Saturday, February 27, 2010

Kid's Chores

We have 7 people living in a smallish house.....and it's a mess more than it's not (in my opinion, but my family would disagree).  I have recently been frustrated by the lack of "help" from the ranks and was about to declare mutiny!  I have always asked my kids to help, and have mostly been content to have them do what i ask, when i ask rather than lock them into chores.  Let me just say, there are lots of very good arguments for kids having set chores.  I understand all of them.  However, for my family, having to "police" the chores became so stressful for me, it just didn't work.  Housework has been a source of major disagreement between my husband and myself.  It simply doesn't bother him - clutter, mess, dirt.....he could care less (to a point, but we never reach it).  So.....that was the background, now here's the current issue:  OUR WEEKLY SCHEDULE

Dear hubby coaches middle school girls softball 5 days a week and a 10 & under girls softball team 2 days a week.  He is also going to school online full time.

The Queen has track practice everyday after school until 5 or 5:30 pm + basketball practice for her travel team 3 nights a week

The Athlete has softball practice everyday after school until 5pm + basketball 3 nights a week (different from above)

The Underdog has softball practice 2 nights a week, basketball 2 nights a week

I work every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.
The above does not include games or tournaments, which take more time and transportation (but are fun to watch!)
There is also the little matter of homework - they spend a good portion of their evening doing homework, eating, showering, etc.  They have very little downtime during the week.

The kids are very busy - some would say too busy.  However, the 2 older girls maintain a GPA above 3.75 and both tell us that they love it, wouldn't have it any other way.  They also do not even ask to go to parties, on dates, etc.....they are tired on the weekend and enjoy staying home.  We believe keeping them busy is good for them, but we always let them be our gauge.  If i see any slip in grades or health,  i will immediately back them off - and they know it.

Anyway, I had to find some kind of system that was easy to manage and took some of the pressure off of me.  I do most everything during the weekdays when i'm not working - cooking, laundry, cleaning, shopping, etc.  I plan to soon begin homeschooling our 4 year old (I just can't send her and her diabetes to preschool...) and doing some tot school stuff with our 2 year old.   I am soooo looking forward to this, but have to get this house under control!

So, we are going to try the simple method of using a spreadsheet and having them each sign up for weekend chores.  HERE it is in google docs - the grayed out parts are weeks that have gone by, the open week is white.   I have printed it and hung it on our family communication board (aka "the wipe board").  Each kid has signed up for 2 so far....albeit the easy ones have gone first.  Daddy will review it tomorrow, sign up for his and encourage others to finish it off.  I also need to figure out a way for the older girls to begin helping with meals, they can both do simple, basic cooking but need to learn how to put together a meal.
There is lots more they could do, but I wanted to start off with the basic rooms.

How do you do chores in your house?

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