for summer is done, and none too early.
today is the first day for schools in Eastern WA and I’m so excited — I really am.
I just have to have some sort of overarching schedule/plan and then I LOVE summer.
I’ve been mulling it all over in my head for weeks now and finally executed it early this morning. There are 3 components …
1. Summer Fun Clipboard
Each kid picked 3 "activities" that they had to do sometime during the summer. These are now on the summer fun clipboard …
that hangs by the phone. When we do one of these things, we cover up the square. The orange squares are things that are scheduled (like 2 family reunions, trips to my mom’s etc.) Now no one can say "we didn’t do anything fun all summer!" because I’ll have evidence!!
I’m going to do what I am calling a "realtime" scrapbook — in a photo album. This means, I’ll take pics during these activities/events, pull out one or two (for my category files) and slip the others in a photo-album as we go. By the end of the summer, we’ll have a Summer Fun 2007 photo-album complete — you’ll be seeing more of this in an upcoming issue of SS!
2. Popsicle jobs
No photo here, but I have written a bunch of daily jobs on popsicle sticks. Each kids pulls one stick each day (Taft’s jobs have the letter "T" on the end) There are four "orange" sticks that represent weekly jobs, so each boy pulls one of those on Monday morning.
We use clipboards during the school year (with a fair amount of success) and so I’ve adapted this for summer. Each boy has a mini-clipboard, listing their everyday responsibilities — stuff like bedroom, clothes, laundry bin, piano — there is one sheet for each week, so before they can go anywhere or invite anyone over, their clipboard has to be checked off. There’s a circle for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. In an effort to maintain some sanity (for me and for Jenna, our sitter) I’m limiting the number of "play dates or fun stuff" to two per kid, per week. In other words, when the two circles are filled in — that’s it for the week and that kid can stay home and hang out here!
so .. what it boils down to is individual plans twice a week, some family fun at least once a week and chores/homework (Dad assigns) every day.
You may think it lacks spontaneity (I don’t) you may think it sounds kind of mean, but I have had several ask how "I do it" and this is one of the ways. I’m a scheduler. I don’t expect it all to work perfectly, and I’m in charge, so I can make exceptions when I want to — but it does give our days some structure and with 5 kids — I need structure!!