Summer Wrap up at the Zoo

This week is the last full week of summer vacation before the kids go back to school.  Chris and I made sure that the kids had a fun-filled summer this year.  Between family vacations, tee-ball, dance, swimming lessons, and birthdays we were busy and summer just flew by.  Now I am looking forward to school starting and Kitty, Parrot and Monkey are excited about going to a brand new elementary school next week.

To celebrate the end of summer Chris decided to take the whole family to Silverwood Theme Park just north of Coeur d’Alene, ID. This was the first time we had been to Silverwood and I was impressed at how many family-friendly rides they had at the park.

Parrot is a thrill seeker and he went on as many rides as he was tall enough for.  He even went on a roller coaster with his dad.  The other kids enjoyed the kiddie rides.  The weather was beautiful and we stayed in the park until sunset.  
For this final week before school I am planning on getting the house organised and cleaned up a bit.  I purchased a shoe rack for the coat closet because the kids keep on throwing things on the bottom. Now they will have to learn how to organize their shoes.  I also put up some hooks on the wall for them to hang their back packs and coats after school.  

To reduce the pile of papers and mail that accumulates on our counter Chris found this cool wall sorter at Staples.  Now when the kids bring papers home from school I can place them in their envelope on the wall.  Every week either Chris or I will go through all the papers in the sorter.  

I also decided to enforce some new rules here at the zoo when school starts.  After school the three older kids have to go directly to the dining room table to do their homework.  If they don’t have homework I will go through their back packs and check and see what they did at school that day.  
My kids love to spend time on the computer but sometimes it gets a little out of hand.  I let them all have 30 minutes a day on the family computer.  When school starts I am going to make sure their homework is done, their bedrooms are clean and the toys are put away before any of them can have computer time.  This includes Goose.  Goose usually has the messiest room, but I am trying hard to teach her how to get organised.  
Saturdays are chore days here at the zoo.  Over the summer we were not able to do our chores every Saturday. Starting this week we will be back to chore day Saturdays.  I decided that it is time for every single animal at the zoo to have specific chores each Saturday.  If we work together as a family we can keep this home clean and organised.  My mother had chores for each of us when I was growing up.  And she kept the home cleaner than I am keeping this one.  But I am determined to change that!  
To make sure my kids are doing chores every Saturday I created a chore chart out of felt.  I chose felt because it sticks well, we can change the jobs for the kids every week, and it is safe for little Bear to play with.  I put it in a frame for easy hanging but when I hung it up, Bear started tearing it apart.  Currently it is sitting in the closet and I will pull it out every Saturday.
As I count down the days to September 4, I will be organized and feel more comfortable in my home.  When does school start for your kids? What did you do this summer?

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