Like just about everyone, I’m not a fan of chores but they need to be done. The thing is, I’m quite specific about how I want things done, now thanks to Everyday Homemaking and The Everyday Family Chore System, things are slowing moving in the right direction.
We’ve so very busy during the time of this review that it really was difficult to get started and put some things into place. But for so long I’ve threatened to write things down so there’s no excuse for the kids to not know how to do something…and now it’s actually being done, but in a nicer, non-threatening way.
We received a PDF download of The Everyday Family Chore System, which is 90 pages long. The first 42 pages describe the system and the following 48 pages are chore cards.
In addition to having her own children, over the years Vicki Bentley has also had over 50 foster children stay with them for various lengths of time and so she needed a way for everyone to know what to do and how to do it, and thus the Everyday Family Chore System was born.
The way this system works is that each chore has its own card detailing step by step how that chore is done from start to finish. How much cleaner to use in the mop bucket, to how to set a table for a meal. Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly chores are all written out in this same manner. There are many cards provided for you, but as things work a little differently over here than they do in North America, I’m using her cards as a guide and writing my own on index cards specific to our surroundings. By doing it this way, I’m also colour-coding the chores by zone to make it easier and more visual for the kids.
The first step was for me to do the chore while my children watched. They followed the steps on the card while I talked them through how to do the chore and explained why it was done in this way. I showed them exactly how I wanted them done.
Then the next time they followed the steps on the card while I watched them do the task to ensure it was being done correctly, and either giving them some positive feedback or some gentle adjustments.
Once they were ready, then it was time for them to do the chores on their own, using the chore cards as reference. They’ve been doing pretty good so far. And as much as they groaned about doing chores as a review, they also were looking forward to more responsibility.
There are different ways that you can choose to do the chores. I recently sat in on a beta course for loop scheduling, and this would work well with the Everyday Family Chore System, as would a regular time-table, or any other schedule that you may use. I like this flexibility. The way things are always changing here means we need to be flexible.
I do have some things that I like to be done on particular days; Monday (and sometimes Tuesday as well) is laundry day, and while that’s being done I tackle a lot of the major weekly cleaning that needs to be done. Which means that by Wednesday or Thursday I’m completely tired out. The kids have had things that they are asked to do, and I don’t mind doing more cleaning while they are doing their course work, but when most of it is on my shoulders, it does make for a cranky mom.
You can use charts, stickers, or even put clothespins on shirts that children remove as they complete their chores, or you can use what works for you and your family.
Now that my children know how I like the tasks to be done and why, I am more willing to let go of some of the things that need to be done. The only thing is that it takes them longer (sometimes a lot longer) to complete their chores. I’m sure this will work its way out as they grow and become more adept at what they’re doing.
If I’m honest, this is an ongoing process. Because I’ve decided to basically start from scratch and go over all of the chores to correct bad habits, and work our way up. I don’t want to overwhelm the children with too much information all at once, as tempting as that is. So this is going to take some time for the training as I add in a new chore a week or so.
Now my children are learning about exactly how I want things to be done. And done correctly the first time. Not the third or tenth time. That’s wasted time and energy that could be better used for fun. I am looking forward to having more time together with my children as more hand make might work around the house.
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