Friday, January 29, 2010

Working Myself Out of a Job (Why My Boys are Scrambling to do My Work)


Homeschooling provides many unique opportunites for mamas & their munchkins. One of those that I'm tapping into is working myself out of a job.

When I was considering schooling my kids at home, I went to a presentation led by a mom who'd been schooling her kids at home for years. One of the things she spoke of was teaching your kids how to help out around the house. "Why should you pull laundry out of the dryer when your three-year-old is already down there?" she asked.

So I thought I'd get a head start on making friends with my daughters-in-law-to-be and teach my boys a thing or two about keeping a house clean. This is helping me too, I'm starting to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Okay, so I can tell you all about how my boys are doing laundry, vacuuming, polishing my kitchen cupboards, dusting and taking out the trash...but what I want to share is the HOW.

The boys have a list of chores that I printed out (pictorial reminders for my non-readers), laminated and hung up for them to check off. The boys can read or check on what they need to do, then they cross them off with a wipe off marker. This keeps me free of reminding them....I just direct them to check their charts to see if their work is done.

The reason that the boys work so quickly to get their chores done (and after school proper) is that they know that after their chores, they get to play the Wii. Each day the boys get 15 minutes to play Wii. (They get 30 minutes for two boys or 45 minutes if they play all together, but they usually choose to play separately and then watch each other play. ) Keeping this as an earned treat keeps them working quickly to get their Wii time.

I understand this may not work for every family, but I love it that my kids whistle while they work so that they can get their fun time. There are good lessons for life here too. If you get your work done quickly, you can have fun quickly. Also, it's great that they're understanding what it means when they leave a blob of toothpaste on the counter for someone else to clean up. Maybe, just maybe, I won't have to pick up so much around the house anymore....even if it's just because they'll be doing it themselves.

1 comment:

Hazel said...

Do you think nearly three is too early to tie rags around Joaquin's shoes and let him 'clean' the floors? Smart mama, you!