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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summertime lesson plan

During summer vacation my children do not get much structured learnin'. They attend CFI kids, a sort of youth group, every other weekend to learn about science related things, but beyond that we just don't do any scheduled summer lessons. There's no classes, no sports, no extra curricular activities.

Sure they read, and visit the library regularly, but just to pick up books...not to join in on the many activities offered by the library during the summer months.

I have 4 children. I plead laziness. After a school year filled with sporting events, and practices, and after school just needs a break. Just a small one, if you please!

This summer my tween and teen have inspired a new line of thinking in me. As I grew tired of picking up after the kids after just 1 week at home I developed my ow summer lesson plan. Every day my children show me where they need to learn. They show me the areas where pehaps I may have failed them a little bit.

So, over the course of a week I watched their sloth-like ways and I developed a list. A list of things my older children apparently do not know how to do. In order to make the lesson worthwhile I offered up an incentive for their efforts. If by summers end the tween girl independently and consistently keeps up with her lesson plan she gets a cell phone upgrade. A big deal for a 6th grade girl! My teen son will get a new video game, and perhaps another small token of my appreciation for his efforts.

My son is always leaving his clothes on the bathroom floor after showers. After years of reminding him to please pick up the bathroom after his shower he still had not learned the concept. So, day 1...teach the child how to detail clean the bathroom. From scrubbing the vanity, to the toilet, tub and shower walls. It wasn't long at all before he was trying to recruit the little ones to come "pick up their things". I laughed and said "Now you know just what my daily job looks like."

Magically there is suddenly a lot less of his mess in the bathroom.

When he had trouble remembering to rinse his dishes and put them in the sink I had him detail the whole kitchen. A day of washing gross, nasty, yucky dishes that I had purposefully allowed to sit overnight gave him a whole new perspective on why we rinse plates before we place them in the sink and dishwasher.

My tween daughter, with all of her wardrobe changes, has learned what it's like to do laundry. Washing her brothers dirty underwear has certainly shown her that maybe she should not be in any hurry to live with a boy someday. It also taught her that if she didn't have 5 wardrobe changes a day she would have less laundry to sort, wash,dry, fold, and put away.

So, if you are looking for some cheap summer lesson plans for your children, just follow them around for a week, take notes, and you will instantly be flooded with weaknesses that can be turned into strengths! I decided to post this on the Simplify blog because if you teach your kids the responsibilities you want them to have around the home it WILL simplify your life.

Happy teaching :)

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