Sunday, June 21, 2015

Keeping My Summer Sane!

This year, I vowed to keep an organized and scheduled summer.  This is what I say EVERY year and it never gets done.  Except, this year, it actually did get done!  I was proactive and created chore charts, daily responsibility charts, bought workbooks for the kids and created a Consequence jar, a Get Along jar, and a Rewards jar.

The boys daily responsibility/chore chart is a blank template I pulled from this website, then altered to add more lines for the older two boys. It includes things the kids need to do all the time, every day.  Things that they will not get paid for, but just do because they live in the house. These things include: brushing teeth, bathing, brushing hair (you would think that those first three are just a given, but not with my boys..I have to remind them every day or it won't get done, hence putting it in their chart), making their beds, putting dirty clothes in the hamper, picking up their toys, picking up their bedrooms, putting away clean laundry (I fold and they put away), putting dirty dishes in sink, wiping table down after every meal, sweeping kitchen at the end of the day, and picking up the backyard.    


Their paid chores are chores that they get to pick one of, every day.  Things like vacuuming upstairs/downstairs (they can pick which level), dusting their room plus one,
dusting baseboards upstairs/downstairs (they can pick which level), taking bathroom trash out, cleaning the bathroom, dusting the blinds (I stick an old sock on their hand and they dust that way), mop the tile, mop the hardwood.  My littlest bean doesn't do a lot of these, I give him just a couple of age appropriate options from this list. Our house is always neat and orderly now!  I love it!!!


For behavior, we have behavior cards. a Consequence jar, and a Get Along jar.  The behavior cards are green, yellow and red.  I cut these out of cardstock I had lying around. These cards are just like the ones they use in school.  Green mean their good, yellow is a warning and red is grounds for pulling a stick out of the Consequence jar.  This has been pretty effective.  They definitely don't like changing their card to yellow or red. As soon as they do something nice or do the thing they were supposed to do, they get to change their card back to green.


The Consequence jar is only used if their card is turned to RED.  They pull a stick and have to perform the task on the stick.  The only exception is my little Bean.  Some of the things he can't do yet, so he'll get to pick something else that he can actually finish.  I got this idea from this site.  I added a few things that were more applicable to our family. Here's what I have for our jar: 


The stick that has 'Write 25 times, "I will not leave my things out", I'll change up a bit for whatever the crime that's been committed.  My middle Turkey hit his younger brother and had to write, "I will not hit." 25 times.  

The Get Along jar is another brilliant idea that I got from this site and it's used when the boys are fighting and can't resolve their differences on their own.  I give them one warning and try to help them out with a resolution.  I don't tell them directly what to do, I try to guide them to do something else.  If they can't get along and they are still fighting, they have to choose a stick from the Get Along jar.  Here's a pic of what I did:


The Rewards jar is a good behavior jar.  They get to pick a stick out of this jar when I see them doing something nice without being told.  It's little things that can be redeemed quickly. 


I also tried to incorporate journal time and reading time in our day.  Here's our daily schedule.  It's not set in stone, but we do most things every day.


Get up
brush teeth
make bed
get dressed
put dirty clothes in hamper
put away dirty dishes
wipe table
2 worksheets and handwriting practice/sight word practice
1 chore (can't be the same as brothers choosing or the one they did the previous day)
free time
put away dirty dishes
wipe table
free time
reading for 20 minutes (usually when I'm making dinner)
put away dirty dishes
wipe table
sweep kitchen
pick up toys/backyard/bedroom
put dirty clothes in hamper
journal time (10 year old writes 5 sentences on his day, 6 year old writes 2 sentences on his day and 4 year old draws a picture of his day)
free time

If the boys have plans and are at a friends house, they do their worksheet and journal writing when they get home or the next morning.

It's been 2 weeks of us doing this and so far, it's been great!  Our house is picked up, the boys are {{s l o w l y}} figuring out what things they need to do every day and I'm not getting too upset with them for their behavior.  It's a win/win!

I'm hoping this lasts the whole summer and throughout the school year...I'll keep you updated!  

Monday, June 15, 2015

Father's Day Gift Ideas

I always struggle with ideas for Father's Day.  My husband generally likes gifts that are way too pricey or way too techy (or both) for me to get him.  So I usually end  up making him some sort of art piece from the boys and myself.  This year is no different.  I'm making him something from the boys and from myself.  

I recently found this awesome print on Etsy and thought it would be a great idea for the hubs from the boys.  It's an image of a soundwave of the boys saying, "Happy Father's Day. We love you, Daddy!"  The price tag was a little steep for me so I decided to re-create it on my own.  My version is not on canvas and is not as large, but I'm pleased with it!

Here's the Etsy, huh?

Here's the one I made.

That print will be from the boys to daddy.  The prints below are ones I created for our office space for him.  The hubs is starting to work from home more often and I wanted to have some inspirational pieces of art to make him smile and focus.  They make me laugh!
This is an 8x10 on a white background, so it's hard to see where the edges are.

Same with this image....8x10 on white.

What are y'all doing for Father's Day?  I'd love to see some more inspiration!

Mother's Day Gift

In my previous post, I posted some ideas for Mother's Day that we wanted to do in my son's fourth grade class.  Here they are!  I think they turned out great!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mother's Day Projects for the Classroom

Today is my youngest son's birthday.  This reminds me that there are only 2 more weeks until my oldest son's birthday and then only another week till Mother's Day!

I was tasked this year to come up with an easy Mother's Day craft that my son's 4th grade class can do.  I searched Pinterest and came up with just 2 ideas that I thought would be easy, cute and something the Mom's would like.

The first one, will be a photo of each child sitting in front of a sign that says, 'I love you because...' while holding an iPad with the reason typed out.  This idea is from another blog.  You can visit it here.

Each child will have their pic taken and I'll print and frame it out for each parent.

The other idea was something easy and useful.  Well, at least for me. :)  It's a painted wine glass.  I'm still contemplating whether or not this is appropriate.  Maybe instead of a wine glass, we could paint a coffee mug...I don't know.  I'd get more use out of the wine glass!

Here is the website for this idea.  It's super cute and I can get these stemless wine glasses (or coffee mugs) at the dollar store.  

Super cute, right?

These are the 2 ideas that I thought would be easy and cute.  Is anyone else doing something like this for their class?  If so, please share your ideas!  I would love to see them!!!

Happy birthday to my little Bean!!

I can't believe this little stinker is 4!  Where does the time go??
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