Monday, August 9, 2010

How our summer’s going…

As anyone who knows me well can attest, I am a schedule girl.  Schedules make me feel calm.  So summer looms large with all of it’s unscheduled, chock-full-of-kids activities. 

I spent a lot of May and June trying to figure out how I wanted to work the summer.  I realized, last summer, that having 200 things for my kids to do wasn’t the answer.  Someone (there are 4 someones, you know) always didn’t do their stuff and I was always irritated at someone.  But I knew that the teasing allure of non-scheduling is kind of a lie (for me anyway), because here’s what happens:  I wake up and think “oh, hey, we’ll just all lay around in pajamas and just be together.  It’ll be lovely.”  At 10:00, I start yelling “Hey!  This house is crazy and messy and you guys are doing something and you all look too messy for me to enjoy!!  Get dressed, practice piano, pick up this house, mow the lawn!!!”

So, I came up with a pretty good compromise:

Picture 004

I stole this idea from my friend Stacy Julian. (I’m so name dropping.  She is my friend who just happens to be one of the country’s most well-known scrapbooker.  I only read her blog because she’s my friend and terribly creative.  Not because I’ve ever scrapbooked a single page in my entire life.  But I digress.) 

It’s called Summer Bingo.  I filled the days with things I wanted them to do in a week, that were mostly fun and a little bit educational and structured  Notice the squares that read “Have all jobs done by 10am”?  That’s my nod to a schedule.  The BINGO is my nod to un-scheduled.  They have stuff to do if they are bored or bugging me or need money, but no one’s making them do any of it.  OF COURSE, they still have to complete jobs/scriptures/dressing before they play or watch a screen, but that’s normal, right? 

Picture 005

They get a ticket for each BINGO.  A ticket can be redeemed for 50 cents, or 30 minutes of extra screen time, or a popsicle that is better than an otter pop.  So far everyone’s only interested in money.  They haven’t had a ton of BINGOs (the max is 4, I think) but they usually do 10-15 things on the chart and it’s worked out really well. 

This summer has been a nice balance of outside play, family outings, vacations and down time…and for the first summer in a looong time:

I don’t want them to go back to school!

Bingo!

11 comments:

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the wrath of khandrea said...

we still have a month to go. i think i'll try this. we'll be chatting soon for my tutorial, thank you very much.

Brooke Romney said...

Cool idea. I might steal it in a few years.

Elizabeth said...

I have just started something similar in my house with chores. I get them to pick the chores and in return (if I dont have to nag or yell) I don't send them to their room or give them more chores... I'm not sure my kids would call it bingo but its working for me.
Thanks for sharing this stuff.

Rochelleht said...

Brilliant!

Tristan said...

My summer has been crazy busy!! I barely have time to blog :( But as soon as school starts I'm hoping to get back in my groove.

This was a great post!!

Lisa-Marie said...

BINGO! No kidding. This is pure brilliance. We only have two weeks of summer left and one of them will be in Boise, but I might have to try and incorporate something like this into our school year. We have LONG winters (you know) and i get so tired of hearing, "I;m bored!" I think this is my answer. You're the best!

Lauren in GA said...

Oh, so, so, AWESOME. I am firing up the printer right now. I want try this idea.

I still can't believe you know Stacy Julian. I saw her in a picture on Jessica A.'s blog and I was giddy. I have admired and loved her work for YEARS. I have a (hard copy) file (you know me and my files)of ideas of hers from scrapbooking magazines.

You are so cute. I loved the last part of this post. Bingo, indeed.

誠陳侑 said...

我只知道,假如我去愛人生,那人生一定也會回愛我................................................

J'net said...

Maybe I should try this w/ Jesse? N Grpa? They just have screen time unlimited n I don't get much help from them... N it's 1:48 n neither of them r dressed or ready 4 the day, SO maybe this is one of those "hang-out" days? It was foggy n cool here in the bay area this morning so it became a SLOW day!?! BINGO!

Camden said...

I'm totally bookmarking this for next summer. Bingo!