My Blog Adventure!

Welcome to my blog! It's high time this 46 year old ventures into blog world and joins the ranks of you intriguing bloggers. First off, you should know I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart. I love His Creation, His Word, His forgiveness, His mercy, and His being the Savior of my life. He is my reason for living! After the Lord, my next love in life is my outdoor-lovin', prankster pullin', hard workin' man I've called my husband for 22 years and counting. My 3 sons - to whom this blog is dedicated - have the next piece of my heart, and they fill my world with laughter, love, and laundry. I am calling this MY BLOG ADVENTURE... so hop into blog world with me... let's get to encouraging one another... this could be fun!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Getting dc excited to do odd jobs around the house

Chore charts help with routine jobs around the house, but odd jobs are not routine and cannot really be planned for in a routine way.

I found a fun way to encourage my dc to take on odd jobs.  I take an envelope and write on the outside of it an odd job I'd like them to do.  I put a sticky note with some type of reward inside the envelope and seal it. I then hang it on the fridge in a magnetic clip.  I told the boys I will do this from time to time, and that I will not point it out to them, but rather let them take the initiative to watch for it and do the job as time allows.  They also must let everyone know it is hung and give them a chance to help, but if one person is ready to do it, and the other(s) don't want to, the person can do it without waiting for the others.  The others will not receive the reward then.  Also, a new envelope will not be hung until the one already hung is done.

I've done this about 1 month now, and it has worked incredibly well!  Everyone loves it.  The boys are always watching for a new envelope, and I am getting odd jobs done around the house promptly with great joy.

Here are some odd jobs that I've put on the envelope, and you will see they vary greatly in difficulty and time expended:
*clean out the toothpaste drawer
*wipe down the inside and outside of both of the front doors
*spray down the closet doors and wipe them clean
*go through all of the toys; make a pile to sell and put in a tote, a pile to throw and put in a trash bag (all broken or parts missing toys), and put all toys to keep neatly back in cubes on shelves;  if labels on cubes are incorrect throw them
*go through all of Emmett's Lakeshore games in the homeschooling cupboard, put stray pieces back in the right places, change out the ones he is tired of for new options from the basement
*go through all of the homeschooling cabinet's art supplies, test the markers, throw out anything that doesn't work / that is broken / or that is missing needed parts
*reshelve all of the free reading books you have finished and choose new ones for your rooms
*go through the outdoor toybox; throw broken things, pile things to sell we no longer use, and group things to keep together neatly so they fit well and easily into the toybox
*write Papa and Nana a thank you for taking you to the Christian quartet concert

Here are some of the rewards received written on the sticky note, and you will see they vary as well...
*one pack of gum, you can each chew 1 piece a day until they're gone
*dinner and a movie tonight - with popcorn!
*root beer floats
*a trip to Dairy Queen for cones
*$2 for Wyatt, $2 for Riley, $1 for Emmett to spend as you desire
*let's go to the Cars 2 movie!
*let's go to the Winnie the Pooh movie!
*let's go to the bakery for donuts!
*2 little Debbie treats for everyone who helped
*Let's have the cousins over to play!  I'll pick them up!
*If you included Emmett in helping with the chore, 3 jolly ranchers a piece.  If Emmett was not included,  1 jolly rancher a piece.
*If you did the chore on Monday, 5 tootsie rolls a piece.  If you did it on Tuesday, 3 tootsie rolls a piece. If it's done on Wed. or later in the week, 1 tootsie roll a piece.
*$10 each to Wyatt and Riley, $5 to Emmet to spend as you desire

Anyway - I just thought I'd share this, as it's been such fun and a great way to get some odd jobs done around the house, while rewarding the dc with things I probably would have done with them or given them eventually anyway!

In Christ,

Chores: Using the Summer to Train, So the School Year Goes Smoothly

Summer is a great time to train dc their chore routines.  One thing I have learned when it comes to chores is that a new chore chart each year - even if it has almost exactly the same chores on it - is always a welcome change.  While change is good in the "look" of the chore chart, small changes are better when it comes to who is doing which chores.  Real time - as in years - is needed for dc to learn to do chores well in a routine way.

