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Hello Summer: "I'm Bored!"

We're now a few weeks into summer, the sun is out for longer and the days are getting warmer. It also means our kiddos have settled into a new routine being off of school. For some families summer camp is the schedule each week. For others the kids are home all summer, or maybe a mix of the two.

This summer my kids are spending six weeks at camp, and the rest of the time at home. I knew we would need to establish a routine to keep us moving, especially since I'll be working from home during the weeks they're off camp. Here are the things that are working for us now, with the acknowledgement that we'll need to adjust as the summer continues. The "Command Center" below is a reflection of our goals as a family to have a routine but we also know that we are human and some days our well thought out summer schedule will be an epic fail, and thats ok.

On camp days it's a little more strict than on days the kids are off. We know for our kiddos, having a plan is a huge help and reduces the questions they ask throughout the day.

We have a set of shared expectations that apply all of the time. The expectations should just be reminders since these are things that we always expect. If things need extra focus, we'll add them to our list of expectations.

There is a list of activities for them to choose from that match up with their daily schedule. They don't have to stick to this list, these are just ideas based on things we have available at hone.

Everyone has assigned chores to help with each day, and weekly chores as well. There are additional chores they have the option of electing to earn money. The daily and weekly assigned chores are unpaid because it's up to all of us to keep our home tidy. We alternate these chores and switch out for others to help them practice different skills.

We avoid screentime during the week. On the weekend, if anyone (adults included) want screen time they need to accomplish 15 minutes of DEAL (drop everything and literacy) time first.

If there are trips or activities the kids want to do as a family, they need to submit a proposal first. This gives them the opportunity to practice planning, research, and budgeting.

Summer Adventure Proposal
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One of the best side benefits of this plan is how much the kiddos work together. Our youngest son is still learning to read, so big sister helps him with DEAL time. Our daughter is building confidence in the kitchen, so big brother bakes with her. It's a great way for them to share the things they already love to do.

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