The main idea behind this is to give our kids something “else” to get “lost in”… Sometimes kids just need a little motivation to get started (once our kids head outside to play, they forget about watching a movie or playing on the tablet). If I let them just sit & default to screen-time, it will consume as much time as I allow. Why not just encourage them to get out or do something ELSE first and see where THAT takes them?
No Screen time Until…
- You have read for 20 minutes. They can read it alone or with someone- I love to read with them. Just let them jump into the story (and I can almost guarantee that they will be reading for much more than twenty minutes. Our 8 year old could get lost in a book for hours!)
- You have written your paragraph of the day and have finished your math problem of the day. Every summer, each child gets a new writing journal and they write a paragraph each day. (Our younger children will just write a few sentences and our toddler will just draw a picture). I check it and date it. At the end of the summer, we look back on their progress together and we all love to see how far they have come! They also get a math problem of the day (I usually just print one from the internet, or we use some of my old math workbooks from when I taught elementary school). The reason? Children lose an average of 3 months of learning during the summer (I learned this in college – I was a teacher) and I don’t want our children to “lose” time… I want them to “gain” it, so we do a little work in the summer, too. It makes going back to school so much easier, too!
- You have checked your room to be sure it is clean (bed is made, lights are off, fan is off, clothes are cleaned up, papers are off the floor)- this is simply because we are all part of the family and we all do our part to help out around the house.
- You have done one of the following: played with toys, played with your brothers, practiced your instrument, built something or made something with our DIY creativity kit or whatever else you’ve found, that you can do that is creative for 30 minutes or more. BECAUSE WHY NOT!? Have fun!
- You have finished one chore from our chore basket (and its done well enough that Mom/Dad will say that you did a great job when they check it… and THEY WILL.)
When these things are done, they can have some screen time until we tell them that it has been enough (usually about 1-2 hours a day is plenty, unless we have movie night… then its a little more).
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