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How our large family is managing chore charts and summer screen time.
I love summer.
I love taking my kids to the lake, hiking, swimming. I love it all…except managing screen time. I hate managing screen time any time of the year, but summer just seems to be worse. This year I was determined to find balance. I wanted chores done, I wanted plenty of time outside, I wanted limited screen time without feeling like the Screen Time Police all summer.
I spend a lot of time scouring the internet for ideas. I needed something that was: organized, could be managed without me around and that didn’t require me to police everyone and everything or track tickets or little pieces, etc. I came up with our current system that has been going strong all summer so far.
Here is what we are doing:
Keep it simple.
I chose to keep both our supplies and charts simple. I bought each child:
optional: stickers and wash tape
I gave the kids the notebooks and let them decorate the front.
While the kids decorated their notebooks I cut each index card to size and wrote on one side each child’s jobs for the day.
Hezekiah’s daily chores
On the back I wrote the information they were supposed to chart in their summer journals (spiral notebooks).
I bought the lanyards because I didn’t want to laminate chores (because I wanted to be able to change them) and I didn’t want the kids losing them. These are easy to clip to their notebooks, clipboards, or hang around their necks.
On the inside of notebook I had the kids glue on our Summer Wish List. This was something we came up with early in the summer. The kids helped me come up with some great ideas for a variety of summer activities.
I typed it up and gave each child a copy.
I also had on the top of the paper two columns:
Ideas for if they were bored and our summer screen time rules.
I encouraged the kids to highlight the Summer Wish List items once we had done them. This is a fun way to track our summer activities.
Now each day once the kids have finished the chores, they bring me their notebooks. I sign off on each item. Every child gets 30 minutes of iPad or computer time and have the option of earning another 15 minutes if they do extra work (these vary from child to child depending on what they need to work on. They have the option to write a paragraph, do math drills and for Avi and Apollo 15 minutes of reading)
My kids are producing some great stories, doing their work consistently and best of all? If I am gone someone can manage the system for me.
I also haven’t heard “I’m bored” once this summer. They fact that they know I am likely to pile on extra work probably contributes to this, but hey, it’s working!
How are you managing summer chores and screen time? I’d love to hear your ideas!