Monday, June 25, 2012

summer goals 2012...with a PLAN

Each summer as soon as the last school bell rings freeing us into summer, we sit down together and write out what we call "summer goals."

And man alive, I am in love with those little things.

They give our kids something to really work hard toward and they give me a sense of satisfaction that our precious summer is being well-used.

(Much more about the background on summer goals back here and here...my family always did this growing up.)

But this year it's like I blinked and school had been out for four weeks.

How in the world did that happen?

So we were a little behind the 8-ball getting on task this year.  But we've made up for it in tenacity I tell you.

Here's Grace sitting down to get serious about the whole deal.
  Oh wait, here's serious:

Wait, that's more bored, but good posing Grace....you get the idea.  These kids have been far from bored the last week since we've been home.  They've been busy as bees working on their stuff.
Each year we do our goals a tad bit different.   

One year we did calendars to mark off as we went along.

One year the kids all worked together to earn something they all wanted (Rockband).

But every year they do these kinds of charts:

Those little circles on the side are to color in as they make each goal.
(I love Grace.  And I love that she will stop to pose for me any time I want...even on her way out to do her goal of swimming laps:)

And every year we make sure to balance in some physical, spiritual and mental goals.

The only thing I don't like about summer goals is how sometimes I feel like I turn into a big nagger to help the kids stay on task.

Becoming a "big nagger" is not part of what I daydream about when I think of summer.

So thankfully this year my wise sister came up with a miraculous solution.

And extra thankfully I happened to read about it HERE right as we were sitting down to knock these suckers out. 

The key is to have a weekly chart filled with the things the kids need to be reminded to do every day.

A check list.

Because one of the most important parts of goals is to have a plan as to how to reach the goal.  And all my nagging had come because my poor kids didn't have a plan to go with.  They were just looking at the big overwhelming picture of what they wanted to do, but didn't know which steps to take to get there.

Have I mentioned that my sister is a genius? :)  (She even made up forms and wrote up many more great details about her summer planning over here if you are interested in checking that out...very motivating I have to say...thank you Sar!)

So we pumped out some weekly schedules.

...as a companion to those goals.
...and boy howdy is that plan ever working.
Especially since we decided to motivate with a little bit of cash.

And that they get to double that cash if they get every single thing checked off every single day each week.

I wish I had pictures of the stars in their eyes when we told them that little nugget of information because they are all in need of money right at about this point of the summer.

Lucy is particularly into this new system.
She is a schedule girl if I've ever seen one, and she is responding SO well to this new regimen. 
I'll have to write more about her daily walking goal another time...it melts my heart to see how hard she's working on that one...especially since it's with her dad and they are so darn cute together.

My favorite part of our new plan is these jars:
One of them holds the "prompts" for the kids to use when they write in their journals for one of their "check-offs" each day:
(I have loved reading what they write.)

...and the other jar holds the extra jobs they "get" to do to help around the house for another one of their "check-offs."
This second one is worth it's weight in gold because along with summer goals we are working on putting away the things we get out.  (Including me...sometimes I'm horrible at that so I know where they get their bad habits.)

If I see something the kids have used that they haven't put away I remind them politely to do what they know they should have done without me asking and then sweetly tell them to grab an extra job from the job jar and that maybe that extra job will help them to remember to just put their things away in the first place next time.

I mean, who wants to get hit with an extra job every two minutes?

Apparently my kids did for the first couple days, but they are quick learners, I tell you.

And our house is much cleaner.

And I am not such a big nagger.

So we are all happy.

I do love summer goals.

27 comments:

  1. Those are great lists and charts. I love them!

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  2. Sounds like what we're doing this summer! Charts don't work for us- we never remember to check anything off because either it's bedtime and the chart is downstairs or it's not and the chart is upstairs and no one can ever find the pen/pencil/marker/stickers...anyway, now we have "clothespin chores" which are just basic things (get dressed, put away dishes, etc.) that the kids do each day and they move a clothespin from one side of their door hanger to the other. They also have to do 2 chore sticks (they pick from a jar) in the morning and one after lunch, and they can do more to earn more allowance money. Thanks to your inspiration we've also included goals this summer- physical, spiritual, mental, and personal. Still trying to work out how to do those without a chart and without nagging...I may just have to give in and do charts! :-)

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  3. ooh this is so inspired, last night i thought for FHE tonight, we are going to do a summer goals & summer fun chart, and then i thought, i wish Shawni has out her summer goals up so i can see them.. and voila this morning!!!

    I love the new system, i am going to try that one too!! yrah, thanks for sharing!

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  4. I'm curious as to what your journaling slips suggest? I would love to use them in my house.

