Summer launch

One of the advantages of getting out of school later than most of the rest of the country is I had time to peruse all of the summer ideas that other families were doing. I loved Jenny's (private blog) take on being productive in the mornings and leaving the afternoons for fun. I remember visiting Christie last summer and loving how her kids earn books each week (I think she has a bin full of new books she snagged at a book fair...right, C?).

We usually like to have some kind of structure (although flexible). I wanted to be able to set aside mornings to get work done on some research and writing I've commited to this summer and, at the same time, give some guidelines for the kids to get a few things done every day relatively unsupervised (and by unsupervised I mean un-nagged). I also wanted to provide some fun ideas to stave off the blahs and the floppies (as in, flopping on the couch, flopping on the floor, and whining). So this is what we've come up with.

Summer Bingo! Stacy described her Summer Bingo idea here and I was hooked (she even includes downloadable bingo forms and rules, which I adapted for my kids' ages and interests). After the kids do their beds, pick up their clothes, do a job and practicing, they can do activities on the Bingo sheet. Some are really fun, some are enriching or educational, some will help move the kids forward on goals (scouts, personal progress). They can earn tickets toward prizes every time they get "bingo" and, if they do the whole thing each week, some $ will be put toward their school clothes or something they're saving for. The best part is that it's self guided and it motivates them to get the essentials (work and practicing) done quickly.

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Maddy and her best friend, Meg, have been helping as junior counselors for the Vacation Bible School here in town in the mornings. They got home and decided to do the "make something in the kitchen" option. {Mmm. Chocolate chip cookies...keep them away from me, please.}

Sam elected to do the most decadent item on the sheet first: one hour of video games. Figures!

Lauren is babysitting for a neighborhood family all week so she has yet to dive into the world of Summer Bingo.

For the afternoons, we've put together a list of activities and field trips we'd like to do together as often as we can. Our days will be just like a mullet: business up front, party in the back.

What are you doing this summer to stay occupied and sane?