Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer Preparedness

I have been keeping myself busy this week with projects that I hope will make our summer run smoother.  I know we tend to over complicate things in our household and I sincerely wanted to avoid that BUT . . . It was so important to me to be prepared.  I seems like a lot of stuff but I think, once we get used to how it all works, it will help the summer (& hopefully beyond) go far more smoothly.

I finally got around to making the magnets I have wanted to make for a year, that go on our white board near the kitchen.  These will help the kids know what they need to do and also what activities we have coming up in the week.  Both kids helped me come up with the list of activities that we needed magnets for and Jillian helped me pick out the pictures for them.  Then we covered them with contact paper and added magnets to the back.  It helps Jillian, especially, so much to see what is coming up and know what to expect.  And it will allow me to point Joshua to the board when he asks what we're doing or what steps he still needs to complete.


THEN, I had seen online a list of summer "Rules" (I call them expectations).  Kenton and I had agreed that we both wanted to limit the kids' screen time and I was VERY tired of being asked at every turn if they could watch something or play on their Ipads.  So . . . I thought this was a great solution.  First, Kenton and I agreed on a set amount of screen time they are allowed (approx. 1 hour a day) except for special occassions like movie nights or pajama day.  BUT!!!  They have a list of items that they have to complete first.  Their morning steps, 20 minutes of reading. 20 minutes of writing, outside play time, etc  . . . . before they can have their screen time.  I am SO excited for this!!!

AND their writing time will be taken up by their summer journals. I used some leftover composition notebooks from Jillian's past school years and we will decorate the covers on Monday to kick off our summer.  I haven't quite figured out how we will deal with the writing piece with Joshua BUT each morning, the kids will spend time writing in their journals about what we did over the weekend, what they are most looking forward to, what they enjoyed most about the day before, etc . . . . I am hoping that this will give us all (as I will be participating too) a sense of thankfulness as we reflect on the positives of our summer AND it will give us something fun to look back on recall all that we did together.  😊
ALSO, I had seen online, and I am Bored jar (I chose to call it Boredom Busters).  When the kids have completed their checklist AND media for the day, they may pick a popsicle stick out of the Boredom Busters jar and they/we will do that thing.  They range from cooking, crafts, fort building, etc  . . . I know that I spend way too much time on things that are far less important than my relationship with the kids and making them feel valued so I am going to work really hard on not occupying myself with so many non-essentials (Facebook primarily) so that I am available to them and get to make memories with them as well.  I want to be the fun, happy mom (within reason), and not the grouchy, easily frustrated one I have become.

 And finally, in an effort to help with Joshua's attitude, Kenton piggy backed off of another friends' idea and we will be using some of his leftover Dice Masters dice to track positive and negative behaviors.  One kind of dice will represent negative behaviors (arguing, disobedience, fighting with siblings) and another dice will represent positive behaviors (helping someone, doing a chore without being asked, being especially kind, etc , , , ). When the particular behavior is exhibited, the kids will be told to put the appropriate dice in their designated jar.  At the end of the day we will add them up and see where their attitude fell.  Beyond that, we haven't worked out all of the details yet but ultimately, there will be a reward for positive behavior at some point in the process.
Anyway, this is what I have been working on this week to prepare for summer starting next week.  I am excited and no longer anxious for the summer at home with all three kids.  We shall see how it all works out. 

No comments: