Sunday, 4 July 2010

New Regime

I lost it on my family two Fridays ago.  Or to be more correct, I lost it on each individual in my family at some point during the day (Ken's turn came at 11:30pm).  I was feeling overwhelmed, unappreciated, dumped-on.  You know.  There was plenty of warning this was coming - I could feel it building up.  I made a few cries for help:  "I'm not getting enough help around here!"  "I am seriously coming up with a chore chart for summer."  It's too bad I had to have a break-down before I was moved to action.  The next morning I got up at 8 a.m. and hammered out a system.

Every kid has a daily checklist that covers things I don't want to have to tell them every. single. time., as well as other responsibilities and chores around the house.  I call the checklist their 'ticket' because it is the ticket to whatever else they want to do that day.  Some days have longer tickets than others, here are some examples:

Chloe - Friday

 Brush & floss teeth
 Get dressed
 Tidy room
 Make bed
 Read B of M
 Daily Prayer
 Other reading
 Practice violin
 Practice 2-wheeler
 Basic math facts
 Water vegetable garden

Carmen - Sunday
 Brush & floss teeth
 Get dressed
 Tidy room
 Make bed
 Read B of M
 Daily Prayer
 Other reading
 Journal writing
 Article of Faith #2
 Prepare for FHE
Steven - Saturday
 Brush & floss teeth
 Get dressed
 Tidy room
 Make bed
 Read B of M
 Daily Prayer
 Blog post
 Learner’s license
 Sunday shirt

Jaclyn - Thursday
 Tidy room
 Make bed
 Read B of M
 Daily prayer
 Pack lunch
 Summer job
 Badminton with Steven
 Floss teeth
 Practice organ

The 'Zones' (name borrowed from the Eyre's chore system - have you read any of their books?) are rotated weekly and are, as follows:

Laundry Zone:
Monday: Help sort, wash, fold family clothes
Tuesday: Towels and bathmats
Wednesday: Jaclyn and Steven’s sheets
Thursday:  Carmen and Chloe’s sheets
Friday:  Mom and Dad’s sheets
Saturday:  Throw pillows and blankets
Floor Zone:
Monday:  Vacuum main floor and up the first 7 stairs
Tuesday:  Vacuum upstairs and top 7 stairs
Wednesday:  Mop upstairs bathrooms
Thursday:  Vacuum main floor and bottom 7 stairs
Friday:  Mop main floor
Saturday: Vacuum basement and wood stairs
Bathroom Zone:
Monday:  Mirrors and sinks
Tuesday:  Mom and Dad’s shower and tub
Wednesday: Toilets
Thursday: Kid’s tub
Friday: Garbages and wipe down front of drawers and cupboards
Saturday:  Polish up for Sunday
Cooking Zone:
Monday:  Meal plan
Tuesday: Grocery shop
Wednesday:  Make dinner and clean up prep dishes
Thursday:  Make lunch and clean up prep dishes
Friday:  Make dinner and clean up prep dishes
Saturday:  Make breakfast and clean up prep dishes

(As I made up the zones I wished I had more children for a garage zone, a backyard zone, a dusting zone, a back entrance zone . . .)

All of this is in a folder on the kitchen counter along with a list of habits to be improved (shoes on the shoe rack), grocery list the kids can add to (personal items and/or special requests), blank to-do lists for mom and dad that the kids can fill in, and a list of *money makers* (chores that can be done for pay like painting the trim around the deck).

We've done it for one week and so far so good.  The system will continue on into the school year - my hope is that it will be so natural by then that it won't be any additional burden when homework and school activities return.

We haven't had a chore system since Jaclyn and Steven were very small.  It's ridiculous that I have been doing (or closely directing) it all for years, and it's my own fault.


Jill said...

I think a blow-up is a good thing every now and again because it lets everyone know you mean business. I don't think it helps anyone to be the under appreciated, martyr mom who never says boo to anyone.

Your ticket system looks like a really good one.

Kelly said...

I recently gave up my cleaning lady (I know, poor me) so last Saturday when Wells and I dug in for a whole house clean I was out of practice and 4 hours later too exhausted to care that it was clean. Sunday when the place was trashed again, I told Mike, it's demoralizing to work that hard and have it go to pot the next day. Mike said "that's exactly how I feel when I pay the bills each month." Doh!

My biggest mess maker (I'm not naming names, Wells) is gone to camp all week, I'm looking forward to it!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Bravo! What a great breakthrough. So glad you'd teach the rest of us. Thank you.

OIMN said...

WOW. That is quite the work load. This has motivated me to be better about chores. I find breaking it down like that helps me out.
Good for you for sharing the joys of cleaning:-)

Marie said...

I'm glad you elaborated on the 'zones.' I thought you were mandating down-time.

I'm glad it is working out well for you --- sorry about the breakdown!

Christy said...

i'm wondering what's on ken's list?

Kelly said...

Sometimes our frustrations just spark acts of brilliance! I hope this works out for you all -- sounds inspiring to me!