Small Success: The Summer Plan


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Writing and prayer have proven difficult, and time to do either, limited since all ten Antonetti children came home for part of the summer. Add to that the two teens working, one the early morning shift, the other the late night, and sleep also has taken it  on the chin for the past six weeks. All I can say is I felt tired.

Top that with the staggered ending days for the five different schools and my brain felt scattered. However, this week, the last school ends for the summer, and this week, we start the summer plan. Every day, the kids have to do six things to get to their beloved screens.

1) Math books. One lesson.
2) Read 30 minutes.
3) Practice your instrument 30 minutes.
4) Clean one room (really) or yard work for 30 minutes.
5) Exercise for 30 minutes.
6) Play a game with two other siblings (board or card or outside).

Those who adopt this discover they feel a sense of accomplishment, and the day flies by. Those who refuse discover the day to be dull and long. Fortunately, some of them have embraced the program. We’re working on the others. I’m offering prizes to those who get with the program. I’m hoping they figure out before long, this really does work, and it really does make life less difficult. My list runs along the same route, though I write instead of doing math, anything but math. The kids are thinking, “I should have to do a high school math book to get my brain capable of helping with the next kid who has calculus.” I’m thinking, “I’d rather do another 30 minutes of exercise, housework or yard work, but I’m willing to flail around if they’re willing to get with the program.” I’ll let you know how pathetic I am next week.

Pray for me, that I survive my own attempt at cleverness with my family.

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Copyright 2016 Sherry Antonetti


About Author

Sherry Antonetti is a mother of ten children, published author of The Book of Helen and a freelance writer of humor and family life columns. You can read additional pieces from her blog,


  1. I hold screen time hostage too! Unfortunately I can’t take his phone away, since it doubles as a diabetic monitoring device, but he can’t sign on to the internet on his computer until he’s done his chores and read for 30 minutes. Next to be added in is exercise.

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