Jul 29, 2011

The Daily Checklist

This year's brain child for summer work has been very successful!  I'd be remiss if I didn't include it in our family history archives.

Each week I print out a half-sheet checklist for Zach and Tyler that has a list of their daily chores.  They have to work through the list before having recreational time, be it with friends, out of doors, or some form of electronic media.  Most days, the list is an extremely effective way to keep the boys occupied and out of trouble for at least a couple of hours.  Plus, they have to *gasp* use their brains! 

Most of the activities are self-explanatory, but here's a little filler on a few.

The boys practice math facts with Wrap-Ups, work sheets, flash cards, and the Timez Attack website.  Their "workbook" assignments are also math-focused.  I print off worksheets (mostly using this site and this site) based on the skills they need to master.  Tyler has been working on multi-digit addition and subtraction (emphasis on carrying and borrowing); inverse operations; and basic facts.  Zachary is practicing multi-digit multiplication; long division; order of operations; and percent of/fraction of problems.  I am very pleased with their progress, and hopefully their teachers will be, too.

Here's a sample of Tyler's work:

And here's Zach working on his math assignment.  He prefers the floor and I've decided not to fight it!

The boys also have a wide variety of writing journal assignments.  Sometimes I pull a topic out of my head and make them write a page.  Sometimes we do a cooperative exercise.  Sometimes I print off word searches or crossword puzzles.  I also use this great book for fun ideas on occasion.  The other day Zach and Tyler made word collages about summer.  They didn't turn out as artistically as I was hoping, but they are still fun.  I'm considering making one myself!

Our reading challenge is coming right along.  We are almost ready to color in the next block, which will bring us to the 8,000 page mark.  Garry and Tyler are the most prolific readers, with Zach and I lagging far behind.  Tyler is just a voracious reader and has blasted through his books.  What a champ.

The "daily chore" portion of the checklist varies from day to day.  I hand out work assignments based on the needs of the house and/or what I don't feel like doing!  Ha!

Zach and Tyler now have lots of experience with cleaning bathrooms, doing dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, wiping walls, and yard work. Today Zach even mowed the lawn all by himself!  Most days the chores are much smaller and simpler than that, though.  So if they haven't learned anything else this summer, the boys have developed a work ethic that will serve them well.

This routine of summer learning is the best one I've implemented so far.  It is simple and flexible, and Zach and Tyler are old enough that they are mostly self-sufficient.  I hope that the academic activities have been a successful summer bridge for them, too.  And maybe, just maybe, they have enjoyed themselves a little along the way.  (I know I have.)  Now I just need to figure out how to modify The Daily Checklist for the school year!
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