Through the years I have increasingly realized the value of having a teachable heart. Esther 2:15 beautifully summarizes the blessings of that to me: "When the time came for Esther to go to the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king's eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her." Because Esther was willing to receive and heed council, she not only won favor, but became a queen who God used to save His people.
Oh, I have been waiting for everything to "end" this year! More than any other year I think. I enjoy being able to stay up late with the kids, letting them do "sleepovers" in each other's rooms, camping out (in our backyard mostly) and just hanging out more as a family in general without so many deadlines and demands.
This first week is normally about transitioning and establishing a bit of new order to our household. We allow them to game/computer/watch movies/generally lay around until their heart's content most of this first weekend. You know, to solidify that "school's out" feeling. (Plus it helps me to recover from all of the chaos too!)
Then Monday morning our "summer chore chart" will roll out. Mer over at Life at 7000 Feet had an awesome post on her chore chart/summer routine that you should really check out if you haven't already. I think my husband might freak out a bit if I wrote ours onto the refrigerator; but hers looks pretty cool on there!
We do the basic: 1. Make bed 2. Get Ready for the Day (clothes, brush teeth & hair) *I let them know each night if we will be going somewhere the next morning so they can be prepared with appropriate clothing - swimsuits, clothes that actually match, etc.* 3. Clean up their bedrooms*I should be able to vacuum without sucking up toys* 4. Laundry must be brought down and sorted on their assigned "laundry day." *I've found that it works best for us to do laundry for the older two on separate days so they can help with the entire laundry process.* 5. Bathroom duty*Counter and sink wiped down, mirror wiped, floor mini-vacuumed, and toilet seat wiped* (We use some eco/kid friendly wipes for the counter & toilet seat. And a white vinegar/water mix for the mirror.) 6. Trash duty*We have two "trash days" so whoever has this job must empty all small trash cans in the household the day/night before our trash pick up days.* 7. Table Setting/Clearing*This is for Lunch and Dinner. Everyone else helps together for breakfast.* 8. Food/Water for Cat
The first 3 are required every day for both of the older two. The other duties rotate weekly between the two of them. (Littlest One is often talked into helping them out as well.)
We do NOT pay them for the household chores. Because they are part of the family; those are their contribution to making our household run smoothly. I do, however, do "spot checks." Twice a week (whenever I choose to keep them on their toes; although I do try to be fair) I will check their areas. If they are clean/jobs done well; I give a 50 cent bonus (for a total of $1 per child a week).
This year I am thinking about allowing them to earn $ for pulling weeds. It has rained, rained, and rained some more here and our weeds throughout our yard are growing like crazy!
I do also ask that all three kids have a "quiet time" in the afternoon for an hour - they can read, write, or play quietly in their own rooms. They will occasionally fall asleep; but not very often. *I try to rotate one day a week when I spend time 1-1 with each child during one of the quiet times*
I'd love to hear what you do in your household!! I have a few specific questions; but feel free to add additional wisdom as well!
*Do you give an allowance? If so, when did you begin that and how much?
*What do you do to keep your kids motivated to do their chores throughout the summer?
*What is your favorite "fun thing" to do with your kids during the summer?
Oh...and if my children come up to me and say, "I'm bored...there's nothing to do..." I can always come up with another chore or two ;).
"Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Corinthians 14:40 (not perfectly; just decently! ;) I sometimes have to remind myself of that!)
Lives near Washington D.C. with her wonderful husband of 15 years and their three precious children. She is the Co-Founder of Bloom! (a ministry for 4th/5th Grade Girls,)and she enjoys speaking at ladies events. Shanda is a Proverbs 31 Ministries "She Speaks" Graduate and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org