Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Chore Cards

HI! I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and Spring Break! We definitely took a spring break from our homeschool, as Troy and Danielle were home with us. We started back up today...but I must admit, the sun is distracting me! Does anyone else who homeschools struggle with this? But I digress....Where was I? Spring Break! Yes, we had a blast....not really doing much of anything but just enjoying each other's company. It was nice....

....and it was messy. Of course my kids know to put their stuff away....but, it seems I have the constant chore of reminding them. And then there was the mountain of laundry that I tackled daily. I DID tackle it, but it DID wear me out! I realized quickly that a summer of reminding and mountain climbing would just make me bitter.

So, I made these up today. Chore cards.

I chose cards because my printer was acting up. Otherwise, I had a nifty little chart drawn up on my Google Drive account.

There is one card per day per person in the household. So I have 5 Monday Cards, 5 Tuesday, and so on. There are no Sunday cards however. Each person gets a card, and on the back of the card, it has their chores for that day. Some days look easier than others, but I'm hoping that with short spurts of chores each day, the house will remain sane.

Even Adam and I have cards, altho some of Adam's cards are blank. I have stuff on every day of my cards, however, the load looks a lot more bearable than it did since I spread it out!

Some sanity savers: 

1. My mother in law gave me this idea. Divide up the dishes for the kids this way: One child gets plates and bowls, another cups and glasses, and the youngest silverware. Mom handles knives and pots and pans. Each kid does their allotted dish set, and then the next moves on. OR something my parents did was have us wash our dishes immediately after use. I have tried that, and will probably implement that more when the kids are older. I don't trust Liam to wash my cups well enough yet, also, it is easier with the stool and such this way. (as he can't reach the sink).

2. I'm (really going to try) to implement that the living room is a snack only room. Meals will be eaten at the dining room table. It's bad enough to find snacks in my rug, but more annoying when it is cereal or some other meal time food.

3. No food or drink is allowed upstairs besides water.

4. All chores need to be done by 1 pm. Giving this deadline encourages them to get it done before they visit friends or get involved in outside play. I used to say, "You can't go to 'so and so's until your chores are done." But, I think this will work better for my little procrastinators. If by 1, their chores aren't done....they get a consequence, just like if they disobeyed me. The exception is laundry and dishes, as those are harder to time and are all day things. Oh, and YES, my older two, will have their own laundry baskets and their own laundry days, as they will be doing THEIR OWN laundry! ;) No more climbing Mt. Everest to wash my clothes! (They DO wash their own laundry at their dad's house throughout the school year. I haven't implemented it yet here only because during that time they are only here two days/week...so it was just easier to throw their clothes in with mine. But in summer....this will be much easier!)

5. I included in my notecards some notes: how to work the washer machine, and a Dishes Breakdown so each kid knows what they are doing for each day. (I gave the older two variety on what to wash dish-wise every other day). The notes are very specific; for example, laundry I specified on the instruction card not only the machine directions, but that they are expected to empty pockets, turn decaled shirts inside out, and after the clothes are done, to fold and put away. It may seem like they should know this....but I leave no room for any excuse!

Finally,  I need to realize, as much as I love lists and daily to-do's, that my house is lived in. I want to cultivate more of an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and grace, than I want a pristine, magazine cover home. That means sometimes we will break the rules, or forget to put a candy wrapper away....or leave the art supplies out until tomorrow. I have to be okay with that...and I have to remember what I really want my children to get out of their time at home. Yes....knowing responsibility and taking ownership and care of our belongings....but also, that home is a safe haven...a place of grace....and when they grow up and move out, I want them to remember that we LIVED here.