It feels so good to get back into our regular routine. Starting this past Monday I revamped the Accountable Kids chores, upped the ante regarding recreational computer use and TV, and put our schooling back on a more traditional schedule.
Revamping the Accountable Kids chore cards serves two purposes. First, to get the boys to pay more attention to the cards. After a year they’ve memorized their chores and will go about doing them without consulting the cards. The problem is that they inevitably miss one or two things because they aren’t looking. The new lineup chore cards will force them to once again pay attention to their cards! Second, it gives me a chance to look at what they are doing well and should continue doing...and what didn’t work out too well...and add in new chores. For example, Gavin has plants now that require watering and he’s having a difficult time remembering...so we added a card for that. Another example, Ben really struggled with clearing the table at dinner time, but does great with it at lunch time. So, I switched that around.
FYI: Luci gets her very own Accountable Kids Chart for her birthday!
Over the summer we had gotten pretty lazy about monitoring computer usage and television. Although computer time was still limited, total time in front of a screen of any kind each day was not. As a result, the TVs been on a LOT. Way more than I like it to be. But when it’s 98 degrees in the shade....well, you know what I mean! So, we upped the ante for screen time and as a result the TV’s been off for the better part of the day (when Dad’s not watching Olympics!). They have the opportunity to earn three tickets each day by completing their accountable kids chores. Each ticket is good for 30 minutes of screen time, but they are only allowed to use two of them on computer games or video games. They are budgeting their tickets well, however, and saving them up each day so they can watch an hour of TV with their Dad in the evening after dinner. Lately, that’s been the Olympics, but I suppose when the Olympics are over it will change to Mythbusters or Dirty Jobs.
Our school days are starting in the mornings again. Whew! I can’t express what a relief it is to be back on this schedule. Not only is is nice to be done earlier in the day, but the kids are producing better work. I think it was disheartening to them to look at the clock and see 3 or 4 o’clock and know they still had more school left to do. Friends were knocking on the door and adding insult to injury. As a result, those last subjects were rushed through in an effort to get finished and weren’t as good as they could have been. So, we’ll just add this to our list of “Lessons Learned” and move on....