One thing I really like about summer, is that my house is cleaner than any other time of year; not because I clean more (I am Not the best housewife), but because my kids clean more. (Woohoo!!)
A few years ago I ran into a great post on Pinterest on how one mom kept her kids from driving her nuts during the summer. She started her own summer camp. I loved the idea and ran with it, researching a few different methods and finally coming up with my own.
I have 7 categories of task that each kid can accomplish. Depending on their ages, they have to do 3, 5, or all 7 of the tasks. Each task is made more difficult as each kid grows older. I give them a checklist that they can check off the tasks as they complete them.
If they want anything beyond the necessities from me, they have to complete their daily number of required tasks. So when they come asking to play Wii (or any other computer/video game), I ask, “Have you finished your checklist?” The same goes for when they want to do any activity that requires making a mess or adult supervision.
The 7 categories are as follow:
- TIDY UP YOUR ROOM: Make your bed, dirty clothes in hamper, clean clothes in drawers, stuff put away
- READING: Pick a book from the library books or from the bookshelves
- WRITING: Write a page in your journal, write a story, write about what happened yesterday
- EXERCISE: Go Outside! Do a physical activity, run a race, or play a sport in the backyard, bounce on the trampoline
- BRAIN WORK: Exercise your brain by doing a page or worksheet in math, science, history, another language, etc.
- GOSPEL STUDY: Study a gospel topic or read your scriptures for a set amount of time
- HELP THE HOME: Do a chore to help out – sweep the kitchen, vacuum a room, clean the bathroom mirrors and sinks, load or unload the dishwasher
This system has helped me to have a little less chaos during the restless summer months, especially as kids of all ages (from our first marriages) rotate in and out of the house. Regardless of age, when the kids have something to do, they spend MUCH less time creating trouble. And this helps them learn good habits. AND my house gets much cleaner! Hehehe.
Thanks for reading my post. I hope you picked up something you can use. Please feel free to comment with ideas that help you through the summers.