Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Line Up

As much as I love my "unscheduled" time in the summer, I tend to crave the structure that a schedule brings. I've found that I'm a major time-waster. I can kill a day doing absolutely nothing: checking twitter/facebook, shopping online, "researching" (aka: finding the best places to shop online), moving things from one counter to another... you get the idea. I do better with a little structure around my day.  I'm more focused if I have a task to complete, a goal to achieve; I've found that my boys are the same way.

Left alone, I have no doubt my boys would choose to play video games all day. I'm sure they'd eventually get tired of it, but I think we're looking at August before that happens. I set limits & am acutely aware of their screen time mostly because they can't/won't curb themselves.

It makes my life significantly easier when everyone knows what's happening throughout our day. Guidelines also help my wandering mind stay on track and actually accomplish something. So, I channeled my inner kindergarten teacher & made this:

Can you tell my ink cartridge is on its last legs? Add that to the list!

I wowed you with my technology skills, didn't I?

I purposely left the times off of the list. I don't want to feel like we have to stick firmly to the schedule; rather, I want it to be a guideline for the day. I also don't want to limit things like, learning, to just an hour long window. If we're in the throws of a project, I don't want them to look at the clock & say, "Hey! It's time for video games." 

Why does this help me? It's really easy- this is predictable, everyone knows what is going to happen & when it's going to happen. Chores are right after breakfast so they can't be overlooked or ignored. They must be completed before anything else. We still have an afternoon napper, so any outings for the day are going to occur before lunch. We're going to learn something before we dive into technology/video games.  The learning time is also when we're going to read for the summer reading programs. The rest of the day is kind of open to whatever comes our way.

By putting this down on paper, it holds me accountable to making sure that they get in those important things like learning & outside activities. It also answers the question of "when can I...?" so I don't have to answer it a bazillion times. Am I going to stick to it like glue? Nope, it's just a framework to guide our day, especially those that are more unstructured.

While we were at it, I had each kiddo fill out this:

The quality on this one is super crappy, don't you think I need a new phone? wink, wink
And yes, that does say 28 stories. Guess I'd better add paper to that list!

Based on past experience, my life with four kids seems to race before my eyes. To quote Ferris Bueller (my all time favorite movie) "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop & look around once in a while, you might miss it." This is my opportunity to look around & see what my kids want. Where do they want to go? Who do they want to see? What do they want to accomplish? I want to be purposeful in my planning & scheduling of our time because I'm going to blink my eyes & school will be starting again. And we've already been over how I can waste time...

So, that's my plan. I'm getting organized & getting things lined up so this can be the summer of fun :)

How do you organize your summer?

tweet to me @preschoolmomma 

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