Post # 1
With school ending this week, Fiance and I have been discussing the “summer rules” for his son when we have him. We want him to have fun and enjoy his summer time, but we both agree rules have been somewhat lacking in the house, and we need some structure (for both him and us); this is what we’ve come up with so far:
1. Summer bed time is 10pm, shower by 9pm
2. 1 hour of video games during the week, 2.5 hours on weekends; XBOX is turned off at 9pm (he goes to bed too anxious)
3. Television is off during dinner (this is a biggie b/c he’s 11 and still eats with his hands b/c he’s distracted by the tv)
4. Library every Saturday morning to pick out a new book — books will be discussed during dinners (help him work on reading comprehension)
5. Outside play every day; even weeknights after day camp is over
6. Before XBOX can be turned on Fridays, a 5-6 sentence paragraph has to be written about the week (sort of like a journal) — then typed up before he goes back to his mom’s on Saturday night — it’s never too early to learn how to blog
Do any of these sound ridiculous? FI’s son tends to reset during the summer and getting him back in the swing of school is a three-month process that includes fighting and crying and screaming from the end of August through Thanksgiving. We figure this way, he’ll be structured and reading and writing through the summer for an easier transition. Fiance will enforce the rules, and it’s my job to ensure Fiance doesn’t slack in that arena…
Do you have any summer rules in your house??
Post # 3
When I was that age, I had to do math/spelling drills every day, plus way more reading. Kids regress so much during the summer. The first month of school is spent relearning what you forgot over the summer.
My parents own their own business, too, so I had to “work” for them two hours a day. I got spending money, which was really nice. It was mostly cleaning, some assembling trophies. 🙂
Your plan sounds good, though! I know so many parents that don’t require anything like that during the summer. 🙂
Post # 4
Sounds like a good plan! I saw a website called avoidthesummerslide.com that looked like it had some good resources, too.
Post # 5
The only one I might loosen up on is number 5. If his day camp is primarily outside and high energy, as many of them are, his evenings might be a good recoup time. He can read and relax so he has energy for the next day.
Post # 6
I think this is great. Keeping some structure throughout the summer to keep yourselves more sane going back to school. And it is not too much that he can’t have fun too!
Post # 7
I think they are good rules, though personally I would get rid of the video games period. Children don’t need to be playing those when the weather outside is nice out. They should be playing outside not playing video games.
Post # 8
I wish I could get rid of the video games, but his dad is an xbox junkie as well, so I’m not going to win that battle, nor do I even want to go there…
Post # 9
I think the rules are fine, but what do you think his reaction will be to them? I only ask, because you said there really haven’t been any rules prior to this. Also, are you planning on making him read something before he writes a paragraph on Friday? I think reading is the most important thing for him to do during the summer.
We don’t have rules persay, but all of our kids have something to do during the summer. My sons are going to be seniors next year, they tend to have a lot of schoolwork to do in the summer, because they are in all honors classes. They also just got jobs, so when they’re not doing schoolwork, they’ll be working. My 10 year old daughter has a book list for the summer from school and she’s going to summer camp, so that will keep her busy. My 5 year old actually has therapy all summer, because she has autism. Really it’s like she’s still doing half of the “work” she does in school. So everyone is pretty busy here.
Post # 10
@MrsBlueSeptember: The writing will be about what he did in summer camp this week or something to that effect. Reading is going to be an every day he’s with us thing…it’s weird, for school, he had to read 20 minutes a day just the first half of the year, the second half of the year he didn’t have to read every day anymore, and he received a C in reading…we’re not exactly sure what he was graded on in Reading because he swears all they did in that class was read (although he’s at that age where you can only believe 25% of what he says). Granted, it’s been 18 years since I was in fifth grade, but I remember having to read every night and then write about what I read.
I think he’ll say okay to the rules, because he thinks they’ll go away….I love my fiance, but he has not made/enforced rules ever. His son does have rules over at his mom’s house, so he’s used to structure, he’s just not used to them at his dad’s house. But, even my Fiance has seen that it’s gotten to the point that if he doesn’t set down rules, the kid will walk all over both of us. The disrespect in the last month has grown exponentially; as has the use of the word “no”.
School is really the only big thing that fiance and I do not agree on….I loved school, did well in school, and knew it was important. Fiance did not care about school and just did it because you have to and slid through with Bs, Cs, Ds….and he thinks it’s okay for his son to be the same way. I grew up differently, my dad was a C, D student and made sure his kids were As and a few Bs….so it’s definitely something we’re working on…we have to find a middle ground. If it were my choice, we’d be PTO parents; but I’ll settle for him attending a parent-teacher conference…
Post # 11
@kimberlyr22: Oh believe me, 5th grade has changed so much since we were there! My daughter is in 4th grade. Sometimes, she asks me for help with homework and I am literally lost. I kept saying there’s NO way I forgot this much! This year, at a parent-teacher conference, I mentioned that I had trouble understanding my daughter’s homework to her teacher. She said that wasn’t a surprise, because a lot of what they’re learning is different than what we did. I didn’t feel so bad after that. Haha!
I think you’re doing the right thing by making some rules to establish structure when he’s visiting. If he’s got them at home, it’s good to continue that at your house. Children need boundaries.
Post # 12
I’ll be honest the only thing I can’t get behind is the journaling. To me that is a personal thing for someone to do and boys are a lot less likely to journal than girls are. And I don’t see why he has to do it twice. If it is something you feel is important then maybe just making him do it once might be a better idea.
Post # 13
@StormyRose: His hand writing and sentence structure is around a 1st-2nd grade level and he’s going into sixth grade, so the writing isn’t so much forcing him to journal, as it is trying to get him more comfortable with writing and putting together paragraphs. Otherwise, he would go the entire summer without writing words on a piece of paper. The typing thing is to get him comfortable with the computer, because he is also behind in that area at school. The school suggested, and Fiance agreed to hold him back in second grade, but his ex-wife refused and pushed him forward. The same conversation came up in third grade, fourth grade and this year, but she’s stood her ground.
Post # 14
Coolmath-games.com is a really awesome website if you wanted to also add some math into his summer. Maybe he could choose to play on that site in exchange for some XBOX time. Does he have a good book list? Scholastic.com has a Book Alike tool where you can search for similar books to what he’s already read and liked.
Also, if he is going into 6th grade, you’ll want to have good, non-negotiable boundaries (like what you have!), but also make him feel like he has some choices too to build his independence. Maybe collaborate with him regarding other options he would have for the summer (for ex – 1 hour of game time, could choose between these options; he needs to do these chores, but could choose to do these chores for cash, etc)
You could say something like, “these are the rules that will be in place this summer. Here are some options we will give you underneath these rules…” and then allow him to start making some choices. Just a thought! 🙂