Tuesday, June 24, 2014

2014 Summer Goals for the Children

I feel like summer is really upon us, like there's not much time left!  So we have already begun to work on these goals, and I'm just codifying them here to remind my September self.

Genevieve (age 8)
1. sewing lessons with Mom 
2. piano lessons with Mom
3. cooking lessons with Mom
4. mother's helper to two families (possibly - this depends on how it goes)
5. learn to hang up and take down laundry

All ready to be a mother's helper - a little present she put together for the child.

Ben (age 6)
1. ironing lessons with Mom
2. piano lessons with Mom
3. cooking lessons with Mom
4. read aloud to keep reading skills current

He wanted to make tapioca.

I'm a little vague on how the cooking and sewing lessons will progress.  I'm going to wing those. I'll try to report on the progress.

Ben has just started piano with me, and I have started a very successful new policy for screen time.  However many minutes of piano they practice, that's how many minutes they get to spend on the computer on a parent-approved site or activity.  This is a great motivational tool because they have no other regular screen time - it happens by chance or parental tolerance.

I have some freelance work, so I've been telling the kids to babysit themselves in the afternoon for one to
two hours while I edit.  They may only interrupt me in an emergency.  It's rather rocky yet, but we're persevering.  I also bought a laptop so I can sit under a tree at the pool and work while they swim.  Setting up this laptop makes me feel confused and old (Windows 8, sigh).  I persevere.

Sweet siblings occasionally.

Typical wrestling.
Recently I've started having the kids do the Friday cleaning (dusting/vacuuming) and then the bathroom cleaning on Saturday by themselves.  I work on other cleaning projects and occasionally check on their progress.  It's been wonderful!  They don't clean very thoroughly because they are still learning, but I'm more interested in developing their work ethic right now than the actual results.  Occasionally I re-teach a specific job or make them go back and do a shoddy job over again, but mostly I just accept a kid-cleaned house because I didn't have to do it all by myself.  Wow, I love this stage!

I didn't do a day-by-day schedule, but I did put a wipe-off sheet on the fridge with the weekly events and extras.  I'm just feeling my way into this summer, and so far, we are really enjoying the break from the school schedule.


Anonymous said...

Margo, such a wonderful idea.. The kids will learn so much and have so many summer memories from this work/play.
Love the sweet photos of the kids..
How sweet that Genevie is going to work with other moms.. She is a super sweet little girl, as is Ben. You are doing a great job with those kids.. Proud of you.
I got a laptop for Christmas..Windows8... I feel your pain, I still run back to my laptop.It is a big change.ha

Lisa said...

Windows 8 is a nightmare! They didn't make anything easier, as usual. My neighbor has it.

Alica said...

What great ideas! Sometimes I wish I could go back and do things over again.

Rozy Lass said...

Keep up the good work! When I was overwhelmed by three young children, a wise older mother told me that when the oldest gets to age eight things get better, and she was right! And at about that time I realized that the children were actually on an eighteen year training program so I could be patient as they matured and learned skills. Our youngest is now 16 (just had a birthday this month) and I can see the fruits of our labors in our three adult children, and we're getting close with the youngest two (the 16 yo and the almost 18 yo). Motherhood is the greatest job in the world!

jenny_o said...

A solid plan. Lucky kids!

Sarah Barry said...

This is inspiring! I wish G could come be my mother's helper.

My main summer goal for my kids is teaching them to make their bed after breakfast and get dressed (without complaining). Day 4 - and we are going strong! I feel like we are just now really starting our summer.

Margo said...

Sarah, I would like to try to work on the bed-making again. Right now I'm the only one who makes a bed every morning :)

Polly said...

Ha--I'm the only bed-maker around here, too.

I think this is a great summer plan!

Melissa D said...

Looooove your skirt! We tie chores to screen time -- sweep the floor, get 5 minutes, etc, so they have to do at least 5 or 6 to rack up a short show -- and piano practice looms. I like it.


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