We try to be timely and topical here on “The Teacher is Talking,” so with that in mind, I’d like to share with you a little glimpse of our Sunday morning family meeting. The topic: summer rules and expectations.
Kate, my 2nd grader and her little sister, Kelly (kindergarten) affectionately refer to themseleves as “red-year-olds,” are sitting around our round kitchen table grasping at breakfast items, lifing their skinny little bottoms up out of their chairs when my husband and I locked eyes across the table. “I think it’s time to talk about summer rules and expectations,” he grumbled.
That got the red-year-olds attention. They sat down and looked at their daddy, “What do you mean?”
“He means,” I pause and look to the girls, “That summer is not going to be a free for all. We’ll have rules, boundaries…but also some fun.”
The four of us mapped out some summer rules (we’ll call them expectations–it sounds less jail-like that way) and some fun challenges…as well as rewards/fun things to do.
Here’s our Rule List:
- Use the garage door only. (NO kitchen door, no front door)
- Shoes have a place–in your bin in the laundry room.
- Do not feed friends without asking first (their parents as well as yours–think allergies!)
- Stay in sight of the house at all times.
- If you go farther from house, ask an adult
- Use the buddy system
- You will given a warning before it’s time to come in. Use that time to clean up and say good-bye to friends
- You should spend at least 30 minutes a day reading or doing something academic
- Get all the way across the monkey bars (that’s for our kindergartner)
- Read a Junie B. Jones book on own all the way through
- Participate in an orienteering project created by dad
- Okay, there’s more…just not remembering everything!
Rewards (girls earn points for completing the above challenges. Points can be applied to rewards):
- A trip to the rock climbing place
- Bounce Town
- Special 1:1 with a parent
- Have a friend over
- Go swimming
- Slumber party
- Go to the movies
The girls seem game for something like this. Whew! : ) Today, I stocked up on poster board, glitter glue pens, stickers, and markers. Over the course of the next few evenings we’ll work on our boards and when summer’s out–we’ve got it in the bag!
Remember, keep your discussion about summer activities and expectations open, fun, and then post in a highly visual place (accessible)…because out of sight, out of mind!