Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chores for the year- for Lisa

For chores this year I can give you a run down of what we are doing. Keep in mind though that we have been working on this for about 4 years now, so we have built up gradually. In the beginning I tried to keep it to about 5 items total and we just did them 2 times a day- things like clean room, dress or pjs, brush teeth, put clothes away and one family chore like "empty dishwasher". Now we only have "chores" in the morning and then we have an all family clean up time in the evening that isn't assigned to individuals but we all help. So, here are our lists:

Everyone does these: dress, make bed, clean room, brush teeth, read Bible, pray, put away clean and dirty laundry, tidy one room in the house (each child has an assigned room- like living room). Then after that they each have an "assistant" job and weekly chores that rotate- one chore each day- usually related to the assistant that they are. So, for example-

Jonathon-11, is my kitchen prep assistant. That means he comes to me and I assign him something to help with in the kitchen, like yesterday he mixed up some zucchini bread and today he cooked some pasta for a cold salad for lunch. The chores he rotates through are: M- mix up muffin batter, T- mop kitchen, W- take out recyclables and trash, H- wipe tables, chairs, and stools, and F- sharpen knives (we have had extensive knife training with him- I wouldn't recommend this one right off unless proper respect has already been developed)

James (10) is laundry assistant- He usually does something like switch over the laundry for me and start a new load, then his weekly is: change 2 beds of sheets, put away all hanging clothes and linens, tidy laundry hall and gather hangers, washer off washer and dryer and sweep laundry room, and straighten the linen closet.

Jeff (8) is bathroom assistant this year (I rotate by year to give them plenty of time to learn and own the responsibility.) He usually cleans the toilets and sinks in one bathroom each day. Weeklys are: mop bathrooms, stick diapers and organize toothbrush drawer, clean bathtubs, clean walls and floor around all toilets, and change towels & stock toilet paper. (Keep in mind that when an 8 yr. old has a chore I expect an 8 yr. old level of work while always trying to help him improve.)

Rachel (7) is Vacuum Assistant so she vacuums one room every day- which, in our house of mostly hardwood floors covers all the rooms once and the living room twice. Weeklys are: vacuum Daddy's office, decobweb the house, gather all house trash, straighten the bookcase, wipe stair rails and walls.

Joseph (5) has chores, but I expect a very low quality of work from him. He's just learning weekly jobs this year. He is kitchen cleaning assistant which usually means he unloads the dishwasher once a day unless it's done already and then I give him something else. Weekly chores: clean kitchen sink, wipe stove and oven, clean out microwave and toaster oven, wipe cabinet fronts and fridge, wash out one shelf of the refrigerator.

Renna (3) only has stuff to keep her busy while the others are working and to feel included, so if she tries, I don't really care too much how thorough she is with anything (but I don't tell her that. :) She is toy cleanup assistant, so I usually tell her some particular spot to clean up of toys. When her weeklys are: wipe under counter where the kids eat breakfast, straighten movies, tidy jackets on hooks, empty pencil sharpener, wipe door knobs and light switches.

The biggest thing that I have found about chores in making them effective is to oversee them- every time, every day, for every person. So during chores, I usually have the master list and stay in the general area checking on them, answering questions, helping them be successful and checking each one to be sure they get done. I have a time in the morning set aside for chores for all of us and I DO NOT plan to do anything else during that time except maybe drink my coffee. This is the only way I have found to make it successful for everyone, satisfied myself with the work they are doing, and not exasperate them by giving them so much to do and then not making sure they can do it. THIS IS THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL CHORES! And once they fall into the routine, they can usually do everything they have in about 30 minutes or so.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

You're my hero, Mary. Thank you!