed...which is not a rotating chore, much to their dismay) and then each day I pick 2 or 3 (depending on complexity) chores for them to perform. These need to be done before any toys come out or plans are made. The stuff that I usually do (vacuuming, folding towels, etc.) isn't chosen everyday, but I feel it is important for them to learn how to do these things. I also included a "make dinner with Mom card" and while it is a bonding and teaching experience for them, and not necessarily a chore I am sure they will see it that way at first. My intention is to cook with them once a week and have them prepare a meal (with limited help) at the end of the summer.
Other than that, besides having the house screen time free starting at 8:00 am (with the exception of 1 hour in the evening) I haven't really set down a concrete schedule. Starting Tuesday I am re-introducing 45 minutes of "school" work and a structured project or activity as we will have 2 extra friends visiting for a few hours each morning. I can embrace organized chaos even better when it is at least structured chaos (my plan is also to avoid the ever constant "I am bored, there is nothing to do, I can't believe we can't watch t.v., play wii, be on the computer...etc. etc." ). Note: I limit the screen time because #1 I think too much is not good, #2, I cannot stand seeing people zoned out in front of the tv doing nothing (especially when I never get a chance) and #3 my children behave SOOO much better when they don't have the tv going constantly...they play together, use their imaginations, are creative, loving, helpful, polite...geez turning off the screens = magic!
Well, I had a few more things I wanted to get out, but since this post is long enough, I guess I have a few days worth of blogging!
Thanks for stopping by,