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  5. love all the goals!
    great idea!
    where was Elle?!
    tara

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  6. I'm implementing today the little extra job for not putting away after themselves. Definitely a challenge in our house:)

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  7. These are great ideas...I needed something to get my son going...he is spending too much time playing a new video game this summer. Thanks so much. Maybe a bit of bribery will help things a long.
    Thanks.

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  8. I got my kid's writing ideas by typing ' journal prompt ideas' into google. The best one is 'can teach' which has loads of prompts in various categories; What is........ What if..........What do you think........How......I Wish.......... and loads more

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  9. I so LOVE this post...I might read it again and COPY your ideas!!!

    Your blog is such a blessing--I just told a swim team friend about your blog. I am not Mormon but my friend is and she has never read you--I know she will love it!!

    sandy toe

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  10. I love your blog. I found you a few days ago through another blog...not sure which now...but I'm hooked now. My children are 10 mo and 2 and a half. You are teaching me a lot about being a better mom. More present, more thoughtful, more of what I want to be. I think I do a pretty good job on my own but your thoughts and actions with your children inspire me. So, thank you.

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  11. Do you have the chart checklists and jar items saved to your computer. I would LOVE to use them (without taking the time to create them) I know SO lazy! But with a new baby it's so hard finding the time. Please email me if you wouldn't mind and I would love you forever (I already do though anyway, for sure my FAVORITE blog!)

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  12. Whoops forgot my email:
    heidiannbroberg@gmail.com

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  13. When I read about the extra jobs for not putting things away I said aloud, "Oh my goodness! I love you!" My kids all think I'm crazy for talking to the computer, but I really love your blog and all of your wonderful ideas (and your sister's too). Thanks so much for sharing and for not quitting even when life gets so hectic. You inspire a lot of people.

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  14. are your job and journal ideas somewhere in a list. i have started a list of my own but could sure use some new ideas. thanks, melissantraske@yahoo.com

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  16. Shawni, would you mind sharing a few of YOUR summer goals with your devoted readers?!? I need some motivation and inspiration to do some goals myself this summer. Thanks!

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  17. I LOVE this idea! Thanks so much....I've been having the same "nagging" issue and this is a perfect solution! Saren is a genius.
    I saw this article about curing blindness that immediately made me think of Lucy. You've probably already heard of this, but on the off-chance you hadn't, I thought I'd share the url with you: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2159331/Bionic-eye-help-blind-thanks-camera-glasses-wafer-chip.html?ITO=1490

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  18. We sat down yesterday to make our summer goals. I was amazed what the kids came up with as goals, on their own. I have four kids 17 to 7. Yesterday was a beautiful day in our home as I didn't have to nag, kids were begging to clean, read, and exercise. WOW! At the end of the week they will bring their charts to dad and I where we will negotiate a fair wage allowance based on what they did that week. Thanks for the great ideas.

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  19. You girls have made this goal thing into an art! Love it! So good for everyone!

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  20. I was so excited to discover your blog and the Power of Moms website yesterday. I have loved and used your parent's books on parenting for years. While some of my children are already grown and out of the house, I still have young ones at home too, and am loving the energy and ideas you share. I'm feeling inspired! Thank you!

    I see some people have asked for your job and prompt lists - I would love those too if you are sharing! We are half way through summer now, and are ready for a 'reboot' on some of our goals and lists and things. carriechiles@me.com

    Keep up the good work!

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  21. Thanks for the inspiration! My oldest is 5 (with an almost 3 year old and 9 month old at home as well) and I showed her your girls and their goal lists. She got so excited to make one like Lucy's. She thought her artwork was pretty cool, too. Thanks again for the idea.

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  22. I'm only 16, but I love your idea of the journal prompts! Sometimes I'm not sure what to write - where did you find yours? Thanks!!

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  23. I have instituted your ideas (job jar, journal prompt, daily must-do checklist) this week and it has been the BEST! Thank you as always for sharing your incredibly powerful tips.

    Question - what font (and kerning?) did you use for your job jar and journal idea topics? Thanks!

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  24. DId you just sit down and figure out what prompts to write down for the kids? It seems like that would take a lot of time.

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  25. GREAT stuff! Dad especially likes the "plan" part! What great kids!

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  26. Hi Shawni!

    I noticed CrossFit is one of Grace's goals and in your recent "family visits" post you mentioned having them do workouts with you, and I'm wondering...

    Do you have a CrossIt DVD that you all enjoy? Did you make up your own workout?

    I'm looking for fun ways to get more exercise with my munchkins, and I'd love to know more about your CrossFit routine.

    Thanks so much for your lovely, fun, sweet blog! I don't know you, but I adore your family :)

    xomolly

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