Summer break is officially here! I know I personally feel like the school year just started, but apparently it's been 9 months! So here we are, faced with three months of what to do. Lately one of my biggest concerns has been the use of technology in my household. All. the. time. Not just the kids, but my husband and I too are guilty of constantly checking our phones and mindless surfing of nothing important for no real reason at all. I really want to make our time together more intentional and maybe not have such a feeling of months passing that feel like only days.
I'm excited to try a couple new things at home and I wanted to share some free printables with you, so that maybe you can set some technology limits for you and your family as well and we can see together how our relationships change and we are more intentional with our time.
First, I have for you a "Family Time" printable. You can frame it, or print a bunch and hang them up! Fill in the time of day that you are deeming "Family Time." No electronics, no computers, tablets, phones, and maybe even no television! Our family time will be every night from 6-8pm. We can spend after dinner time and before bedtime together, enjoying each other's company. I'm sure some nights we will choose to watch a movie together, but so long as we're doing it together, I think it counts! I left this printable without a time so that you can write it in for what works best for your family. I hope you try this out, I'd love to hear how it goes!
This next one I've thought long and hard about. I've been through the guilt of thinking "it's summer, just let it be summer" and then KNOWING that my kids thrive on structure and that I need to set some ground rules. Technology at our fingertips is new ground, and wasn't the case when I was a kid, so it didn't seem to be an issue. I want my kids to remember their summer, do productive activities, and not just waste it away on a tablet or computer.
I'm pretty happy with what I came up with. Five simple tasks before earning a set amount of computer/tablet time. I did this with my elementary son in mind, I'm still not sure about my little one. I feel like I still have some Momma control in his case. Again, you can fill in the reward for computer time at the bottom of the sheet to suit your needs. I slid our sheet into a self-laminating pouch so that it can be used with a dry erase marker as a check list each day.
Here's what I decided was important to include:
-Get Ready for the Day. Getting dressed, brushing teeth, and eating breakfast.
-Read 20 minutes. Reading, for even a short time is SO important. Every day of the summer. We even have a 100 days of reading goal chart for the summer!
-Draw and Write. My child does not have the best dexterity and could really benefit from using those finger muscles. I didn't set a time here, but I plan on having a bin of drawing and writing activity books especially for this.
-Help Out. Teaching responsibility and expectations is important to me, so a simple prompt to ask a parent how you can help and doing a small job will go a long way. Some days, there may be no small jobs, so picking up three items and putting them away will do.
-Play. For 30 minutes (at least!). Legos, dolls, trains, ANYTHING. I want my kids to just play before settling down to their devices.
I'm thinking all of these activities will take about an hour and a half to complete (if they're done with minimal complaining and fits!), which leaves PLENTY of time to enjoy those long summer days. I decided to give my son three hours of electronics time, and leave the time tracking usage to him so that he can practice a little time management. I'm hoping he will learn to use his time wisely and still have plenty of time for playing outside, swimming, and just doing nothing while enjoying being out of school.
I'm excited for the summer, and feeling a little more prepared with these printable. I hope you'll try them out and let me know how it's working for you and your family! I can already see us using these into the school year on weekends and holidays.