Our kids are all old enough to really help around the house and be responsible for their rooms. However, my mom would say they do not do enough. Right now they are supposed to
- do a quick 5 minute clean-up in their rooms,
- bring the dirty clothes to the laundry room,
- memorize Scripture or Catechism and recite it to a parent (we like the Memory Work Notebook compiled by Paul Settle from Great Commission http://www.gcp.org/Products/CategoryCenter.aspx?SearchTerm=memory+work) , and
- ask for a “special chore”. This is a chore that I assign based on whatever room needs the most help.
While this system is better than nothing, it has some flaws.
- I never check their work.
- When they ask for their special chore, I often say we will do it later or give them a very simple task because I can’t think of anything at the moment.
- There is no routine time, and I remind them to do their chores probably about 2 out of the 7 days of the week, so most days the chores are not done.
This evening I worked on creating a monthly chore chart for each child in Cozi (http://cozicentral.cozi.com/homepage/). I like Cozi because two of my kids have iPods and the other one shares the old iPad 1st gen with me, so everyone can access the family calendar and know what is expected of them for the day.
I am loosely basing the chore chart on FlyLady’s Monthly Zones Detailed Cleaning Lists (http://www.flylady.net/c/lp.php). I have tried to follow the FlyLady system several times, and always bogged down. Every time I end up tossing it because it feels like too much for me. BUT if I split it with the rest of the family, maybe her plan is achievable. Another reason I like her cleaning lists is because it hits every area in the house on a monthly basis. You may think the bookshelves in my husband’s office need to be dusted more than once a month, but right now they are getting dusted approximately once every six months (if that), so once a month is an upgrade.
So far I only have one week of the monthly chore chart entered into our Cozi Family Calendar, but it will repeat monthly, so once I have 31 days worth of chores, I shouldn’t have to mess with it again except for some minor tweaking.
I know that having monthly systems in place for me and my family will help organize our lives. It is work on the front end, but it will simplify our housework going forward. I think it will also help if we have a time each day that their chore routine should begin. I also plan on creating morning and end of day routines as well for myself and the kids, but I have to take this one step at a time.