Sunday, August 28, 2011

A New Year

I know my friend, Kelly, would concur...the beginning of the school year feels more like the start of a new year than January 1 does. This year, that has been especially true for me. (It could very well be because I have felt sooo lousy for so long and now I am feeling so much better and ready to get to work. Blame it on pregnancy.) I have taken on new personal challenges to change bad habits and start new good ones. I'm feeling motivated to clean up and re-organize. We have new systems in place to keep up on things better and a lot more structure around here. School has started well, but it is just the beginning. The more motivation at the beginning...the further it is going to get us!

One new system in place that has made such a HUGE difference is our daily schedule and chore charts. The boys have always been great helpers and picker uppers, but we don't usually have a "system" in place. So things just get pretty out of control (fast too!) and then I say, "Okay. Time to clean up," and we do, but then it's bad again quickly and it seems like we always wake up in the morning 3 steps behind. So in trying to be more intentional, we seriously took on regular chores for the boys and made charts and the whole works. Rand started the process (he's the list-maker-checker-offer and work-buster-outer) and then I tweaked it to make it work for me (since I'm the here-all-day person). So we have morning chores to do before breakfast and school (get dressed, brush teeth, make beds and then Wyatt does the dog and Brendan does the chickens). Then school, then lunch. After lunch we have afternoon chores. The boys take care of things like taking out the recycling, taking care of some things with the pool, tidying different rooms of the house and then we have a once a week chore that is bigger like helping with laundry, cleaning the bathrooms, washing mirrors, vacuuming and mopping and such....
Then at the end of the day we have a quick "Clean Sweep" of the house before bed. The before bed chores have been the key for this whole thing working. Doesn't it feel like you are always behind if ANYTHING is a mess when you wake up in the morning??? It is nice starting the day with a cleaned off school table! It makes all the difference.




The other thing we are doing is allowances. Okay, seriously, how much do you pay your kids for allowance? This can get a little pricey when you start thinking about it! Well, part of the deal is that the boys complete their chores with a "happy heart" all week and we pay them every 2 weeks $10 each. This was a little lower than we originally had talked about paying them, but we are teaching the 80-10-10 principle (save 10%, share 10%, the rest...do what you like) and so 10 is an easy number to make that happen. Plus we are paying 2 kids....eventually 4... and we have to make sure we can afford that considering raises and what not! :)

I love watching how kids thrive off of this stuff. Brendan especially (little Rand) just thinks it is the best thing in the world. Even Wyatt enjoys checking off his chores and getting things cleaned up. He says things like, "I'm doing this chore first so that I will feel so good when I'm done." They like taking responsibility for it themselves and not being told at random that it is time to work. It is making my life a lot easier! They are great helpers. Now if only I could get them to make a delicious dinner!


This is what is working for us right now. It feels good after a very relaxed, not feeling very good summer to be back into something more structured. Feels like a new start...a new year and I like it.

4 comments:

The Raudenbush Family said...

You know me too well. And, I'm so jealous of all the organization. Looks great! Wonder if we could implement a Raudy version...

Bekki said...

scheduling makes all the difference, expecially the more children you add into the mix. I had to(and am still working on)a redo all of our plans since Gwen is now schooling "for real" also. We give the same amount for allowance, it just seems to work best for now. Of course Miles is turning 10 so he will be taking on more here soon and will get the first raise.

Anonymous said...

Never really had the allowance thing growing up. Had plenty of chores, lots of work, but if it works for you go with it. As a child I got to fish a lot, I think that was my allowance, and trust me if I got paid in the same manner I would be over the moon happy.
Uncle Bubba

Rachel said...

i love all your organization and i know how much it is "against the grain" for you. but it's making me feel so much more calm about your crazy life and making me feel like mine is out of control and needs a little organization....can you make me some charts???? :)