Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summertime chores

Dear Laura Sybil,

I'm working on a summer chore chart for my kids and I'm stuck. I think I remember seeing something like this at your place one time. Can you help me out?

Signed,
Help! The Kids are Home


Dear Help! The Kids are Home,

Hmmm... I'm not sure it was my house at which you saw a chore chart. I don't think I've used such an item, at least not in recent years. You may have seen a list on the refrigerator. This list clearly stated what tasks would need to be completed in a day before a child could go outside, play with neighbors, or use his/her thirty minutes of screen time. Tasks not completed? Then your activity options are pretty limited. That seemed to do the trick.

So, what's on my list, you ask? Well, remember, I'm a mean mom. The kind who used to be a teacher and knows that all kids lose skills in the summer so she keeps 'em busy. (Disclaimer: Copy only if you want to be a mean mom, too) If you are a child reading this blog, you probably don't want your mom reading it. Here it is:

Devotions
Brush teeth
Make bed
Clean room
Daily chores (different for each child)
Empty bin (each child has a bin in the laundry room and needs to check it daily for clean laundry to be put away)
30 minutes independent reading
Summer project - 3 or more times/week (each child chooses a summer project, with guidance, something of interest to the child so it will keep them learning without them knowing it)
Math assignment - 3 or more times/week

This year I did choose to add a little twist so I made BINGO boards for their independent reading, summer project, and math assignments. Each board is specifically designed for the individual child and his/her educational level and needs. I initially found the idea here at How Does She, a blog with great printables and ideas. I then tweaked it to meet our needs.

After finishing a row and winning "Bingo," the child can choose from a select list of items including having Mom do your chores for the day, or using 15 extra minutes of screen time. Finishing the whole board can get you 1 extra hour of screen time or lunch with a parent at McDonalds.

So far, so good. But, dear friend, remember that the key is not to do exactly what I'm doing, but to find what works for you and for your child. Creativity is the key.

Oh, and have a great summer!

Sincerely,
Laura Sybil

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