Tuesday, December 24, 2013

L is for Let's not be Lazy about cLeaning

 In my never-ending quest for the perfect chore system, we re-vamped things AGAIN, and this past week was our first week with the new system.

In the past, the older girls have preferred to work together on chores, so rather than having one kid clean the bathroom, while the other cleans the kitchen, they've preferred chore systems where Ashlyn cleans the toilet while Lexie cleans the tub, or whatever . . . however, lately they seemed to spend more time fighting over who should be doing what, than actually cleaning and if one kid did a halfway job one day, the other kid might have to pick up the slack the next day.

So, I re-vamped things to give each of them specific zones that are their zone for a whole month. That way, slacking will only impact themselves (at least until the end of the month, I'll be sure to do a walk-through the last week and make sure everything is up to par, before we switch chores).  Since I already had chores divided into 5 zones, I stuck with the 5 zones, and assigned 2 zones to each of the big girls and 1 zone to Little Bit. Needless to say, she still needs quite abit of help, but that's ok, I "help" her with her zone.

I decided to let the big girls decide when they wanted to do their weekly zones, and told them it was up to them, they could do it all in one day, do one zone one day and the other a different day, or do a little bit each day. They decided to wait and do everything on Friday afternoon . . . I don't think they'll be choosing that again, but they stuck with it, and got stuff done!

So the specifics:
Our Master List includes the daily chores and the 5 zones. I printed out the list (you can see it here), colored it to make it pretty, trimmed the paper, and laminated it. Then I added velcro dots by each section and made velcro "tags" with each of the girls' names, to put next to each section. Next month, we'll just shift everything down to change who does what. The big girls each have 2 Daily sections and 2 Weekly zones. Little Bit has jobs within each of the older girls' daily sections, and also 1 Weekly zone.

For the specific zone chores, I printed one page for each zone. We keep them in page protectors, and use wet erase markers to mark them off. Each one is hanging somewhere near that zone. I keep track of the zones in Evernote. If you want to see them, you can subscribe to my blog, e-mail me, using the contact button in my sidebar and ask, and I'll send you the link.  For each zone I have weekly chores, monthly zones and quarterly and/or yearly chores. There are check boxes for one month's worth of weekly chores, which also lists how many monthly/quarterly/yearly chores should be done each week. Those get erased each time we switch who does which chores.  The monthly, quarterly and yearly chores have check boxes to last an entire year. I also keep track, in Evernote, of the month that we did the yearly chores, so that we don't end up doing the same chore in December one year, and January the next.

The final piece of the puzzle was check-off sheets for each of the girls. This was actually something we'd already been doing so it was pretty easy to adapt. Each of the girls has a chart that lists their daily chores. Lexie and Ashlyn's are on one page on the fridge (left). Little Bit's uses clip art pictures instead of words. It's hanging on a hook near our bedroom, since there was a convenient, not too in the middle of things, wall there (the master schedule is right near there as well). It's pictured above, along with some of the zone charts. Since the zones can happen whenever, I just randomly included them on 2 of the days but they don't have to be done those days. The charts are in page protectors and we write on them with wet erase markers. For Lexie and Ashlyn, if they do the chore without being reminded they can write a 2 in the box. If I remind them, and they do it, they can write a 1 in the box. If I have to ask twice, they don't get any points, just an X in the box when it's done. If I have to do it for them, I write a -1 in the box. For Little Bit I keep it simpler, she just colors in the box if she does it. At the end of the week, I add up the points. When they get enough points, they earn a "date" with Mommy or Daddy.

So how is it working? Lexie complains often (like daily) about having to do things "alone". She's an extreme extrovert so she doesn't do alone well, unless she's reading a book. We joke that as soon as she was conceived she realized she needed someone to talk to, and so she "split", hence identical twins LOL. However, Ashlyn likes this approach better. She felt that she was doing more than "her share" when they worked together on things. Additionally she's a perfectionist and Lexie is . . . not . . . so if they were supposed to work together to clean an area, Lexie would declare it "good enough" long before Ashlyn considered it done, which led to conflict. She's thrilled to have her own jobs that she's responsible for.  I'm THRILLED to be able to glance at the chart and know who didn't do what they were supposed to do, or who to compliment for a job well done!  One piece of all of this was having Little Bit dry and put away silverware. I've struggled with this for awhile now. At our old house, when we had a dishwasher, it was her job, albeit, not consistently enforced, to put the silverware away. But now, without a dishwasher, I hadn't figured out an efficient, safe way for her to help dry dishes. Somehow as I was setting up the rest of this, it hit me that, when I wash dishes, I could put the silverware on a towel, that could be moved to a lower surface, along with the silverware caddy, and she could dry, and put away the silverware. what I didn't anticipate was how THRILLED she'd be with her "job", she loves it!

I'm linking up to Blogging Through the Alphabet at Ben and Me.

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