Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Summer Chore Charts

During the school year I feel like my kids primary responsibility is of course SCHOOL!  They also have after school activities that keep them busy.  So, besides our “Saturday Chores” (basic dusting, vacuuming of their rooms and the gameroom, and cleaning their bathrooms) I don’t make them do a whole lot as far as chores go.  But during the summer that changes. 
I feel it is very important to teach children how to work and to not only get the job done, but to do it right.  I want them to take pride in what they are doing.  So a few summers ago, I created our chore chart that we use each summer.  Each year, it changes a little bit.  As they grow older, things are added to the list.  With age, comes more responsibility.
In our chore chart, I not only include basic household chores, but life habits, the daily schedule, as well as some activities to help keep their minds working so they don’t lose all that they’ve been taught in school over the summer.  This system works really well for my kids, and it has also worked really well for a few of my friends who have asked me to share it with them. 
So…here is our chore chart for the summer.  I hang it on the pantry door in the kitchen.  If you would like a copy for yourself you can download mine here (it is an excel file).  Feel free to alter it however you wish to suit your needs.
As part of their chores, like I said earlier, I like them to do a little bit of school work to keep their skills up.  In past summers, I have asked them to write in a journal each day to keep up their writing skills.  This hasn’t worked as well as I would have liked.  Usually their journal entries looked like this…
“Yesterday I played with a friend.  It was fun.”
and that was it!  So this year, I was inspired to do something a little bit different.  I did a google search for “kid writing prompts” and found a few websites with ideas.  I copied them into a Word File, cut them up, folded them, and put them in these jars.  Each child has their won jar with the exact prompts inside, but they get to choose what they write about each day.  Taylor said “this sounds a lot more interesting!”  Good!  If you would like a copy of my Word file with the prompts you can download it here. If you would like a copy of the labels I made for the jars and notebooks, you can download them here.  The cute fonts probably won’t translate, so you’ll have to choose your own fonts.  These are just Avery 5263 2”x4” white labels.
I also want my kids to stay up with their math skills, so I have them work through these books through the summer.  I buy them at Walmart.
I can’t wait (and neither can my kids!) to start our new summer routine tomorrow.  I hope you have a great summer routine too.  If you have any tips for me that I can incorporate that have worked well for you, I’d love to hear them!

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