It is 4:00 PM on the first REAL day of Summer vacation (meaning the first day with no school) and I am patting myself on the back because I feel like it has been a very productive and successful day! When I proudly declared this to Hannie B, her reply was, “Oh no, I can’t live like this for the next ninety days!”
Want to know what she’s talking about? I told the Hubby that in order for me to not go completely crazy this Summer, I had to set down some guidelines that all the kids – older and younger – could follow. Mostly I didn’t want this Summer to be another day after day of sleeping too late, watching too much TV, not helping me or each other, not getting along with one another and whining constantly about being bored. I am done with that kind of Summer.
So we had a Family Home Evening that consisted of two parts. First, we set up our Summer guidelines. Second, we made our Summer bucket list. The idea of this order was to show the kids that if they can be responsible and follow the guidelines, we will be able to do some really fun things together.
Here are the guidelines we established (but not without complete opposition from the oldest).
- You can sleep in as long as you would like. But, for every half hour you sleep in past 8:30 AM, you lose a half hour of time on your technology. Mom will wake everyone up at 8:30, and if you choose to sleep past that, you are choosing the consequence.
- Every morning you will do the following things before playing/chilling/making plans with friends: make your bed, clean up your room, eat breakfast, shower, and complete all chores mom has for you. These things will all be done WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY.
- We will have scripture study EVERY SINGLE DAY and you will be there, participating with a good attitude. If your attitude isn’t good, expect to lose time from technology.
- You may have your technology (iPod, Kindle, TV, computer) from 1:00 PM to 9:00 PM (minus any deductions for sleeping in or bad attitude). This does not mean you can spend eight hours on your technology. It just means it’s available to you during that time. It can be taken away at any time by a parent. Exceptions can be made to listen to music while exercising or mowing the grass before 1:00 PM.
- We will visit the Public Library every two weeks. You will be expected to check out a book (or books) and will be expected to read for at least one half hour a day. You will each get to read to Owlie.
- You will do your own laundry once a week. If you need help, just ask and mom will walk you through it. Be thankful that you will know how to clean your own clothes when you leave home.
- Occasionally, you will get a job off the “Horrible, Awful Jobs Nobody Wants To Do” list. Just suck it up and get ‘er done. Mom will draw jobs from a jar. Cross your fingers and hope you get something like wash baseboards instead of deep clean all toilets.
- The older kids will each make dinner once a week. We will meet as a family on Sunday to go over our calender and plan meals. Mom will shop for groceries and help you if you need it, but mostly you’re on your own. Be grateful you’re learning to cook so you don’t starve when you go to college or gain 500 pounds because you only eat fast food.
- All the fun things on the bucket list will be possible if you are on board with our Summer guidelines. Be helpful, happy and respectful to each other.
We did this today and it was dreamy. Like, life changing dreamy. We’ll see how it goes. Today we crossed off making homemade popsicles from our bucket list. Everyone did their jobs without complaining. Except for Owlie. He complains for hours about one little job. It makes me laugh.