Tuesday, September 24, 2013

keeper of the home

When I first started praying about the idea of homeschooling, I met with some "in-the-trenches" homeschool moms. They were in the journey that I was considering beginning. They had a variety of backgrounds, but most had begun homeschooling from the start of their childrens' school years. One thing they all had in common? They all included the idea of including classwork in the subject of: "keeper of the home." More simply explained: taking responsibility around the house! Now, one does not have to be homeschooled to be schooled in this subject! And, prior to homeschooling, my children had their chores to do each day (make bed, keep room picked up, bring dishes to the sink after meals, etc), but all the others fell into the "hit or miss" category. I wound up dusting or vacuuming, etc, usually due to L being in school all day or doing homework when she was home after school.

So, when I set out to outline studies that would be included in our homeschool, I was sure to include a bigger responsibility for chores each day. Much of it happens naturally: we create lunch together, then clean up after it. We strip beds to wash, then remake the beds with clean sheets. We throw in loads of laundry, then fold them together, chatting about whatever comes into their heads. We snack while reading in the living room, then vacuum the floor.

But, there are still the "big five" that get done each week. For us, they are 1. wipe down bathroom counters and vacuum bathrooms (usually Mondays vs the full cleaning at the end of the week), 2. dust the furniture, 3. clean/organize bedroom (intentionally putting everything away - clothes, toys, etc - vs a "rush job" at the end of the night, stuffing things in drawers or hiding spots!), 4. vacuum all floors, 5. clean both bathrooms. L is 10years old and takes care of these things. Her 3.5year old brother helps with some of those things: dusting, cleaning doorknobs throughout the house, collecting trash, and general clean up and organization.

It has worked out well so far. We don't have a set time of day they are done. I know some families choose to do them at the beginning of the day along with their other daily responsibilities. For us, they usually happen in the afternoon, one of the last school "tasks" to check off the list.

What do your kiddos do as chores around the house?

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