Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How to survive the summer

As usual, the lovely, talented, creative, generous Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting this edition of Works for Me Wednesday! Today we have a theme, "Mom, I'm bored". So, without further delay, here we go!

First off, my kids know better than to use "Mom, I'm bored". If I hear those words I find something for them to do: work. So, instead they mope around the house, flopping on furniture, whining, futzing with each other and basically making a nuisance of themselves. So, this summer I've instituted several ideas for (hopefully!) beating summer boredom!

First off, I've created a schedule. Ours looks something like this:

Summer Schedule

Before 9:00
Wake up
Eat Breakfast
Dress for the day
Pick your chores for the day
Turn off TV!
Summer School
Evan: 1 activity in Camp Step Ahead
3 pages of Comprehensive Curriculum
Aidan: 1 or 2 lessons in Reading
1 math page
Toby: 1 coloring page
Activity list and chore time
After lunch
Nap or quiet time
After nap and quiet time
Activity list time
Snack time
Activity list time
TV, movie or other activity list activity
After dinner
Help Dad with outside jobs or activity list activity
Tidy your room, get ready for bed, quiet reading time

You'll notice several things on the schedule. One, there is no TV from 9-4 during the day. I've been rather disgusted by myself in my allowing the kids to watch TV so much of the day so I'm formally limiting it.

The second big thing is that they are picking chores to do each day. This is done by a "lottery" sort of system. Tune in same time same station next week for more details on my chore system for the summer!

The third thing that occurs several times in the schedule is the "activity list". I've written out a list of possible activites that the kids can pick from. Here is our "activity list":

Activity list
(things to do when you don’t know what else to do)

30-minute computer time (limit once a day)
Army guys
Ask how you can be helpful!
Build with blocks
Castle toys
Clean the bathroom
Collect pinecones (put them in a bin in the barn)
Color or draw
Do your chores when appropriate
Dress up box
Make a music parade
Mr. Potato heads
Pick rocks from the yard
Pick up sticks and put them neatly in the big red barn
Play a board game (Operation Shrek, Hullabaloo)
Play ball
Play legos
Play with cars
Push Avery in the baby swing
Read a book
Read to a little sib
Ride bikes
Sweep Mom’s garage
Sweep the deck
Swing set
Take a sibling for a wagon ride down the driveway
Tarzan rope
Tire swing
View master
Write a letter
Write a story

Most of the list is just a reminder of what toys they have: inside and out. Some of these are creative activities I'm comfortable with them doing with minimal supervision and some of them are extra chores not covered by the chore chart. (Extra chores are compensated by negotiable rates.)

The list is printed out and posted on the fridge. Evan can read, so he can help the lil'uns find something to do! He's great at getting the gang of brothers together to play.

Keep in mind that we're 11 days in to summer break. So far I've yet to hear anyone utter "Mom, I'm bored" so I guess this is one tip that works for me! Ask me in September how it went. So far so good!

1 comment:

Sarah Mae said...

I really like your schedule idea, I will tune in for your other tips!