Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Schedules....

This summer I had a few goals - 1) Keep the boys reading and writing every single day, 2) Be ACTIVE, 3) Get the boys doing more to help around the house and be more independent, and 4) Watch as little TV/Videos as possible
So, we have a simple schedule in the morning to help with a lot of those goals.  Traditionally on weekend days (which are most like summer days), we get out of bed and let the boys watch some TV while we wake up and then get ready - which is always a bit of a fight when they've been able to be lazy already that morning.  I figured this wouldn't work for us, so this summer the boys had some tasks to do first thing in the morning before they could play.  (I'm writing them here so that I can look back next summer and see what worked for us.  It's been a fabulous summer and I think this is a lot of the reason why.)
1 - Eat a healthy breakfast at the table
2 - Write in a daily journal (Ethan writes a paragraph with picture, Lucas writes his name plus a couple of words and draws a picture)
3 - Read at least 20 minutes for the summer workbook and for the library's summer reading program.
4 - If it is not a camp day or weekend, they have other workbooks to work in- pick a few pages.
5 - Get dressed, brush teeth, etc.
Then, they are free to play.  At first I figured they'd want to watch TV or play on the computer, but they seemed to not even miss it.  Instead, we usually pack up to head out and ride bikes - which hits another goal to be active.  Ethan's finally able to ride his big-kid bike he got from Santa.
Lucas loves riding his bike too.  They especially like it if I time them on laps.  But no racing allowed.  It never goes well.  They can race against their own best times.

After a morning of either playing at a park or going bike riding, we head back for lunch and some naps (or reading time for Ethan).  Our afternoons are spent either at the Y (where I'm not allowed to take any pictures - grrr) or at different activities around town - including some cool ones from the summer reading program at the library like this magician, Jeff Evans.
The boys really enjoyed the show- though Lucas was concerned the guy might make Ethan "distappear".  Well, either concerned or inspired, I'm not sure which....
We also like to spend quality time with my parents, and save our biggest adventures for the weekends with Brian - though sometimes we adventure with friends too....

As for Goal #3 - I just started asking the boys to do more, and they do!  I thought I'd have to start some sort of a incentive program, but nope.  All I have to do is ask and be okay if it isn't done perfectly - which works for me - (I can't do anything perfectly!)  They help with meals, cleaning up, and taking care of all the pets.  They really are a big help - more so than I could have imagined.  I also cleaned out/sorted/organized all their toys (sending many huge boxes to donate) and put everything into clear storage boxes so they can see what they have and where it goes.That has helped a lot too.
I think what I've learned this summer is that the more I do to make our morning a scheduled routine - the better off the entire rest of the day is.  It's worth getting up and staying on them to get it all done if it means that the rest of our day can be pretty carefree.  And the more active they are- the better they act and the more fun they are to be around. 
So future self - 1 year into the future self - REMEMBER THIS next year when you want to lounge around and try to sleep in!

No comments: