So, I LOVE summer. Like, I used to love Christmas time and then I started homeschooling. Summer. Summer wins! Slower mornings, time to catch up on projects, all the activities are suspended, sleeping in (all the praise hands, unless you have a 3 year old that walks into your room at 6am asking to "play your wone." We're working on that). It's refreshing. And then it's not. The lack of routine reminds me of what lazy, entitled humans I seem to be raising. So, this blog post is a super honest representation of what I will be focusing on with my little baby sinners this summer.
Let's just start with the fact that I have this far from figured out. I texted a friend this week asking her how in the heck do I make hard workers that don't just do the minimum to hopefully squeak by. Like, I was a pretty hard worker when I was younger, always searching for approval, granted, this is super hard to navigate as an adult, but COME ON!!! Could I just get one kid like that. I have 5 kids that couldnt give a crap what other people think. Again, this will prob come in handy as an adult for them, but for me.....sweet baby Jesus, I cannot. So, when summer comes my kids think it is lounge all day, screens all day, snacks all day, mom's my slave all day kind of life. This lasts all of 14 seconds before mean mom comes out and crushes all their summer hopes and dreams.
Here are a few things we are doing this summer to continue to train these lazy butts so hopefully one day, when they leave this house, they will have developed a work ethic because I'm pretty sure none of them will marry into a family with a butler/maid (if they do, I'm going with them!)
1. I found this printable on pinterest and made one for each child. Now! The follow through that is required with each kid drives me to want to drink, but we do it every morning. Everything has to be completed before they can get any screen time. They have to bring me their chart every (dang) morning so I can check it. Once it's all done, they get 1 hour of morning screen time.
2. I am having the kids do minimal review schoolwork each morning. This last school year every last one of my humans forgot EVERYTHING I had ever taught them. Like 1 + 1. Jesus take the wheel! I cannot do that again, so schoolwork it is. They complain every dang day that "its summmmeeerrrr." To which I reply, "I don't caaaaare." Hoping this curbs the stupidity come August (not holding my breath).
3. I created a charging station IN my room. My sweet little liars like to conveniently forget that we don't do screens in bedrooms, we don't play them upon opening our eyes in the morning, and they aren't to be played for all the hours in the day. Being as outnumbered as I am, I kept losing kids to their hiding spots, so, now they can check in and out their screens. When I've checked their charts they can have them in the morning, then I get them back and they go to screen jail and same for the afternoon.
4. To go along with number 3, I set the timer. I'm obviously doing a terrible job at teaching time because in my children's brains 1 hour mysteriously is multiplied to 3...not sure how this happens, but when left up to their own time keeping, this phenomenon occurs. So, I set the timer and then peel the devices away from the little addicts once the hour is up.
5. Chores! Each day I get to pick a chore of my choice for my kids. I'm gonna be honest, this is a real pain in my butt! So much whining, so much hemming and hawing, so much bickering. I have to literally follow these little people around to make sure its not just done, but done well. I try not to torture myself for the sake of torturing myself, but I have a goal. If I am going to add 6 humans to this world my hope is that I will send out capable, hard working, problem solving, initiative minded adults that have a heart to serve and IMPROVE things, not just get by with the bare minimum. So, for example, yesterday I dumped out all the boys clothes bins (they super loved that) and made them organize and fold the clothes in each bin. What should have taken 30 minutes tops too 90. I had to call the back multiple times, re dump out said bins, re train them on how to fold thier clothes, show them all the clothes they failed to fold because they were stuffed in corners, and then chat about what it means to have initiative. They love me.
6. Obedience charts. My 6 year old is crazy struggling with first time obedience. Like couldn't give 2 craps about doing what I say. I'm a big proponent of positive parenting when at all possible so, for him (and Rose because Rose), we pulled out the obedience charts. For every obedient act you do, you get a sticker, for every 20 stickers you get a dollar to spend at the dollar store. The idea is kind of like pavlov's dog (#sorrynotsorry) I'm hoping to create a habit of obedience.
So, I'll hopefully be able to report back in August that I have molded these little baby lying, lazy, entitled sinners to be amazing, hardworking, efficient perfect humans ready to run a fortune 500 company. This will not be the case, seeing as I'm 10 years in and still trying to figure this all out, but their you go! This is my plan for the summer....just plugging along with all you other mamas in hopes that you will find comfort in the fact you arent alone and we're all in this together! May the odds be ever in your favor this summer!