Household, Kids, Summer

A little organization + a new summer schedule!

I had been feeling like I was drowning a little bit in a sea of disorganization in a couple realms of my life: in my home office and with the kids’ summer schedule.

This week I tackled both and am feeling much better!

1.    OFFICE

Yesterday morning the hospital wide software system we use went down and I got locked out until they could fix it. I decided to use the opportunity to CLEAN MY OFFICE, which had been floating around on my to do list for weeks now. It was just a mess of papers, stacks, notes, misc. clutter and it was even truly dirty. Like real dust and dirt, dirty.

Much better! IT FEELS AMAZING now that it’s clean!!! Planning to start writing “clean office” on my weekly calendar to stay more on top of this going forward….

2. THE KIDS

Summer has been in full swing for a while now, but we had been sort of coasting through without too much of any real schedule. It had been working okay, but the last couple weeks we’ve had some issues controlling video game time vs. time to do other stuff I want them to do.  

We had set a limit of 2.5 hours of video games (to spread out over the entire day. I feel like this sounds like a lot, but when implemented it actually feels like an appropriate amount to me. We’re okay with it).



However, they were tending to use an hour of their time in the morning, then play outside, then come back in and want to play the rest of their time, then go back outside….and then it would suddenly be 4 pm and no one had touched the piano, done anything “enriching”, helped with any chores….

So this week we came up with the following system of expectations and all signed it:
Before turning on video games in morning:

  • Make bed/ pick up room
  • Brush teeth
  • Get dressed
  • Wipe down bathroom sink (Asher even days/ Ethan odd days)
  • (It also must be at least 7:30 a.m. So if they wake up at 7:00, they can read or do something else, but no video games until 7:30)

**1 hour max of video games at this time (so 7:30-8:30)**
Before getting the other 1.5 hours of game time (later in day), the following must be done:
  • At least 20 minutes of piano practice
  • 30 minutes of reading
  • 15 minutes of Math- either Beestar exercises, Freckle or Common Core sheets
  • 15 minutes of Writing- either a journal entry, short story, etc.
  • Something creative- Legos, drawing, building something, whatever
  • Watch 1 educational show of their choosing- National Geographic show or episode, Discovery Channel or even just a good You Tube video, etc. (They have chosen “Man vs. Wild” a few times, which I think is a bit  borderline if it’s truly educational, but they learn cool stuff about nature (I think) and it’s not cartoons, so I let it slide)
  • Complete at least 1 daily chore of my choosing! (Unload dishwasher, vacuum sun room, etc.)

We figured this would all total about 2 ½ hours of time, on average, when all said and done and would get them some brain activity without being too over the top or rigid. 

They don’t have to do it all at once- they just have to do it all before they can play more video games later on. 

It seems to be working pretty well so far. Having them just KNOW they can’t play more video games until this stuff is done has made monitoring it all a lot easier for me too, and by limiting the time, it naturally creates big chunks in the day that video games are just not an option. 

They do have some activities going on right now that also take up some time, depending on the day- but more on how that’s all going in another post. 
What are your summer days looking like currently? Do your kids have any kind of schedule right now?
Daily Gratitude: I am grateful for reading with the boys. I have read with them for a bit in the morning a few days this week outside and I’m always so grateful that they enjoy doing that with me yet.

7 thoughts on “A little organization + a new summer schedule!

  1. Your summer schedule sounds great! Don't feel guilty or like you have to justify the 2.5 hours of video games. There are so few options for kids these days and video games can be good for critical thinking and socialization. I like how positive Laura and SHU are on BOBW about video game usage. There's no sense of shame about using this as an outlet to entertain their kids. We are years away from having our son home with us in the summer. At that point, we'll probably send him to a summer program of some sort or hire a nanny. We will see. But I like the idea of having a schedule like this or a checklist like SHU has for her kids! I love to do lists/the satisfaction of checking things off so hopefully Paul will enjoy that, too! When I was a kid, my mom worked and she would leave us with a list of tasks we had to do. She was home at lunch so would kind of check in then, but it as our responsiblity to have it all done before our parents got home from work (I had older siblings who watched me so I wasn't completely on my own). I can vividly remember those lists (mostly cleaning and laundry tasks). I can't say I enjoyed it but I am sure she was glad to put us to work to keep us from watching too much tv!

  2. our posts crossed. I was just thinking about summer plans, which is quite depressing, but how you put it doesn't sound too bad. I might let my daughters watch some good documentaries too.

  3. How wonderful that you could spend that time organizing! What an awesome feeling ❤️. I was able to start a project,during that downtime, and it felt great to get a dent in it.
    The kids' schedule is more routine this week. I let them be a little free this past month but now they have summer school through the first week in August so that takes up time in the AM. It's nice for them to have something to look forward to. Thanks for sharing your schedule! I need to make a weekly chore list for the kids. I just tell them what to when it needs to be done. Sometimes that works but sometimes it doesn't. That's my next project! Have a great weekend!!

  4. Yes, I usually don't feel too bad about video games as long as I know they are doing enough variety and other activities the rest of the day! I think we've found a pretty nice mix of the games, some learning/ helping and free play. Plus they do have some extracurricular activities going on right now (not a lot, but enough to mix it up).

  5. It definitely helps to just sit down and even think about how the days should look. I know they aren't always the same, but just having a list to work from seems to help a lot. Mine have a few routine weekly chores they do on Saturdays but during the week I felt like they were really good at MAKING messes but not doing so hot at helping to keep the house in order with all of us home so much. If they just each do one bigger/helpful household thing each day it adds up and makes a difference in how the house feels!

  6. Monday through Wednesday is a little bit of a mush, Depending on how late I work the night before. But there is a new day camp at Stoughton that Quinlan has been able to be part of and it’s field trip based so I know they are moving and exploring! It’s a double win, kids are both gone at daycare and date camp on Thursdays and Fridays I am home to accomplish whatever I have needed to do for the past several days! 😂

  7. Ooh day camp sounds fun for sure! It's the best when you know they are off doing fun and exciting things. Mine have been pretty happy being around home this summer, actually, but we needed some structure to keep things on track a bit better. I'm fine with them having SOME downtime, but not CONSTANT downtime, you know? 😉

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