Thursday, June 2, 2011


Earlier this week, I read a post on one of my favorite blogs, Our Busy Homeschool, about chorepacks. I really like the idea. I had heard of it before when I read, The Duggars: 20 and Counting! Raising One of America's Largest Families--How they Do It By Jim Bob Duggar, Michelle Duggar. BTW, It is a GREAT book! If you want to know about chorepacks and how they work, I suggest you go read the above blog post. I am not using chorepacks though. Sorry. 

I spent a lot of the day trying to figure out how I would implement them. When I really sat down and thought about everything that needs to be done to get our house clean, I realized it would be overwhelming to split everything up between only 2 kids. I needed something a little different for my little family. 

So here is what I came up with. I went into each room in the house and I wrote down what needs to be done to keep it looking clean. (Tristan's advice) I already told you about my chores. Here is what I came up with for the kids. 

I made my list of what needs to be done in the living room, dining room, bathroom, and the boys bedroom. I  did a trial run with my kids so that they could see exactly how to do what I am asking. As luck would have it, my house was TRASHED. So it was a really good learning experience. When they finished cleaning, I took a picture. Then I downloaded the pictures onto the computer and typed up a checklist for each room. They look like this.

  I very purposefully made the lists short. Only 4 steps each. I wanted it to be broken down enough for them to know how to walk through it but not so many steps that the list seems to go on forever. 4 seemed to be the magic number. Now, they know what I want the room to look like.

I put each checklist in a page protector and I put them all in a binder. You all know how much I LOVE binders!

 There is a dry erase marker in each page protector too. They can use the marker to check off what they have completed on the list any way that they want. I drew a smiley face but they can color in the box, make an X, check it, maybe they can practice the letter they are learning to write that week. The possibilities are endless. Maybe "endless" is exaggerating. 

Ultimately, it breaks down to 2 rooms per child but I doubt we will need to tackle all 4 rooms everyday. I think if they do 1 room each per day, we should be okay. My plan is to pull out the binder everyday after lunch and hand them their room assignment. They each get a separate room so there is no fighting over who is cleaning more. I will probably set the timer too so that they don't dawdle too much. The cool part is, that when they are done they can bring me the checklist. After I see the clean room, I can erase the marker right off the front of the page protector. And it is ready for the next day. 

Of course, this was all just an idea the first day. The second day I gave them their room assignments and left to update my Facebook status er, uh, work on lesson plans. I expected to be back in there in 5 minutes because they were playing, fighting, or hiding. Basically anything but cleaning. 5 minutes later, I heard the strangest noise coming from the living room... THE VACUUM!!! Can you see where the vacuum is on the living room checklist? I thought, "This can't be." So I walked out to the living room. Where I had left my 7yo with two bowls of breakfast cereal on the coffee table (don't judge), alongside bottles of water and mugs of milk. There was a bag of chips open on the couch and crumbs crushed into my futon and carpet. The drawers where open with games and controllers strewn about the room. Hey I'm just trying to be real here. When I came back it was SPOTLESS! My living room looked just like the pictures!!!! My dining room which had been assigned to my 5yo, was almost clean too. 

I am planning on making checklists for laundry, dishes, and the balcony too. Again I will only assign them one of these lists per day, except when I expect house guests. Hey, speaking of laundry, check out this amazing Mom Tip!

I am having a funeral for my sock box tomorrow.  

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