In this post, I’ll give you a glimpse into how I plan our time in the summer so my kids know what to do each day so they cover some learning, do some chores, and work on responsibility. This helps avoid the “I’m bored” you might start hearing in summer. I am also sharing a free printable so you can plan your week digitally and easily too!
This is an updated version for Summer 2019 because we always seem to need to tweak things, right?
You can read what we used in Summer 2018 here because maybe that will be better for you! That also gives some more background on why I use weekly sheets with my kids.
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My kids thrive on structure but I still want them to have flexibility and learn to be independent too. And, of course, it’s summer - so things are a little different than our school year.
I like using weekly sheets because it’s easier to manage than doing a chore chart daily (then questions arise like - wait, is it Tuesday? did you do those chores yesterday or this morning? Please tell me it’s not just me!).
Since last summer, I read Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World and it changed the way I thought about chores and allowance. I would definately recommend the book as a good parenting resource for teaching kids about privledge, responsibility, while still using grace and love in your relationship. We implemented this over the school year, so it makes sense I wouldn’t want to change this in summer.
Sometime between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, I open up the previous week’s sheet and create a new one for the upcoming week. I am currently using this for my eight year old, six year old, and my three year old.
You could also modify this to handwrite just a few of the boxes and you wouldn’t need to re-print it each week. You could get the base schedule and tasks done and then print a handful and just change for each week. But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s look at the breakdown and then you can make it work for you!
I have broken it down into three basic sections:
The first section is for anything fun or "scheduled" for that day. Pop in small trips you want to take, any lessons that are scheduled (which will be there from last week - so it's easy after you put everything in the first time), or events. This is great for my kid that always wants to know "how many days until that one special thing".
These don’t always have to be expensive or fancy trips - but it helps me to get out of the house at least once a day so a library trip or even walking to a park early in the day before it gets too hot works.
The middle section is for the things I want to put on auto-pilot and get "done" in a normal day. This section probably won't change all summer. Again, easy! I love that I don't have to re-write things!
You can completely change this for your kids and the routines you want them to have. For us, they have until 9AM to clean their room and get ready for the day (they all wake up around 7AM so this should be managable). Then at 9:30AM we do our “Morning Meeting”, which includes prayer, Catechism, and Bible Time at the Kitchen Table. We also discuss the day, talk about anything they want to do, and they get their daily vitamins.
Since it's summer, I don't give my kids a lot of specific assignments. Instead, they have a set number of things they need to do (free quiet reading, free writing/coloring usually using their Fun Schooling books or other drawing books, a daily chore, exercise, work on either piano or reading practice).
We do also do a few things throughout the week that are "educational" but fun and not a chore (reading books using the book lists from The Read Aloud Family, science experiments, STEM play, art practice together, etc.). I really embrace unschooling in these summer months!
As a motivator, my kids can only have their daily screen time if they have completed everything in this section. Although they only have 45 minutes total of screen time (15 minutes of something educational and then 30 minutes of whatever they want), this helps ensure that they do the other things we think are important daily.
This kind of system can be hard at first for kids but each time you change to a new system, I would encourage you to try it for a few weeks before giving up. They will most likely learn to like the consistency even if they resist at first.
As you can see in the examples, everything that needs to be done is printed in the box (for example the specific chore or the amount of time to work at something), so as tasks are completed, my child just highlights the words in the box with a highlighter!
We tried having the boxes empty and writing what they did for exercise or what they read, but this is just better for us right now. If your kids are older, you may prefer that.
The third section is for their weekly allowance. This was one of the biggest changes from last year. In that version, my kids could earn up to $1 per day. However, I didn’t like that then my kids were being penalized financially (that sounds much more extreme than it really is) if we had a fun day out!
After reading Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, I also realized my kids could do more chores (that actually helped me and weren’t just random) so they have the ability to earn more money and we limit what we buy them since they have this ability to earn income.
This alternative system worked well for us over the school year for chores and allowance. If in this section, the weekly chores are done (each one being one to three times over the course of the week), they earn their allowance (which happens to be $1 for each year of their age for my eight and six year old; my three year old doesn’t get an allowance yet).
This seems to fit more with teaching “real life” responsibility. I could do one load of laundry a day or I could do about seven loads on Saturday. It’s up to me - either way though, it will get done. The same way with my kids, they can do their chores little by little or they can work a lot on one day to earn their allowance and help our family.
You can access your copy of this planner sheet right now by clicking here!
I have all three pages, which I’ve included throughout this post - the first for my 8 year old, a second page for my 6 year old, and a third for my 3 (almost 4) year old. From there, you can completely change it as you need to include what your kids do!
It is a simple table format that should work in any word processing application. You could copy and paste it into the application you prefer (like Word or Pages) or if you want to use it right in Google Docs, just go up to “File” and select “Make a Copy”.
If you need help with this or have any questions, feel free to comment below. Did I forget to explain something? Let me know!
Also, if you found this helpful, please save it on Pinterest or direct your friends to this post instead of right to the Google Doc! I really appreciate that simple way of supporting my blog!