I have always held some grand aspirations of beautiful chore charts hanging in my home. I am able to keep up with them for a week or two at best, but life is usually too chaotic and I get sidetracked and we stop the chart. Things have changed after months of homeschooling. First and foremost is WE ARE HOME. I have wondered at times over the past couple years why we pay for this house? It seems as though we are never in it, except to sleep. I didn’t realize at the time, the one good thing about that was, it hardly got dirty.
It’s a little different story around here now. Two adults, three children with one more on the way, and a two year old yorkie live here in this house A N D ….someone or something is home around the clock. One of the first pieces of practical advice I received when crossing into homeschool land was that your house better be cleaned and organized because it was going to be used like never before. Boy is that true. After all, it is called homeschool for a reason.
I heard a concept recently called the Partial Chore mentality that kind of clicked it all into place for me. It states that you rarely get an uninterrupted opportunity to clean the entire house at one time. Why not do a little bit at a time? Your whole house may never be clean at the same time, but it’s never going to be all the way dirty at the same time either. So, this brilliant statement got me thinking. In the past, part of my hesitation of having the kids help is that they are kids and can’t get the cleaning done up to the standards that I want it. It was then that I realized, I rarely get to the cleaning at the “high standards” that I want it. So, why not have the kids pitch in and help? While the house isn’t going to be clean up to my standards, it isn’t going to be dirty all the way to the bottom of my standards either.
This new found thinking combined with my new found lifestyle where we live IN and enjoy our home has brought about the need for a change. The kids have always helped with chores, but only when I have asked. Life changed last week. Mine for the better, their’s for the worse, they say.
It all came down to a calendar on an end cap at Target. It is part of the REAL SIMPLE collection. It is priced at 10.99 and is now our chore chart. I hung a bulletin board in the hall by the kids rooms and put this glorious creation right on it in plain view. After about 45 minutes, I had laid out chores for the entire month for the kids. Each child has their own color. Cameron~blue. Taylor~green. Emma~ brown. These chores are in addition to the regular make your bed, pick up your stuff, kind of chores. These chores can be done at any point during the day, on their time, but I will not be reminding them daily. They will not receive any cash for completing them and failure to do complete them correctly, has some serious consequences.
What if you “forget”, or “couldn’t find the time” to do them? No problem, you are forgiven. However, you will do them the next day, in addition, to that day’s chores AND go to bed 30 minutes early. If you do the chores poorly…you will redo them and go to bed 15 minutes early as well. This is the first month we are at this and this is undoubtedly going to have a little bit of a learning curve. I am sure it will be adjusted some. However, I LOVE that this is a once a month commitment on my part to maintain the chart part and it provides me with the flexibility to change from day to day what I have them do, if needed.
I have high hopes for this….REALLY HIGH. This morning I walked out of my room to find my 12 year old emptying the trash…ALL ON HIS OWN. Ironically, as I finish up typing this my 9 year old skipped in with Windex and a roll of paper towels to wipe down my bath for me. PINCH ME…I MUST BE DREAMING.
How do you handle the chore situation in your home?
Now there are just 35 school days left until summer.