Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Chore List

We're trying to get back on a normal "school" schedule this week. Since we officially started back to school in July and it was still summertime, we did what I called our summer schedule of school. It was a little more laid back, and the girls were allowed to sleep a little later and have extra "play" time after lunch. It worked well, but now that we've added a few activities to our weekly schedule, I'm finding the need to jump into more of a routine.

A few years ago, Mrs. E was kind enough to send me a copy of her children's daily schedules. I thought they were a wonderful idea, and I implemented similar schedules with my children. I had not pulled these out this school year until this week, and I was reminded of how it seems to make life much easier. Instead of constantly saying "did you finish this or do that," all I have to say is "is your chore list complete?" It seems to free me up from having to constantly nag about chores getting done.

The left-hand side of their lists includes their daily school work, and the right-hand side lists their daily required chores.

Some of their chores include:
Madison and Cari - Daily: Clean room, put up clean clothes (I try to have these sitting outside their doors when they wake up each morning), take all dirty clothes to laundry room, straighten closet, empty dishwasher (this is usually waiting for them each morning, and each day they alternate doing top and bottom since they each prefer the top {no silverware!}), and feed Fluffy - the cat (alternating days).

In addition, they have chores that are done once a week on different days of the week, which include: Madison - clean out drawers and under bed, clean deck door window and kitchen mirror, dust TV and shelves in living room, vacuum living room, change bed sheets, and dust and vacuum bedroom. Cari - clean out drawers and under bed, wash outside of refrigerator, and clean and dust living room tables.

The above things are on their chore lists and are to be completed each morning before beginning school.

There are some things they have to do that are not on their chore lists such as bathing the dog and taking him out as needed.

Madison often helps with dinner preparation, and Cari and Amelia participate on occasion. In the evenings after supper, they take turns clearing the table, wiping it down, and sweeping the floor. The other one will dry the dishes after I wash them. I used to do this all myself, but it's wonderful to have helpers as it makes it much easier and quicker to get this dreaded chore accomplished.

Amelia just turned three a couple of months ago, but there are a few things that she can do. She loves to help! I'm working on helping her learn how to put away the silverware out of the dishwasher, and she also enjoys "helping", i.e. play in the bubbles, wash dishes. She also likes to put clothes in the dryer as I hand them to her out of the washing machine. She's also quite good at putting her shoes where they belong and keeping doors, drawers, and cabinets closed (since other older members of the family haven't quite gotten hold of that idea yet!)

They are a great help around here, but believe me, they don't do everything. I still have plenty to do. Later in the year, I will switch some of their chores around so that they can learn new things and be better prepared to be keepers of their own homes someday. I admit I was a little lazy when I was growing up and was rarely made to do anything except clean my room every now and then (which I must add I greatly enjoyed as a child!), and every so often if I was in the mood I would wash some clothes or wash dishes. I did learn a lot by example as my mother took very good care of our home, but that didn't help the laziness factor. I want my children to be better prepared than I was, and "the chore list" is certainly helpful in regards to this goal.

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