21 February, 2013

Current Chore System

I've been reading a new blog, Large Families on Purpose. This family has 9 children & while almost anybody can have a large family, it is how she purposefully goes throughout their day that makes her blog a valuable read. I find that w/ only 3 if I take an hour or two off on a project I hadn't intended, my whole day is off, what I wanted done is not & there can be tension in the air at times. Anyway she has inspired me to give my chore system another think.

She bases her chore system off of the Maxwells, Managers of Their Chores, which I actually own & had had only marginal success w/ implementing & keeping it going a year or 2 ago. It was a nice idea then, but I was inspired (for whatever reason) this time so I re-read the book.

I combine 2 sibling names together when I want only 2 of them. Viclotte, Charanda & Mirantor. Somehow this enables me to not call them by the wrong name & induces a bit of humor in the day. Anyway, I took Viclotte aside & we talked out how we could make our mornings smoother & more peaceful. There were jobs they knew they had to get done before breakfast & it wasn't happening w/out a million reminders on my part, I was getting wearisome.

Charlotte piped up (yay!) "Mommy can we use our chore packs again? They helped us."
I don't know if they helped or not. They didn't like doing the chores & purposefully lost the chore cards. I only have 2 plastic sleeves left. We talked about why they didn't work & how we could make it better & I drew out all new cards. I still had some pre-reader picture cards for Charlotte & wrote Victors out on a pizza box as we've been out of ink since Oct.

Victor enjoyed his chore pack for 3 days & promptly became un-enamored w/ it. We agreed that he would not have to wear it but it hangs on a thing he made & he does the chores pretty much in order. Charlotte wears hers & hands me a card in the kitchen as I make breakfast so I can keep tabs on what she's doing. She is easy in this respect & likes to please. This is where the finished chores live, in my kitchen cabinet. There are actually a lot more chores in here than what I currently assign, I think I burned them out last time.

Unsupervised is the goal; morning chores for all children consist of getting dressed, making beds & putting pajamas away. Charlotte's 4th card is "Help Miranda", there is a picture of a dress & bed to indicate the areas she's to help w/. I try to be in there for #4 so she doesn't have to do this one as much as possible. Miranda is rarely sweet when she wakes up & sees Charlotte much more as an adversary first thing in the morning, it's only for when I cannot leave the stove. Miranda has actually gotten very proficient at making her own (trundle) bed so Charlotte just helps her to push it in. She can handle her pajama pants, leggings & skirt but has yet to master her shirts or dresses.

Victor also has Bible reading on his list. He doesn't read it as he doesn't own a Bible. We've only got 2 in the house & I'm often trying to get a little bit in myself in the kitchen, so he reads Bible stories. I'm waiting until I can get him this one.
After that they clean the bathroom. Mirror, counter, sink & toilet get wiped down every day & just to give the other person something to do, it gets whisked free of TP shreds, hair & dead ladybugs. I tried to give them a day off but it became a source of contention so I threw that one in there & they're happier when they're both working. I do have to keep track of whose day it is to do what in my planner though. I do the actual bowel scrubbing in there though they wanted to after I explained it was just like brushing a giant tooth. I keep a toilet brush by each toilet in a self contained vessel filled w/ bleach water so it doesn't turn funky colors or smell.

Victor also sweeps all of the log crumbs & ash around the stove every morning & Miranda's job is to give the kitties their breakfast. She is always so sure that they meow a "Thank you for this delicious food." to her. She puts it in a high meow-y voice. Then they eat, clear the table & wash their teeth. When the weather gets warm we might go straight into weeklies; as it is these are our after lunch chores now as some of these are outside along w/ our daily outside chores.

I don't know if you can see that too clearly or not. Outside dailies include checking the water level in the animals buckets & topping them off, emptying the ash bucket (Charlotte) & the compost pail (Miranda). Charlotte is the helper w/ both of thees right now, she helps Miranda & Victor. Either her or Victor will collect eggs as I'm getting too fat to fit in the nesting area.

The refrigerator whiteboard holds our weeklies.
Mon. they empty the van of all jackets, books, toys, whatever miscellany that has been left in there. There is usually a bigger pile left on Sun. after church which is why I put this chore to Mon.
Tues. Victor vacuums his own room & Charlotte dusts the living room.
Wed. he'll organize his drawers as he's pretty careless of where clean laundry goes & Charlotte wipes "kitchen faces" w/ me. I get the insides. That's the front of the stove & the refrigerator so all of the splatters & prints don't build up too bad.
Thurs. they are to clean the wagon. We have park day on Fri. & I use the wagon to tote Miranda, water, jackets, a random extra small child on the walk. They use the wagon for their chores & it gets pretty dirty throughout the week so they give her & whomever a clean place to sit.
Fri. they go through & organize their closets, clothes in hampers, not the floor, shoes lined up, toys not lying around.
Sat. is the least liked job of scrubbing water buckets. Sitting water leaves slime so once a week in the winter (every other day in the summer) buckets are emptied, green, brown, clear mold is scrubbed off & refilled. If the weather's warm they do it outside w/ some clean dead leaves or hay, in the winter I try to have the deep sink open to them as water chore in the winter are just plain miserable & the animals appreciate the warm water too.
Mike & I handle all of the laundry, manure chores, actual animal care & hauling in the firewood. Miranda is my most constant companion wanting to sweep, drag the hampers to the sink, emptying the trashcans & oddly her favorite is to carry logs & stack them around the stove. Victor shocked me by throwing the 10lb. bag of cat food over his shoulder when emptying the van of groceries. It's an awkward load for me but he handled it w/ ease. I will attest (w/ some maternal pride) that they have some of the strongest healthiest young bodies I've seen; feeding them good healthy filling food is one of my biggest challenges.

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