Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summertime Solutions???

Problem: 3 kids out of school for the summer. Ages 15, 11, and 9. AND 1 Working Mom (Full-Time, outta the house). They are either laughing hysterically (on occassion) or killing each other (mosre likely). Oh and we Don't have TV/Cable/Dish. And though my kids are excellent readers, telling them to 'go read a book' is a chore. I also have NO money, so I won't be purchasing "things to do" this summer.

Potential Hazards: I do not want to come home each day to a trashed house or children that have been fighting and crying all day. I also don't want to enslave them every day by giving them a list of chores because A) they probably won't get completely done, and B) it's summer break. I do believe in having some "recuperation" time.

Solution: ____(BIG BLANK)___

This is where YOU come in. Let me tell you the rules and then PLEASE, feel free to give me advice, suggestions and ideas.

#1. They cannot leave the house or have friends over when I am not home.
#2. They each have to complete at least 1 chore + make their bed every day, regardless of what time they get up.
#3. NO EATING other than in the kitchen. And ALL dirty dishes and trash must make it to it's proper place.
#4. Do NOT call me at work to tattle. Instead write it down in the "tattle log" and I will read it If/When I choose to. (This little "invention" of mine has worked wonders, by the way.)
#5. Do NOT call me at work to tell me you're hungry. All meal suggestions will be listed on the fridge. You won't starve before dinner, I promise.
#6. Do NOT call to tell me you are bored. Find something to do. If you cannot find something to do, I will give you an additional chore.
#7. No hitting, no kicking, no screaming (unless in danger), no biting, no fighting, no name-calling, no physical roughness, not even in playing. No bad language, no bad shows, no bad websites.

Ok - I think that is everything. So.....Please give me ideas of things they can do at home each day that won't cause a mess, that utilizes their energy/creativity and is somewhat fun! I thank you in advance for your wisdom! ;)


Megs said...

I was just at my brother's house and my sister in law had a big piece of butcher paper hanging in the hallway and for FHE they had written down all of the things they wanted to do that summer. There were simple things like "play uno" or "pass of the articles of faith" and then there were bigger things like "go camping." Then when they did the things they wanted they could cross them off. You could give each kid their own butcher paper piece or they could all write on the same paper like my nephews did. That way they could come up with their own ideas of things they want to do and when they're "bored" they can get some ideas. You could of course insist that they only do the things that abide by your rules when you're not home.

Debbi said...


*looks around for lightbulb moment*

Yaya said...

How about camps?

Do you have a wii?

Susie said...

Camps is the only thing I can come up with. I love Megs' suggestions too:-)

Cindy said...

Yeah, camp and free playground or rec centers. The 15 yr old wouldn't be a problem-just the younger two....sorry not much help

Cassie the Sassie Lassie said...

You could have them "sleep over" at a relative's house, especially if they are close (relationship-wise and geographically) to this person. That always relieves MY parents. Also, banning them from talking helps. I've heard of people just grounding their kids for no reason, so the sibs will get closer, and hopefully more tolerant of each other.

Can't think of anything else (right now). Sorry. Hope it works out, though.

Ruthykins said...

love the tattle log. um, i like the idea of the kids coming up with lists of things that they can do. definately go to the library once a week and stock up on books. also, get them sketchpads and pencils. they can draw, write stories or letters, do origami. also, do they have access to a digital camera? they can take pictures or shoot videos to send to relatives. i know i wouldn't mind getting stuff like that. get them some cheap instruments to practice, like a recorder, or an ocarina. something easy that they can teach themselves. hmm, what else. modeling clay, beads and string, shrinkydink type things. little statues to paint. there are lots of wooden things at craft stores for cheap that they could paint. i don't know if you think paint would be too messy, but it's just a thought. there's also some kinds of clay that you shape and then let dry for a day to set and you can paint, no kiln needed. i'm thinking crafty type things. if they don't want to do that then books or movies are other options.

Betty said...

Well first let me say, you are one strict mama! I like it! :)
And I love your rules, but me having no kids in that age range for a long time now, will be of no help. Sorry. It´s just been too long for me to know what kids are into now a days, especially ´cause we had TV and summer vacation was the one time they were allowed to watch.
But I do hope you will get some help from your piers and fellow working moms.
Do you at least get some holiday´s too, so that you can be home with them a little?

purplehaze said...

Well it is going to be a long summer. I know I am getting the I am bored. Well I can find something for you to do and you are not going to like it. They are missing their friends already! Mine aren't going to be home alone so I don't have that worry. The crafty stuff sounds like a great idea. I know I will be taking them to the movies, but can't be spending money everyday doing stuff just to keep them intertained. Oh yes kids got to love them. I just don't get it they can't wait until summer vacation and then all you hear is how bored they are! Go figure.

Puphigirl said...

Too bad they don't have a Summer Fun program like our town park had growing up. Check with the library and see what kinds of things they have going on this summer.

So you have a TV & VCR for movies and video games? Doesn't that entertain them?

Are their more things to do at the other parental unit's house? Your kids are welcome to come here for overnighters. We could bus them. That would give the chance to people watch.

RhondaLue said...

I love the tattle log! My kids would probably destroy it if they knew someone "tattled" on them. Or I'd get 5,000 notes defending the action that was tattled about. lol (I just ended my sentence with a preposition. I'm really feeling crazy today! ha ha)

I was wondering if you had any old pillowcases, or fabric paints. they could decorate that or do some art stuff at the table. They can make a paper chain and on each link they could write a game or something they all like, put it together randomly and when bored take a link of the chain and do that thing. ?? I dunno. It's tough either way you go. I'm home with my kids and they still try to kill eachother at least 8 times/day.

apleasantplace said...

Just visiting your blog for the first time...with children that old, you could easily allow them to do science experiments. There's tons of freebie ideas online, and library books would be a source as well. The kids can approach this in a non-academic way or could document and create notebooks or photobooks along side hypothesis pages. That's what I'm doing with my teens this summer. These things can be as expensive or as cheap as you need them to be, depending on the experiments. Some larger city libraries will also allow you to rent equipment, so be sure to ask for that option as well.

apleasantplace said...

Oh - I just thought of something else that the kids have picked up on their own...do you have a video camera the kids could use? My kids have wasted a lot of time just taping the most boring things, but they have also used it as a toy which involves interacting with one another - sometimes all you can get out of the videos is that they were having fun (all the laughing, but I can't understand a thing). I'm trying to convince them to turn some of that energy into making small skits.

Linda said...

How about having the boys do models. Get ones that will take a few days. How about stitchery for your daughter easy cross stitch or latch hook. Making doll clothes is fun. My girls loved doing that even though they were pretty crude. How about having them write a play and do scenery and costumes. Use boxes and sheets and stuff around the house. Work on it all week then on Sat invite some friends over and put on the "production". Have popcorn and make it a night. We did many plays during the summer. Some were quite unique. Magic markers and poster paint are great for scenery. My kids were also in a parade. Each family's kids made cardboard floats etc. and on a certain day had a parade around the block. They had a blast. The older kids can help the younger ones. Hope this gives you some ideas. Good luck.

Catherine said...

You'd think with 7 kids I'd be of more help. I clicked on your comments link for two reasons--1)hoping to get some ideas for myself and 2)to let you know you gave me a great idea with the tattle log. I do like the idea of the butcher paper thing. We did something similar for appropriate Sabbath Day activities to avoid the "I'm bored syndrome"(since we don't allow the usual Wii/movies/etc) and it worked well.