Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Summer Structure

Tera's Strawberry Shortcake

After one week of our summer break with no structure, I decided we needed some!  

Most years, we've done Summer Ticket Programs, or had a Summer Schedule.  We are taking a shorter summer this year (I'm hoping to go to more of a year-round schedule), so I didn't want anything so structured or that required me to mess with tickets.  I tried one week to see if the kids could find their own way, but nope, that didn't quite work out.  Bickering and attitudes started to be too abundant.  (I will say one child found an abundance of things to do, but seems even happier now that we have a list.)

I don't know how I cannot get this through my head....MY kids NEED structure!  I NEED structure!  I found myself staring at facebook for way too long and doing other things not so much.  

So, I went the simple route by brainstorming and posting this list on the white board:
  • Instrument Practice
  • Games
  • Exercise and/or Outside 1 hour
  • Crafts/Fair Projects
  • Reading 30 minutes
  • Chores/Cleaning
  • Writing lesson/Read Aloud/Morning Devotions (things I'm doing with the kids)
All these things earn their media and free time for the day.  

Media time consists of 30 mins. or less on the computer (Usually or Club Penguin for Tera and Daniel; For Michael, PBSkids, Starfall, or some other learning website); 1-1/2 hours video time.  The older ones usually watch episodes of something (Cosby Show, BBC period dramas, etc.)  and Michael watches younger kid videos (Right now, it's Richard Scarry).

I decided to make my own list of things I wanted to do before I turn the computer on in the morning.

My list:

  • Devotions
  • Exercise
  • Writing lesson/Read Aloud/Morning Devotions with the kids
  • One de-clutter/cleaning project

I have other out of the ordinary things (next year's school planning) I want to get accomplished each day that are on "my list", but this is a good start for me.  So far, it has kept me so busy I haven't squeezed breakfast in for the past two days.   

Everything on my kids' list are things they LOVE to do, they just needed to be reminded.  I have noticed major differences in their contentment levels and the bickering has dramatically decreased.  I needed to be reminded that structure (even in the summer) is not a bad thing and some personalities actually THRIVE in that kind of environment.  

Do your kids have a schedule in the summer?  How do you handle extra free time?
Carnival of Homeschooling


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