|Our new Chore Chart|
This week begins our new schedule for the school year. Since we are leaving for vacation on Saturday, I decided to wait to begin the school year until after we get back. The kid's activities start the new school year today, however. Since I will now be homeschooling 2 children (Cooper will be in 2nd grade and Kindle will be in Kindergarten), adding Homeschool Soccer to our schedule and of course having one more child this school year, we have to get more organized when it comes to household jobs. I am still reading the Managers of their homes: A practical guide to daily scheduling for Christian home-school families book, but I have read enough to get inspired. I decided that I probably can't schedule every 15 or 30 minutes of my life, but I can make a list of things that I expect the children to do each day. Last week, I made the chore chart you see above (sorry it is kind of light because it is in pencil). I was very impressed with how well we did using the chart. The kids get up every morning and look at the chart. Since we have not started school, they eat breakfast and then begin their jobs. Once school begins, they will eat breakfast, do school, eat lunch and then complete their jobs. If they complete all of their jobs, each one earns a little bit of money at the end of the month to spend as they wish (within reason of course). The rule is that there is no complaining and each job must be complete or a portion of their money is deducted. Of course I realize that with a family of 7, we have to be a bit flexible. We sometimes have a change in plans, so I am trying to be realistic. But at least, we will have a goal of what we would like to accomplish each day. Plus, I can no longer hear, "I didn't know you wanted me to pick up my toys, clean my room, etc.". Currently, Cooper has the most jobs and gets a little bit more money. Kindle has a few less than Cooper and Grant has a few basic things like picking up toys, helping with laundry, and cleaning his room. Celeste does "help" with cleaning up her toys, but realistically at 25 months her "help" sometimes actually creates more work for everyone else. But hey, you gotta start somewhere.
|Cooper vacuuming at 18 months old|
I am also very happy to say that our new schedule will allow for more evenings free and family dinners. Kindle's ballet class is now on Mondays from 3:30-4:30pm. We are free Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thursdays the older 3 children will have homeschool soccer from 1-3pm during September and October and Nathan will have house church that evening. Cooper and Nathan will have karate on Fridays from 6-7pm. I am looking forward to having more evenings available and less rushing around during the worst traffic times of the day.
As I sit here nursing the baby and blogging, I am watching Cooper dust, Kindle clean up the craft supplies and Grant pick up some toys he was playing with. It is a nice feeling to have a clean house.
I found this video below. It is of Cooper vacuuming at 18 months old, the camera quality is pretty bad, but it was 2004 and I had no clue what I was doing then :)