School is over in three weeks. THREE WEEKS!  Three children at home all day for the next three months. The introvert in me is panicking, the mommy in me is rejoicing, and the planner in me… well, she’s planning of course.

The other weekend when the girls came to visit Ryan and I in the hospital they found my bag of chore chart supplies. “What’s this?” they asked. “That’s for me to make chore charts. Do you want to help?” I asked. They were not only excited about making the charts, but it also gave them ownership as we talked about what needs done daily and weekly. We decided on daily things like reading aloud, math drills, piano practicing, making their beds, unloading the dishwasher and so on. We velcroed these items on a poster board so they can remove them and put them in the pocket as they do them each day. 


Ainsley’s on the left; Natalie’s on the right. 

Ainsley drew people doing each chore. Like reading, practicing math…. 

… and brushing her teeth. 

Natalie drew each item… like the piano. 

.. and her bed, toothbrush, and breakfast bowl
(she insisted on putting eating breakfast on her chore chart)
The second thing we did was make chore sticks – I copied the idea from my friend, Courtney, who has six children. We used pre-dyed popsicle sticks, one color for each of us, and labeled them with weekly chores. I explained to the girls that the sticks will go into one of two buckets: “To Do” and “Done.” All chores need to be done if they want to participate in our Friday night family time (something they both look forward to).  The idea is they will do their chores throughout the week as they have a few minutes without me having to harp on them. You can see Courtney’s original post here…. I think it’s a great idea and hope it works just as well for our family. Natalie helped me write out the chore sticks and even gave me a color labeling them with jobs like “do the dishes” and “clean the kitchen.” I’m wondering when I should tell her I do these things every day and not just once a week. Courtney makes a good point to show the children each task that needs done so they know the expectation. I added that I’ll follow up behind them to make sure they’re doing it well and not just rushing through it, not that any of my children would do that!

I also hope to do some sort of enrichment this summer outside their school curriculum to cultivate the girls’ love for learning. I chose three things to study:  Amish Living with a visit to an Amish farm in Ohio (I’m going to FB you, Shelley!), Frank Lloyd Wright with a visit to a house he designed within 2 hours of Pittsburgh, and a classical artist such as Degas or Monet with a visit to the art museum in DC or Pittsburgh.  My plan is to read aloud a book on each subject, do a hands-on activity, and do a field trip. With one of these a month we’ll have enough planned stuff to last us the summer. 
What fun activities do you have planned for the summer?
(Thanks, Tosha, for bringing me craft supplies to the hospital for the chore charts and sticks!)

Comments (2)

  • Laurie / May 22, 2012 / Reply

    Hi! So glad to see everyone is home together again! I love your chore chart ideas and am going to try them with my almost 4 year old. Thanks for the idea! So happy Ryan is doing so well after his surgery!

  • Marmi / May 23, 2012 / Reply

    Wonderful plans…u r the bomba mama. Looks like Natalie is a “list” person if breakfast had to make the list. Wonder where she gets THAT from? 🙂

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