Summer vacation is nearly upon us! Just 2.5 more days of school and we couldn't be more excited. The 2012 Summer Fun List is up and ready to go!
I've mentioned before that our summer is going to be a little different this year. More time spent indoors, avoiding the extreme heat. There will still be plenty of swimming. But not as many outings, day trips, park days, and exploring outdoors. The thought of getting into a car that has been baking in the 115 degree sun is in no way appealing to me! If we do make it outdoors it will be in the early morning hours.
Keeping that in mind, I added some daily, weekly, and overall summer goals to our summer fun board so that we could have plenty to keep us busy during the day. I'm sure the kids would be perfectly happy to play video games all day (and I'm sure there will be some of that), but there's only so much Mario Kart that I can handle.
Here's a run through of what I am planning for the summer . . . .
The kids have individual skills/goals to work on this summer. The boys get to work on Scouts & Cub Scouts. Anna needs to learn how to tie her shoelaces. Their second skill is taken from my 101 in 1001 list -- something that we can work on together.
Our daily job charts include 6 items:
- HOME - Do one chore around the house. I will have a jar of popsicle sticks with miscellaneous jobs that they can choose from.
- READ - 30 minutes of reading on their own or with me.
- PIANO - Practice the piano! We're going to dust off those piano books and get back to it. We don't have a piano teacher yet, so I will instruct & guide them through the summer. We'll pull out the purple books and even Anna will begin learning. I purchased a month of piano lessons from a Young Woman (great girl - age 17 or 18) at our Ward auction/fundraiser last month, so I will probably take her up on that to get Anna started.
- WRITE - They can choose to write in their summer journal, write a story, or write a letter.
- EXTRA - I'll explain this one in a minute.
- SB - This stands for Summer Bridge. Every year I order Summer Bridge Activity Books for the kids and have then complete one page each day. They are fantastic books. I highly recommend them as a way to help your child retain what they have learned through the summer and prepare them for the next grade.
I have a personal rule/opinion that I don't pay my kids for doing chores around the house. You're a part of the family, you live in this house, and so we all work together to maintain it! But for the summer I'm going to alter things a bit.
For each task that they complete, they will earn $0.25. That's a total of $1.50 a day. And $7.50 a week. The catch is, that there will be times when they are required to use their own money to pay for some of our activities. Like, our weekly ice cream outing, souvenirs on vacation, and maybe a couple of our summer fun outings.
This monetary incentive is also meant to replace nagging from mom. I'm so excited about this part! I'm not going to remind/nag/bug/fight with them to do these 6 tasks. They know what they have to do to earn $$ so it's up to them to choose how much they earn on any given day/week. And if it comes time for our ice cream outing and they're out of fundage, sorry charlie.
Items that are non-negotiable (and have no monetary value): making your bed, getting dressed, brushing teeth, cleaning your room, and any odd jobs I ask them to do. Because I'm the mom.
To make sure we do a variety of things each week, we have an activity checklist to be completed anytime during the week.
- LIBRARY - We will definitely sign up for the summer reading program
- COOK / BAKE - This will probably include a lot of "cold" treats like popsicles. Things that don't require us to use the oven too much. I'm also excited to make rock candy with the kids.
- ARTS & CRAFTS - Pulling from my Pinterest boards I have a file folder full of potential projects. I plan to go to Michael's and purchase all the supplies for 4-5 projects at once, so we have everything on hand when the mood strikes.
- SERVICE - I've seen some great ideas for RAKs (Random Acts of Kindness) on pinterest that I'm sure we will use.
- OUTING - movies, new park, bowling, museum, the mall, splash pad, etc. Anything for a change of scenery!
- TREAT DAY - We have a great selection of summer desserts around here - frozen yogurt, snow cones, frozen custard, cupcakes, crepes, etc.
I've printed enough of our daily & weekly sheets to keep us going for quite a while.
Ah, and here's that "Extras" list. This is what I came up with so far, but I'm sure we'll continue adding other options as the summer goes on and ideas come up.
Approved Websites -- I'm in the process of adding some stiffer parental controls to my laptop so the kids can use it a little more freely during the summer (i.e. - without me hovering over their shoulders). But still, I have to approve any and all websites that they choose to visit.
and finally, THE SUMMER FUN LIST!
I like the list that we've put together. A few vacation-related items, but everything else is pretty low-key. Which is perfect for summer. Conner's only request for the list was to have a pajama day. He wants a day that we stay in our pajamas all day and play video games or watch tv. Sounds good to me!
Here's an expanded view of my command station:
You can't quite see it, but that dry erase weekly calendar to the left has been oh so handy this school year. Never mind that Friday will forever be Field Day -- I had a little oops with a permanent marker.
And this is the woven tray that Target convinced me I needed to buy. I had no choice.
I like to keep the art supplies out in the open during the summer for easy access. New crayons were in order, along with some twistable colored pencils (the kids really like these, and I don't have to sharpen them over and over again). The glass jar holds scissors, glue sticks, glue dots, elmer's glue, and refills for the hot glue gun.
The little coral bucket came from the dollar spot at Target. The chore sticks have yet to be labeled (soon) and I might add some paint brushes in there too. On the floor to the side I have a big tote for other craft supplies.
And then there's this basket which keeps papers, coupons, project & outing info, Scout books, and letter writing materials (envelopes, note-cards) in order for me.
I hope everything comes together as well as I've imagined it in my head. We shall see how these turkeys do once we get into the thick of it.
If nothing else, we'll enjoy the swimming pool and a freezer stocked with otter pops and call it the best summer ever!
See our past Summer Fun Lists HERE