Summer is a kid’s delight! They look forward to the end of school with anticipation. It is not long however, before many moms are counting the days until school starts again, even if they homeschool. Why? With school comes routine.
Let me ask you this – what do your kids do with too much free time? Do they look for creative things to do or start irritating each other? Do they follow you around telling you they are bored, wanting you to entertain them? Do they constantly want to go, go, go (another form of entertainment)? The number one way to eliminate chaos in your home is to get your household on a routine. A routine brings predictability, order, and stability to a home. As adults, you know how much better you feel, and how much easier life is for you when you are in a routine. It is the same for all ages of children.
How do you come up with a routine? Write down the things that you would like to see happen in a day. You want your kids to play together, play alone, read, have computer time, playtime with you, rest time and so forth. It is a good idea to have time blocked out where two siblings have time together as opposed to them all being together in a group.
Work in ½ hour segments. The first segment should be breakfast, followed by Devotions, then chores. After that, Justin and Austin and Abby and Samantha can play together in two separate places. One gets to pick what to do on Monday and the other gets to pick on Tuesday and on it goes. When the timer goes off they have individual reading time. The next block of time they switch, and Justin and Abby play together and Samantha and Austin too. I trust you see the flow and rhythm of how this works. Don’t forget to work in free time too!
If you have young children, make a list of things they can do alone and a different list of things they can do that requires supervision. Make a schedule each day of what you need to get done. Slot an activity they can do unsupervised for the few minutes you need to change a load of laundry. Next, do something with them that requires supervision and follow this with one that doesn’t require supervision. Keep alternating these and you will get your chores done!
For more ideas on establishing a routine, the Mom’s Notes presentations, “Structuring Your Child’s Day, Parts 1 and 2” are just what you need!
by Joey Link