Friday, August 20, 2010

Helping the Family (the chores post...)

Since it's back to school time, we're getting back into our regular school routines, and that means more formal chore duties again.  Not that my guys didn't do any chores during summer, just that it was a more relaxed, 'Hey, please go do ____' type of thing. Now, we're back to our chore chart.  I think chores do three major things: *Teach responsibility and life skills
*Help the family
*Show how you are an important part of the family

Someone asked me what kinds of things I have my kids do.  Cleaning up their own toys is one.  That's pretty basic, and they have a sort of organized toy/play room, and then in their bedroom they are only allowed what can fit in what we call the "toy pockets"--stuffed animals not included.

The "Toy Pockets"... just a shoe organizer.
Sometimes those pockets start overflowing, so they have to dump them out, sort out the stuff that really needs to be put away somewhere else, throw away junk/broken things, donate toys they don't want anymore, and so on.  This was them cleaning out the pockets at the beginning of summer:

Purging Toys
They have to make their beds, which used to mean getting everything back up off the floor...
(Even the 4 year old who regularly slept in between the beds on the floor...)
The result usually looked like this:
Not what I'd expected...but mostly neat & off the floor.
Sometimes they'd make the other bed:
This is why it takes an hour to make the bed...
This kid of mine is making a stack of animals as tall as he is...
He's 4 foot 6 inches tall...Can you see my little one in the pic?
General room cleaning would result in something like this:
8 Year Old Interior Design...Dino Style
 However, now that their room has been completely made-over, making their beds is much easier.  Just straightening out the blankets/covers, mostly.  We are strictly enforcing the 'everything must be off the floor and put away' rule each night, which means there really isn't much room cleaning to be done other than making the beds.  That's pretty huge considering they've been in that room nearly 24/7 since the makeover!

Other chores include:
Left side:8 year old / Right side: 4 year old(with pics)
We use a pocket chart.  I found it in the dollar section at Target last year around this time I think.  It works wonders.  I can add or remove chores as needed, and as they finish one, they take the card out and put it back in the tray.  We also have a card for HOMEWORK,  [put away]BACKPACK & LUNCHBOX,  and one for SHOES, so that I don't have to nag those everyday-must-do things either.  Now that I think about it...what happened to the BRUSH TEETH card? Seems to have mysteriously disappeared.  Time for a new one!

I don't make them do all of these things everyday.  It's more of an as needed type thing.  And they tag team some chores.  Like laundry.  The little one has to bring it to the laundry room, and the older one has to sort it.  New this year, he's also going to learn how to do a full load himself (with my help, of course).  It was his original idea to add the chore of doing ALL the laundry.  I so wanted to take him up on that, but just couldn't do it to him!  After I explained how much work that was, he was happy to edit it back down to one full load.  And that will probably just be once a week.

Also new this year: 
*Taking out the garbage.
*Little one is going to put away silverware (after I remove the sharp knives)
*Older one is unloading all the rest of the dishwasher, moving up from just silverware...
***The NO NAG Clause: If I have to nag you or remind you to do your chores, then I get to add another chore to your list.  And, it might just be one of my harder/longer chores, so beware!
***The FAMILY HELPER Clause: If you see a chore that needs to be done, and do it without being asked, you get to remove one chore from your next chore list!

And, speaking of chores... I'm still trying to purge and organize myself.  I signed up to some challenge to post a pic, but can't find the post to save my life.  I still did the challenge though...
Here's one of my kitchen cabinets before:
I hated this cabinet!!

And here's the after:
Sorry it's blurry...not enough light for my iphone camera.

So, what chores do your kids do?

1 comment:

SomeGirl said...

Wow... the before and after pics of your cabinet are stunning! Great job! And, oh boy! Your guys have a TON of stuffed animals!!! lol