Saturday, June 6, 2009

School's Out!! Now what?

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!)

Many Blessings!



Shelley said...

Shanda, I just love you. You have some of the greatest advice I have ever gotten about my kids. I'm looking forward to the quiet time each afternoon and then rotating spending one on one time with each of them. How cool is that going to be?

Shayla said...

Your kids are so cute :)

My parents rule on allowance was we had to keep our room/bathroom clean- that was just a must, and if we did more than that (help sort laundry, clean dishes etc) then we got paid for that :D

I love how you have them do a quiet time, do yall ever have a Bible study time?

Thanks for posting those sweet pics :D !!!

Gretchen said...

I hope your summer has a beautiful beginning, Shanda.

Great chore ideas.

We make our kids do chores unrelated to their allowance. Allowance in our family is for learning how to budget savings, spending, and charity. They don't have to do much, but what little they are required to do increases over the summer. For us, once a week there is also dog poo duty, and bathroom cleaning. The kids trade weeks for this. Although, I'm starting to think of doing the wipes idea. For I do have a boy and all. Ahem.

Daveda said...

Very Good...My kids are a bit older, 10 and 12, so their chores entail a bit more, like mowing the lawn, vacuuming, dusting, and dishes. They rotate days on these.

We do not pay for chores. We used to, I mean we tried that...but if I am going to "pay" for a job to be done I should not have to remind the one doing the job to do it ;) or check up on the job.

I like what Gretchen said, about payment being unraleted to chores for the purpose of teaching stewardship. Yet, sometimes, I will give extra work if one of the boys wants to earn money for something special.

Daveda said...

Oh...and they are not allowed to go to the pool, or any where else till the chores are done. That keeps them pretty motivated!

Laura said...

Hi! I posted a similar post on my blog this week. We have a four year old and I've decided to start the "chores thing" this summer. I've come up with a unique idea for her which I'll be posting in a few weeks (I've got to get to Michael's and pick up the supplies). Have a great weekend!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Good ideas, Shanda!! :) My girls wake at pretty much the same time every single day (7:30/7:45), rain or shine, so we don't have any sleeping in here. :s

We keep to a routine with breakfast, teeth, washing faces, getting dressed, fixing hair so they don't just sit around in their pjs all day.

I run around town so much that I'd actually LIKE to keep them home more this summer. I have planned story time at the library one day a week, and I'll probably take Natalie to one of the free movies every so often. Not much else planned.

I am going to start a sticker chore chart for her soon. She needs some motivation with cleaning up after herself. I'm tired of finding toys everywhere!!! I'm thinking a 3 year old can: fold blankets on bed, brush teeth, get dressed, put dishes in sink, feed dog, clean up toys, and help me water plants

My mom has been a teacher for 30 years, give or take, and I'd like her to work with Natalie some this summer on reading. I'm hoping to keep her interested by doing another sticker chart, since she has a tendency to have the "I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it" mentality. We'll see. ;)

Pam D said...

Hey girl.. just had to respond to your comment on my blog..! I knew there was a reason I really, really liked you; you're about the only other person I know of who would let their kid bring a bug in the house for ANY reason! (we spent last night with a bug jar inside that had about 30 fireflies.. what a COOL nightlight! Let them go this morning, and they were on the door, TRYING to get back in!) And the sweater bug is actually a saddleback caterpillar.. one of the mildly poisonous ones. If it gets one of those spikes into you, it really hurts! (yes, I speak from experience....)

christy rose said...

Shanda, Your kids are adorable and sweet. That picture brought back memories of when my kids were all about that age. They are older now but still adorable and sweet, for the most part. haha
Summer for us now is just as jam packed as school time. Josiah, my oldest son is 15 and he plays baseball all summer which keeps us going a lot. My sisters girls always come to visit for a couple of weeks and my girls go to visit her for a couple of weeks. Then there is church camp at then end of July. We usually go on a family vacation and then school is ready to start again. It is like I blink and summer is gone.
I pretty much let my kids summer be a big break for them. They each have one thing they have to do each day which takes them about 10 minutes except Josiah has to mow the lawn once a week. And I have never paid for chores. I also think that it is part of the privilege of being part of our family. They have to earn their spending money some other way, babysitting, mowing lawns or working for someone else. I think it is really good for them to learn to become dependent upon themselves to figure out how to come up with ways to earn money to spend any way they want.
It is really interesting how everyone's ideas all seem great. God is so unique in giving everyone such different ideas for their family.

I enjoyed reading about your family today.
I hope your summer is awesome.

Chris @ Maugeritaville said...

Hi Shanda, just discovered your blog. I'm an elementary school principal, so I know what summer vacation is all about. Keep it fun, but productive and READ!!!

Okay, anyway, glad I found you!


Kristen said...

I love the chore chart idea. We've gotten away from it and need to make a return to it. Ditto on not paying them for chores, but we do allowances (for a year, now). You are soooo right about weeds and rain! You are awesome, Shanda! Keep up your good and mighty work! (:

Anonymous said...

I love when you post pictures of your children. They are gorgeous. Happy Summer!