Tuesday, December 18, 2012

rowan week: chores!

right away i knew that chores would be a part of this household make over - the girls weren't consistently being held responsible for cleaning up after themselves or being active members of this household. that was in large part our fault and i am more then willing to admit that - but either way that was about to change.

it was a constant struggle to stay on top of rowan to remember to clean up after herself or even stay on task when she was asked to. just like her mama, rowan is very goal and visually oriented when it comes to finishing things so i knew that creating a system where she could be in control of her tasks was key.

i had been searching online for some starting points to create our home chore system and finally settled on mixing some ideas to come up with this:
to get started, i literally walked around our house, mainly the girls bedroom and upstairs living areas, and made note of their common reoccurring messes that linger. then i hit the computer and with google images open started downloading clip art that matched those "tasks" they weren't following through on.

in a photoshop document, i then made a grid and inserted the pics with room to add text to explain the task and for some word recognition, printed them off, some in doubles so that rowan and stella could have them on their charts at the same time - then i cut those into squares. while i was doing that i also whipped up a super simple so and so's "chores" sheet with a line dividing "to do" and "done" for each girl.

next, i sent tim off to staples to have all of the chore squares laminated as well as the actual chore charts so that they would last awhile (laminating is super cheap at staples btw - i may or may not go a little laminate crazy sometimes). when he got home i glued the individual chore squares to clothes pins so that they could be easily clipped to their charts each morning. since all the ones i made aren't applicable every day and there are a lot - the extras are now stored in a glass jar on our counter.

so far our routine has gone like this: while the girls are finishing breakfast i bring the charts and clips up to the counter and select the ones i know need to be done then i place them back on the dishwasher. when they are done they already run right to them without having to ask - what has worked best for rowan is doing one at a time, even if that means running up and down the stairs a lot. when she completes a task she switched the clip from "to do" over to "done" and so far gets really excited as she knocks each one out.

i also picked up a dial egg timer, rowan responds really well to racing the clock. i don't set her up to rush through anything but rather be encouraged and reminded that she can't take all day to pick up five legos, which i swear happens sometimes.

stella's daily chores usually remain pretty simple and i end up helping her - i am not placing a ton of expectation on her in that department yet but letting her participate is fun for her and great practice for when it is her turn to start really doing chores and earning rewards for them.

it is interesting to see how much i have grown along with rowan as we implement all of these new systems. learning to cater to each child's needs to help them succeed is so important, it took a little more patience getting here with rowan but i am happy to report a huge change in simple daily activities like these that used to almost always involve yelling, anger, and tears.

getting her chores done with out any struggle is one way of many rowan is working her way to a prize. next up i will talk about how she is earning "points" by being present in bettering our attitudes when it comes to simple daily life and working her way to a set goal by doing so, using a marble jar.