Summer requires a plan of attack. I’ve consolidated my teaching to one day so that I can redouble my efforts to get the work done on this house. Perhaps more importantly, I have had to make a proactive schedule for the summer so that it doesn’t turn into a screen and whine fest.
So last night I posted two summer checklists on the magnet boards. Before playing screens each day the 4 year-old boys must:
1. Do their reading lesson with Mom
2. Do one writing lesson
3. Get themselves dressed
4. Do 30 minutes of exercise
5. Play creatively with their siblings for one hour.
6. Load their dishes.
7. Make their beds and pick up their room.
8. Put away all their toys in the rec room and play room and put away anything of theirs in the house.
Unfortunately for 7 year-old Fluferella, her list is a little longer and more time-consuming.
1. Read 25 pages (She usually reads more than twice this each day, so don’t cry for her, Argentina.)
2. Practice piano for 25 minutes.
3. Do 30 minutes of exercise (She can count any combination of swim lessons/swimming, moon bounce, gym classes, jumping jacks, Dance Central, Frisbee, laps outside, swinging and climbing.)
4. Do 2 math assignments on Tenmarks.com
5. Play creatively with her brothers for one hour (puzzles, games, make-believe, crafts, art, exercise, tag, hide and seek, play school, singing, dancing)
6. Clean up her room and bathroom, plus her share of the playroom and rec room, then put away anything belonging to her that may be lying around the house.
7. (And this is important) Check with Mom for other chores.
She managed it by 4pm today which was slower than I expected in part because we went to the gym for 3 hours. As the timer buzzed 25 minutes, she dried her obligatory tears of piano-abhorrence and ran to her room to watch youtube videos. Whereupon I hunted down Salty and asked him
Me: Where were you?
Salty: I was in Fluffy’s roo–I wasn’t anywhere.
Nice try. It’s far more likely you were everywhere, Mr. Higgs boson.
Which reminds me. When I taught Salty some of the basic principles of traffic laws, I thought it was so cute how he started back seat driving. Cute for the first 5 minutes anyway. Now it can be downright annoying when he keeps it up.
Salty: MOM! Move up! The car in front is moving. You have to move up.
Me: Are you my parent that you get to tell me what do do? You’re a four year-old who still sucks his fingers. Learn to wipe your own bum before you give me advice, buddy.
Which is to say that I have maybe 18 more months before he completely takes over the household.