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This one has come highly requested and I think, thanks to Kinzie (@kinzco), we really delivered for you guys today! On this, the last day of school (for my kids) I give you the Summer Morning Routine! Kinzie of Kinz.co – amazing graphic designer, branding genius, all around babe created today’s printable to accompany this system and I’ll give all the details for those who want to know or you can just download that sucker and get started at the bottom of this post!
There is a blank version or a filled out version that I use — I kept it super vague so you can decide time limits, define what each thing really means for your family, and your family culture. Just know: this system took some time to really show it’s value. You have planting years where you’re implementing a system and really having to repeat yourself, teach them, enforce and stick to it. It does take time to feel like it’s worth it, but it will be worth it, I promise! And luckily most kids really thrive on a routine so they’ll probably be the ones enforcing it on you! The day my kids woke up, got dressed, did all their chores and then came and found me was one of the prouder days of my life! Get this hard laminated, dry erase marker or a clipboard for each kid and keep your Summer morning sanity!!
For those who want to know how we do it at my house, keep on reading!
Very basic ground rules at my house are that we all pick up after ourselves — always. So throughout the day messes are getting cleaned up as we go along instead of having to do big blitzes which I’ve found my kids are too tired at the end of the day to really give me any energy in that arena. So we have to do it as we go! Saturdays they deep clean their bedroom and bathroom, so it’s just maintaining during the week.
Second, my kids aren’t always motivated by screen time. Some days they don’t even use their screen time, so I needed a way to incentivize on days they don’t care to. Hence the fill in the blank “Before We _____”. It might be “have screen time” or it might be “go to the pool”, “play with friends” or whatever fun activity we have planned for that day. If your kids like knowing the agenda for the day, that’s an easy place to keep it for them!
So no screens of any kind (TV too!) are coming on until this list is done at our house, and then they get 1 hour for their video games, or any YouTube videos about said video games. 😉 I’m more flexible on TV time, but I am stiff as board about devices.
LDS / Religious Ideas: My kids know that making their bed is also the time for them to say a prayer. I didn’t want to include prayer on this as I know it’s not everyone’s bag, but an idea if you want it incorporated or you could always write it next to that! We do a more hefty spiritual thought/reading at night before bed, and that’s on me so not included here. Where’s mama’s chart?
MAKE IT YOUR OWN
Most of these on the chart are obvious – the ones where you can interpret with your kids and also how involved YOU are with it are:
Summer School Work – we do 30 minutes of Workbooks (I buy these) or you can also print off all kinds of worksheets for free! Then they also read for 30 minutes. We have ABC Mouse and also our school uses an online reading program called Lexia! To encourage actual book/story reading I pay them $5 for every chapter book they read. We live across the street from a library so we do that every week or so, so they have lots of options!
Chore of the Day – It might be the same every day, it might rotate, they can draw from a jar, it could be a big chore (clean the kitchen) or smaller (wipe the mirror) depending on age and ability. At our house, we look around the house and make a list of what needs to be done and they choose the one they want to do. I like that they can see the different needs of the house, but still pick what appeals to them. I hope it helps them understand all that’s involved in housekeeping, and to spot what might need to be done instead of always having to be told. “Seeing the need” is a life skill I hope I send them into the world having mastered! They could do the same chore every single day, and there is great value in really knowing how to do it well, but there are so many other skills to learn!
Make Something – another way you could implement a jar of ideas! This could be art, cooking, writing a story, it is creativity in whatever realm appeals to them!
Outside Exercise – Again you can choose the time limits, and getting outside to be active could WITH you – a bike ride, a walk, yoga, push ups, etc. Or you can send them out more independently, too. I’ll let them give me a workout to do with them and they love that.
One Good Thing. This term came from a book we have by my friend Jill about a girl who wants to make a difference, but feels overwhelmed. So her dad tells her to just pick one good thing to do each day. My kids love the book so we talk about One Good Thing a lot. Again, I don’t give them any parameters because I want them to See the Need. And then tell me about what they did after. We discuss how it could be for a specific person, for the family, for a neighbor or friend, for the environment, the community, for themselves. I love seeing how their brains work for this one, so there’s no wrong answers for me!
I hope this helps and huge thanks for Kinzie for the darling design!