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Screen Time and Summer Time - Finding Balance

I am not an educator by degree but I am a mom by nature and I love to watch my boys flourish!  But as a mom I grow concerned watching how much my 9 year old (in particular) /LOVES/ electronics.  He could easily sit on my iPad, his DS, our computer for hours at a time playing games.  I want him outside playing, splashing, running, laughing, kicking, riding, smiling, living.  Making memories!



I also have certain thoughts on summer-brain freeze as well as learning responsibility around the house.  To keep our brains working we use Evan-Moor books titled 'Daily Summer Activities'.  We used these workbooks last year for the first time and I highly recommend them.  You will find pictures and more thoughts on Summer Workbooks in this post from last year, Active Kids are Happy Kids - Summer Fun.  I also dive into Summer Jobs which I started when the boys were three and five,

"When my 4 year-old was done washing the sliding glass door in the kitchen this morning he proclaimed (rather stubbornly) "I WANT ANOTHER SUMMER JOB!" Although it made me chuckle, it also made me happy. Kids like being busy, helping, being a part of 'progress'." 


So to balance the screen time, summer responsibilities and just plain old fun in the sun time we are instituting a marbles for screen time program.  I printed out the Techno Time Points and hung it on the frig and then I bought two small vases and a bag of marbles.  Last night as my boys and I discussed our new summer program they lit up with excitement.  There was no grumbling or 'mean-mommas'.  The thought of being rewarded for hard work seemed to be a great motivational tool.

Some of the marbles that can be earned are specific to the Evan-Moor books so if you decide to start a points system like this you will want to modify it to your needs. 



How will you balance life with school aged children this summer?  I can't wait to dive in and enjoy the ride!

- Leanne from MilitaryAvenue.com

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