During the weeks that we don’t have camp or any kind of real structure, the days can really run away. Plus, I have found that the kids get into their daily activities, and then when I ask them to work on their summer reading or help around the house, they give me the face. Or they sigh and roll their eyes, as if I’m asking too much just for them to bring down their dirty clothes so I can wash them.
So I began to think that their reluctance wasn’t so much an aversion to responsibility as it was simply an interruption of whatever they happened to be doing at the time I asked them to help, and I came up with a plan to alleviate that.
Every morning, I write a schedule on the board:
This way, their day has a kind of structure to it, and they know, hey at 3:00, it’s time to read or clean up. There are no arguments, they just come to me during those times to see what they can do, or if it’s reading time, they sit and do that.
Sometimes the plan gets altered, as life always seems to throw some unexpected detours at you, but overall this has worked out better than any summer system I’ve tried so far.
The kids actually look at the board first thing in the morning. They like knowing what to expect so that they don’t feel like things are randomly coming at them. It helps them to feel like they have more control over their day, believe it or not.
My tweens and teens are really digging it. They are farther ahead on their summer reading than they have ever been before., which will keep me from having to nag and say “I told you so” the week before school starts. And the house is much tidier too!