Monday, July 23, 2007

Chores and schedules

I was asked a few questions about chores for the children and schedules for the family so I figured I would post my answers here.
The girls have certain items they have to do each day. (They are almost 10, 8 1/2 and 6 1/2.) The younger two have to empty the dishwasher while the oldest does a rotating simple chore- sweep the kitchen, the porches, wipe the tables, etc. They all have to work on their Bible verses daily. The oldest two have devotions and at least 30 min of reading daily (usually they read 4x as much). Then each girl has to do at least one bigger chore a day. This includes- wash the kitchen floor, fold and put away clothes, clean the bathroom (one will do the sink, one will do the tub and toilet and one will do the floor) clean their room or whatever else I come up with. Daniel, our oldest boy at 4 1/2, has to empty the silverware from the dishwasher and help clean up toys.
They all take turns having a day as kitchen helper when they are responsible for working with me at getting the meals ready and table set. The kitchen helper also gets to choose what to serve for breakfast and lunch- within reason.
Today I started giving them a little taste of the Flylady's routine. I have never followed her stuff and probably wont get into it too far (more on that later) but do like some of her ideas. I want the girls to start doing a fifteen minute cleaning every day as well as paying attention to the areas where clutter collects. I have just started getting more structured in the last month so I am adding stuff as I go.
As far as how structured I get, I am slowly working on it. I do have a regular nap time for Timothy (2 1/2). I also try to get the girls to do their chores first thing in the morning. I found that if they have a chance to start playing then it is harder to get them to work. If they have the chores first then they get them done and go on to bigger and better things. Once we start schoolwork for the year (hopefully we will be ready for that by the beginning of August) then schoolwork will come right after chores. If they get their chores and schoolwork done in good time then after lunch is free time.
I also have to mention that scheduling only goes so far when you have a 4 1/2 month old baby who does not do routine too well. He tends to mostly follow a loose schedule with his naps, but not always. He also does not follow any schedule for feeding or wanting to just be held.
A month ago I put some posters on the wall. They are laminated with Mon. through Fri on them. They then have lines for each day so you can put the daily work on them. They are suppose to be for a classroom, but we use them for all chores and schoolwork. Each of the older girls has one and then Abby and Daniel share one (I write Abby's chores in red and Daniel's in blue). I have found that they really appreciate being able to look on their list and see exactly what they have to do for the day. I just have to remember to fill it in every night. If I can prepare the night before then things tend to run smoother the next day.
I will post more as I put more structure into things.


Our Family of Five said...

I agree, preparing ahead makes all the difference. I love to plan ahead so my boys know exactly what they are supposed to do, and that frees up some time for me with the baby. It sounds like you are getting so much accomplished with having a 4.5 month old in the house too! Last year, before my baby girl was born, I stocked up on audio books and educational games that the boys could do because I knew I would be spending so much time nursing/holding the baby. It was the only 'homeschooling' they did for several months! :) Blessings to you, ---Lynn

Promise Christian Academy said...

It does get easier as they get older! The younger ones will have the benifit of well trained older siblings. I always have to write a checklist for the kids... if I don't I find my self saying the same things over and over and over again! I think when school starts we will have to do "morning chores", do our desk work and lessons, then break before lunch for "big chores"... the rest of the day will be "fun school". I am interested about your "flylady" comment. I really don't know much about flylady.
Oh, why do you not post photos?