This year, Wyatt passed on several of his chores to his 8 yo brother Riley.  Riley passed on several of his chores to his 4 1/2 yo brother Emmett.  Everyone was excited and happy about the change.  The olders because they were done with some old chores and got to learn some new ones, and the youngers because they'd grown up enough to do some of the older dc's chores.

When beginning to teach chores, each of our dc began with just 1-3 chores.  The first one they did well with was putting away the silverware (whichever older child is responsible for the cleaning out of the rest of the dishwasher first removes all knives and sharp kitchen utensils before setting the silverware basket on the counter for the little one to put away the silverware).  Emmett has been doing the silverware quite proudly for about a year.  He has now begun taking out the trash bags, tying them (with my help), and putting in new bags.  He fills the sink with warm, soapy water (we put the breakfast pans and dishes in here for a quick soak after breakfast) too.  He sets the table (we all set out whatever needs to go on the table on the counter, and he takes it from there and sets the whole table), and last, he dustbusts all of the edges of the floor of the kitchen.  He does this all in about 30 minutes and feels incredibly proud of himself most days.  Emmett's has 1 chore chart that he checks off with a dry erase marker each day.

Riley gave up the last 4 chores listed above this year, and took on the chores of cleaning the bathroom counters and mirrors and cleaning the toilets.  He does this with gusto, to prove he can do it as well as Wyatt did.  He also took over taking out the bathroom garbages and cleaning the bathroom tub and the showers.  Wyatt and he share a room, so they "deep clean" it on Sat. mornings together now.  The dc wear gloves to use the spray bottles and wash hands directly after cleaning.  Riley has 4 chore charts he rotates through, one for each week of the month.  He marks his chores off each day, and at the end of the week, the chart is erased, and the next chore chart for the next week is hung.

Wyatt gave up the above chores Riley took on, and took on the chores of washing the toilet seat covers and bathroom rugs.  He also took on the chores of exercising the dogs, giving them an afternoon treat, and cleaning up their droppings, as well as cleaning out their kennels, dog dishes, and water dishes on Sat..  One other new chore he took on is vacuuming and mopping the hardwood floors.  Wyatt has 4 chore charts he rotates through, one for each week of the month.  He marks his chores off each day, and at the end of the week, the chart is erased, and the next chore chart for the next week is hung.

All of the chore charts are velcroed on the wall by the fridge, and rotating chore charts have velcro on the back as well to be switched out easily each week.  Each child has a dry erase marker hung next to his chore chart for easy use of marking off chores as they are completed.  Each child earns 25 cents each day if every single box next to each chore is checked off by the end of the day.  They may spend this money on anything they choose. They often all 3 save up for something together.  This is motivating as it is their only spending money.

Many of these chores are on a rotating basis, and we have only 30 minutes for chores each morning, so they are kept to things that can be done within that time increment.  Keeping the chores routine and thinking carefully about the order they are in helps the dc to do them efficiently and quickly.  We turn on Christian praise music and all get busy together on our chores at the start of each day, so it's actually kind of a fun time together.  The chores after lunch and dinner are short, easy, and kept routine.  Everyone clears table, Wyatt wipes the table and all the counters, Riley sharks the whole kitchen, and I do the big dishes and load the dishwasher.  Emmett dustbusts, brings dishes to me, and puts away things in the fridge.  This helps cleanup go quickly, and everyone knows what they are to be doing, and they also know that they may not go off to do something else until the kitchen is completely cleaned.

My ultimate goal is by the time our dc leave our home and have to care for a home of their own, they will know how to take care of their home well.  Eventually, I'll add things such as taking care of the car, changing fire alarm batteries, cooking a meal each week, etc.  Anything that will prepare them to have life skills intact as they become an adult and take on adult responsibilities is game for the chore charts.

So, I'll link the charts here.  I decided it was helpful to make them colorful this year, to have columns of different colors so they can easily find each day's work, to provide white boxes for them to check off for each chore, and to laminate them.  As Emmett is too little to read, his chart has pictures.

I hope this can help another busy mom with how to train dc to do chores well!
In Christ,