Every summer, I promise myself that I will create a very specific routine for The Boy to follow so we can avoid chaos and eventual mutiny in the Pathologically Literate Household. And every summer, while we follow some semblance of a routine, I never quite attain the level of structure I had hoped for. This year, this year is going to be different! Failure is not an option.
I had a few requirements for the routine I was creating. One goal that was important was to train The Boy to take more responsibility for his surroundings. He’s kind of one of those kids who leaves a trail of mess in his wake no matter where he goes (kind of like his Mama). He now has to complete a Daily Chore (which changes each day), and we have instituted three daily Two-Minute Tidies. I will tell you what – the Two-Minute Tidy is a miracle. A miracle! We generate an ungodly amount of clutter in our house, but since starting this practice things now stay nice and tidy all day long. It is soooo nice. We’ve only been doing it in our main living areas so far; once it’s more of a habit we will turn it into a Ten-Minute Tidy and hit the whole house. I haven’t informed The Boy of this development yet, however. This is strictly on a need to know basis…
A second must for the routine was Reading Time, of course – since it’s summertime, I increase the time The Boy is required to read each day. Instead of one 30-minute Reading Time, we have two of them, totaling a minimum of 60 minutes of daily reading for him. Studies show that the more a child reads over the summer, the more he/she will retain what he/she learned over the past school year. Some children can lose over 70% of what they learned during the school year over the summer months if they don’t work to combat this loss.
Another part of our daily routine that we do together is meditation. The Boy has Tourette Syndrome and anxiety issues, and in the past has suffered from depression because of this. Multiple studies have shown that meditating for even just twelve minutes a day can have a hugely positive effect on depression and anxiety issues, as well as your general health and state of mind. We fit in around ten to fifteen minutes a day. We use a few different methods, and even play a couple of meditative “games” to mix things up a bit.
Anyway, I worked it all out and entered the information on a chart. Here’s a look at what I came up with; this is what we do each day:
I found this nifty little free printable chore chart online at imom.com. You can download it in color or black and white, and as a customizable PDF, which is what I did. It’s helpful to have our schedule on display, and The Boy really likes being able to check off each task or activity as it’s completed – it gives him a real sense of accomplishment, which is great for his self-esteem; things like that are relevant whether a child is a tween or a toddler. So far we’ve been following this schedule for nearly a week, and it’s been going great!
Well, my friends, that was a look at our summer schedule. It’s not for everyone, but it’s good enough for most. Hopefully I gave you a few ideas for your own summer routine. Have a great summer!
Do you have a summer routine? Do you just go with the flow? Share your family’s way of handling summer vacation…