by Kim Wiezycki

I am a list maker. I love making lists and smiling at the progress as I cross each item off with my favorite purple pen. 

This summer I made up a new kind of list, as I realized I have ten weeks with my children home from school and I would like to maintain a presentable home if that’s possible. I had considered just not even trying. Have you heard the new cute little saying that’s gone viral on social media? The one that says, “Trying to clean your house while the kids are home is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.” But, I decided that living in a pig sty for the summer was not going to work for me so out came the BINGO summer list that I found from “Flylady Bingo”! 

Warning to mothers of pre teens or teens: my older son thought this idea was “Epic”. Before I got too excited and ran to post the idea to Pinterest, I realized he meant “Epic Fail”. So, this may only work with young and easily rewardable children.

Summer Bingo

1. Print out a cute Bingo board from a free website or have your child make and decorate one.

2. Label each square B 1, B 2, B 3, B4, B5, etc.

3. Write one task in each square. Some ideas are: replace garbage bags, make bed properly (as opposed to putting bedspread over a crumpled mess of sheets), read silently for 20 minutes, empty dishwasher, wipe down bathroom sinks and countertops, put away laundry.

4. Have your child write a reasonable reward in the FREE SPACE box in the center of the board. My kids chose things like $5 spending money, a trip to Thorntons for a slushee and bag of chips, or a trip to Publix bakery.

5. Write Bingo numbers on small slips of paper and have the kids randomly pull one. Set a timer for a reasonable amount of time to get the task done. I may set the timer for 5-15 minutes depending on the job.

6. Mom should approve the quality of the completed task before it can be crossed off the board.  *Remember that your kids are learning so be gentle with them and don’t criticize. If they need guidance, teach them patiently.

“Parents do not exasperate your children, instead bring them up in the training and instruction of The Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 

“Parents do not provoke your children lest they become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21 

7. You may choose to work on your Bingo game over a week or just a few days. But be prepared to reward the kids right away for a job well done. Rewarding behavior that you want them to continue is very effective!

How do you keep the house tidy over the summer with kids home from school? Or if you homeschool, what is your routine? Share your ideas below!

 Kim has been married to Larry Wiezycki for 17 years and they have two boys, ages 12 and 10. When Kim isn’t in church, she can be found teaching curly girls how to take care of their hair, spending way too much time on Facebook or reading real books, and running a half marathon here and there.

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