School is out for summer. Yay!
The kids are loving it. I’m loving it. But now I get the challenge of the kids having more free time, but I don’t want them to squander all their time either. I’m a big fan of being productive.
We have lots of fun too, but we have things that do need to be done and skills I want them to work on, so summer is not ALL play.
Now, I know I can’t schedule their life down to a “t” and dictate it all, but I do want to encourage them to make good habits and to help with things around the house.
I don’t want the responsibility of being an adult to shock them. I want them prepared for what that looks like as much as I can.
There are no shortage of things that need to be done around our house. I think it is good to be able to pass on real life skills to my kids and to include them in what it takes to make a house full of people really work.
Some things need to be done daily. I am a serious check-list type of person. I love check-lists and use them daily for about everything. I have even gone so far as to write in what I’ve already done….just to check it off and track that I did it. That’s totally normal, right?
My kids have lessons and other things that continue through the summer outside of our house. This is not a list for those types of things. This is a list strictly for things that I want done at home.
I thought that I would share what mine looks like and how I made it. If anything helps you…then feel free to borrow the idea.
I know there are tons of things out there you can buy already made. Frankly, I’m a bit on the cheap side so I make my own.
I’m sure there are no shortage of apps that could do something like this for you too. But…..
I’m a bit old school. I love pen and paper. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with technology. It makes some things so nice. But to me, nothing beats a piece of paper tacked on the board in the kitchen with a good old fashioned pen to cross things off.
Pens don’t have batteries that need recharged….and my kids never “borrow” my paper on the board for a million other purposes like they do my IPod.
Basically, I can count on my sheet of paper always being there and always being easy to see and use. And we have about two million pens in our house, so losing one of those is a non-issue. I’d actually be happy to get rid of a few.
While you can type up your lists on your computer….I just use paper and pen….back to that part about being in love with pens and paper…..
First, I decided what days I wanted to keep track of. Then I decided what I wanted to track. I have four kids spanning 4-15 years old. Obviously, I have vastly different expectations for my kids.
Then I just pulled out a piece of copy paper, pen, and a ruler and divided it up. I made a column for each kid. On each day, I write the recurring things I want them to do.
I also added extra check boxes for future daily things to add in. Since some things only need done once. This allows me to easily see each day what each kid needs to get done.
Once it is drawn up, I just scan it to my computer and then print out a copy for each week. As much as I love doodling, I don’t really want to make a new list each week. The point was to do it once and maximize my time for the rest of the summer.
I started doing this because my son highly prefers to know what is expected of him for the day. So I was already doing something like this for him….I just had to do it all the time. I’ve gone through a lot of Post-It notes!
I think he got my list making gene. Except, he doesn’t really make them per se, just likes having one when it comes to work. We just feel better knowing what we are doing.
I guess it always makes the day a bit smoother if the expectations are laid out clearly.
We rotate through house chores monthly so I didn’t write in the specifics as they already know what those are. I just want to know that they do, indeed, get done.
I know four kids isn’t that big of a family, but I find that if I don’t write stuff down I am always asking the kids if they did a particular job or not, over and over and over again.
They’d get frustrated with me…..I’d forget who I asked what and who answered what. Keeping a list or chart eliminates a lot of stress and keeps things pretty clear.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like my kids are jumping up and down for joy because they need to do things. Some days, list or not, they still don’t really want to do that “one” particular thing.
Overall, it makes life simpler and we have a lot less stress over getting things done.
The bonus is our house stays fairly clean. Not perfect. It’s a kid-lived in place and we love life and do things. I think we’ve found a nice balance though. It doesn’t happen by accident. You have to plan for it and teach kids to help out.