In This Issue
Featured Dish
Teenage Brain Development
Featured Title
Make a Pizza Garden!
Level the Playing Field with Summertime Boredom


Summer is almost here (doesn't seem possible) and we are gearing up in the Beck household to juggle work, camps, fun, sun, and vacations.  I'm know you all are doing the same, so this newsletter is going to focus on the basics.  Summer offers one day that is relaxing and low-key, while the next offers total chaos.  It's difficult to keep a routine, but then again, it's always difficult to keep a routine with kids!  Please keep it realistic for you and for the kids.  Remember that we are running a marathon not a sprint, so teaching our children responsibility (and being responsible ourselves) doesn't happen overnight.  Perhaps embrace the chaos as a lesson in time management.  :)

Enjoy your summer, enjoy the time with the kids, and as always, thank you so much for your support.
Jennifer Beck
Teenage Brain Development
so THAT'S why....  
Here is an interesting article about neurological development of the brain; specifically, your teen's brain!  It's a bit old (2008), but a good analysis of several studies.  Click here to read!

Here's another one from National Geographic, 2011.  Click here to read! 
Summertime Ideas to Spark Motivation
or: how to stay realistic in a time of "relaxed chaos" (?)

I can't think of a better term than "relaxed chaos" for summertime.  It
seems like we sleep in a bit later, go to bed a bit later, and we let our routine relax.  Anytime our routine relaxes, it feels chaotic to a certain degree.  We must stay realistic! 

For instance, it isn't realistic that the kids (or we) do chores on vacation!  We help out the family, of course, but we take a break.  So if you don't plan on going away for a vacation, create a fake-vacation at home (aka: give your kids a week or two off!) We all need to recharge our batteries, and our kids are no exception. 

Change up the dinnertime routine.  We did this last summer: every Tuesday our girls cooked dinner.  They chose the menu, went grocery shopping (I silently chaperoned of course), set the theme/table, and prepared the meal.  Of course this is a task for older kids (you know your children best....keep this age-appropriate!), but it was quite fun.  You can see the video we took last year by clicking here.

Change up your children's responsibility magnet.  Maybe take off a few of the usual things that keep the family running smoothly and add some new ones.  You might be surprised that your kids will still do the old ones out of habit!  Some ideas: read a book by Friday; write a letter to someone, stamp it, mail it; balance "checkbook" (the money in each money bag); practice a foreign language (check out websites like; go grocery shopping (even young kids can learn this!); gardening (grow a pizza herb garden); start making holiday presents for family members (seriously), one per week; wash car.

Ask your kids what they would like to do for "chores" this summer.  Remind them that the purpose of all of this is to learn how to live on their own one what would they like to learn to do?  I fully expect when I ask our kids this same question that I will initially hear, "I would like to learn how to watch television." But after explaining that even once they come up with some ideas, I will still get to flesh those ideas out to be a bit more sophisticated, I am excited to hear what they would like to learn to do.

An offer for you 
Please help us grow!

Our look is changing 
new look for the responsibility station

The responsibility station will look a bit different beginning this summer (once we get through our final bit of initial inventory).  We will post new photos on the website, but here is a glimpse at what is going on in Responsibility Station Land.
We have changed the chore bucket and notepad to be more suitable to both teens and younger kiddos.  We also changed the size of the notepad so that it works a bit better with multiple children on one board.  Finally, we changed the color of the bags to white so that it blends in better with your home.   

Since we have updated the look of the main station, the teen station will no longer be available; however, the goal-setting checklist will be sold separately so you can simply add that to your station when your child is ready. 

we only have 3 of these in stock! 

(beyond the 3 we have in inventory, this item is backordered until July 1; we will notify you if this is the case for your order!)

Click Here to Buy