Friday, August 31, 2007

Managing our house, pt.3

The next area that I want to tackle regarding our house is getting more involvement from my children. Jessie and Violet already have the following established morning routine:
Get up and dressed
Make your bed
Brush your hair
Wash your hands
Come to the kitchen for breakfast time

Both girls are fairly good about helping with a certain task when asked to do something; however, I always have to initiate the process by calling one or both of them and making the request. In considering ways that the girls can help on a more regular basis, I came up with three different areas:
1. General after meal clean up of the kitchen and dining room area.
2. Clean up and organizing specifically in their own room.
3. Regular household chores that I feel they are capable of performing.

After meal clean up:

We don't have a separate formal dining room. Our current dining room is basically a part of the kitchen. The only differentiation between the two spaces is the flooring: linoleum in the kitchen and carpet in the dining room. While I like having a carpeted dining room, I do not wish to take time after every meal to vacuum up under the table. My goal have the table clean enough to be used, and the floor picked up enough that it only needs vacuum twice a week with the rest of the house. All three kids will be expected after each meal to help with the following clean up.

1. Clear dirty dishes to the counter
2. Check floor under chair and pickup any dropped food.
3. Cleaning up any spills and messes on the table. (Jessie and Violet only)
4. After breakfast, brush teeth. (Including helping Benny put the toothpaste on his brush)

Then once a day after dinner, I'll clean the entire table cover.

For Jessie and Violet, cleaning up / organizing their own room

When we finished building this house and moved in during January 2006, I spent a great deal of time organizing the girl's room. All the toys were divided by type and put in plastic tubs. The tubs were then assigned a space either in the crates in their walk in closet or on their bookshelf. I gave them crates for their shoes and one for their library books. It seemed like a great system at the time; however, Jessie and Violet were constantly shoving things under their bed or dumping it all in the dress up clothes box when "cleaning" their room. As a result, every couple of weeks I ended up going through the room and making a pile of toys, books, etc. in the middle of the room of things which were not being put away correctly. Then the girls have to help me put everything in the pile away. After a year and a half, I can at least say that they know where most things belong. To alleviate this problem, I thought we would try having Jessie and Violet each work on one specific part of their room each day to straighten the area up and put things in their rightful place. My goal is to teach the girls to organize their belongings, and hopefully longer term, they will realize that putting things away where they belong the first time makes finding them much easier. Here are the room chores, we going to try.

Monday - (J)Straighten wooden corner shelf, (V)Straighten plastic corner shelf
Tuesday - (J)Straighten books on bookshelf, (V) Straighten dress up clothes box and bucket
Wednesday - (J)Straighten toys on bookshelf, (V)Straighten toy tubs in closet
Thursday - (J)Clear off half of dresser top, (V)Clear off other half of dresser top
Friday - (J)Straighten books on bookshelf again, (V)Straighten up under bed
Saturday - (J)Straighten top drawer, (V) Straighten top drawer

Regular household chores for Jessie and Violet

My goal here is simply to begin involving the girls in work around the house as a first step in teaching them to someday manage their own home and as a means of serving one another within our family. Here is our first attempt at making the girls responsible for regular chores, or service, around the house:

Monday - (J)Dust, (V)Water plants
Tuesday - (J)Straighten game closet, (V)Empty bathroom trash
Wednesday - (J)Shake bathroom tugs, (V)Water plants
Thursday - (J)Gather library books, (V) Gather library books
Friday - (J)Straighten craft supplies, (V)Water plants
Saturday - (J)Clean out van, (M)Clean out van

I will expect Jessie and Violet to do both their room chore and their house chore immediately after lunch and will check behind them before can they go off to read and enjoy our afternoon quiet time.

"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free." Galatians 6:7-8

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