This week, we have entered our final week of school before summer break. I have been busy juggling orientations for middle school and kindergarten, and my mind is on information overload! Also, as a work-at-home mom, I dread this time of year. For ten weeks, the kids will be with me 24/7. In order for me to keep my sanity, I needed a plan.
While I’m not a fan of letting my kids use electronics all the time, some days it’s a must. I have to attend that conference call or need to answer emails, meaning the kids are “on their own” while I step away. Last year, I implemented a system that allowed them to stay busy, and away from screens. It worked!
Last year’s notebooks were made from composition books, and I wrote their tasks nightly. It was easy for me at the time, since my husband was away. I never slept anyways, so I had the time to do them. This year, it’s a little different. I’m wearing more hats with work, so the notebooks received an upgrade. At the end of this post, you can snag your own copy and print as many pages as you like!
First page is the daily checklist. As mentioned above, I don’t like utilizing a lot of screen time, but they can earn their time with chores, using this notebook, playing outdoors, being creative, and the list goes on. Some examples include:
*20 minutes of reading
*30 minutes of doing a craft or building something
*One math paper or word search
*Outdoor play for 40 minutes
Or anything you wish! I have some additional ideas listed in this post, here.
Next page is the bucket list. The summer bucket list has two options. One is blank to where you can create your own list with your family. I also added mine that I do with my family to give ideas, or to let you use it to your advantage.
Then, we have a gratitude journal page. I print off about 10 to 12 pages per child, depending on how many days of summer break. Each day, I have my kids write out five things they are grateful for in these little boxes. It’s a daily habit I’ve established since they were young, and keeps them being grateful for what they have.
My favorite page is the summer reading log. Every year, I register for the local library’s summer reading program. My library allows online logging, which is super convenient. When my older boys finish reading a book, they record it on their reading log (I keep track of my younger ones till they start writing). Every week, before the library visit, I record their entries on the library’s website, so they can be registered for prizes at the end of the program. If they want incentives, they will fill it out!
Then, comes the writing prompts pages. Two full pages of writing prompts, that is. These writing prompts are kid-friendly, and have helped my boys keep their writing skills in check. I may use the same prompts every year, but I get different responses each year. It’s a nifty way to watch how they grow in writing and spelling. Plus, it helps me stay accountable for my daily writing habit.
The final page of this notebook is the bible verse page. Each day, I read a devotional from Our Daily Bread for Kids, and use their verse of the day. They copy it from their bible, word for word. Then, they must write a sentence or two about what it means to them. I have them end their bible time with a small note to God, which they can write in private about anything they want to pray for. I enjoy using this page with them as a way to bring them closer to God.
That concludes the notebook! It’s helped keep the kids productive while we stay home. I hold them accountable to these notebooks, and I do check them before I let them have screen time or allow extra activities. You can grab your copy, too, and stay sane this summer.