All the live long day

Fieldwork in the Lothians  (1883) by Scottish painter James Guthrie (1859-1930)

Fieldwork in the Lothians (1883) by Scottish painter James Guthrie (1859-1930)

I know for many of you summer invokes images of white sand, blue surf, and carefree days. Me? I remember checking groceries and cooking pizzas. For my own kids, I'm aiming for a happy medium -- some fun trips and lazy days along with a solid show-up-on-time-and-learn-the-value-of-a-dollar part time job. This year Madison has a sweet summer internship in New York City (take me!!) and Becca, all on her own, landed a job at her favorite clothing retailer. She's thrilled with the discount. Ahem.

One of my reasons for encouraging the summer job is because I want my kids to learn how to be hard workers -- and this is a way, unlike weeding or cleaning the garage, that can feasibly happen without my constant supervision. Is that cheating? It's not that I don't want to work with my kids. It's more that I want them to have more experience than I can personally orchestrate. I need help. They want money. It's a win/win.

My SIL sent me this link to 15 Ways to Teach Kids About Hard Work, and I think her ideas are a great reminder and pep talk for some summer teachin'. I particularly like her idea of giving kids a project that teaches time management. Her husband left a pile of sand in the driveway that her son needed to distribute around the back yard by the end of the work day. I like this project-in-a-day plan. Sometimes I give my kids more lengthy projects that turn me into Nagging-Mom (can you even imagine?). Beginning and ending in one day seems more effective and easier to manage. Also, having the kids shop and make dinner? I'm all over that!

What about you guys? Any great ideas for teaching your kids to work?

I went on and on about my summer jobs here. Just, you know, if you're bored . . .