Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Program

One summer it was a chart of little summer school assignments. One summer it was a quest to earn "House Points" for good behavior a la Harry Potter. This summer our stairway is papered with this:
It's a combination of Lazy's no-nag point system and the job charts I saw on my friend Mary's laundry room this weekend. (Whenever I'm at the house of a mother I admire I just want to riffle through her drawers and check out her laundry room for inspiration.) I just think it's important to give the summer a little structure and routine and to give the kids a little home learning while they're here.

Each child gets a fresh list each week. The list has basics like doing your morning hygiene routine, plus pre-dinnertime chores like put away your clean laundry, plus some make-the-family-happier goodies like give compliments or help someone else. Also, each child has to do some time helping mom. Whaa-haa-haaa! On Sunday, they have things like call a relative or read something from a church magazine or do some family history name extraction.

You get a sticker when you complete everything on your list for the day. You also get a sticker whenever I catch you being good. I don't nag or remind, but when the weekend rolls around, those with stickers will be happier than those without.

This has the following elements of effective systems:

+ The responsibility for follow-through goes to the child.

+ Mom doesn't need to speak to make the responsibilities happen.

+ It makes the kids responsible to contribute to the well-being of the family and household.

+ It involves checkmarks and stickers which are magically motivating!

What are you doing to organize, teach, and motivate your kids this summer?


  1. I recently heard a scary statistic that was something like "Over the Summer your kids forget 40% of what they learned the school year before." I don't know if it's true (or if I even remembered the statistic correctly) but I am alarmed. Naomi is just barely on average I feel and I don't want her to fall behind this summer. So I've been thinking about programs, but have yet to implement any except reading Little House on the Prairie to her at night.

    ... We need a chart. Some kind of chart...

  2. Your program looks fabulous by the way!

  3. Hey! I'll help with the "call a family member" bit! Your kids can call me any time!

  4. I dig this. I might try doing one with pictures for my littles. Good idea.

  5. We are loving our chore charts as well. It keeps the kids busy, and productive. They love the stickers, and I've started to let them pick their own chores lately. Can't wait to see your program live in action

  6. wow, what great ideas you have! I'm inspired.

  7. My kids(actually the older kids) always start to roll their eyes when I present our "summer plan". I love having summer plans such as this one of yours. It keeps me and the kids sane and using our brains.

  8. Why didn't I read this two weeks ago? We are bobbing around in waves of chaos this summer. Thanks for the tips.