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Chores

Last post 02-08-2009 7:33 AM by twoofnine. 5 replies.
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  • 10-24-2008 8:29 PM

    Chores

    If anyone has any suggestions, I would love to hear them.  I haven't found my house since I started this in February of this year.  I am homeschooling 3.  Between the different grade levels and the never ending snacking, it seems like my household is suffering.

  • 10-25-2008 2:58 AM In reply to

    Re: Chores

    Hello Norma, I don't really know if I can help you or not but I at least would like to try. I admire you for homeschooling 3 children of different grade levels. That's a task in itself. Homeschooling is a full time job. What I try to do is start "class" around 10:00 every morning. This gives me time to get my beds made, clothes put in the washer, and run the vacuum before school ever starts. It makes it easier for me to then concentrate on the things at hand. We start with breakfast and when it's over, eating is over just like it would be if they were in public school. If the weather permits you can take your classes outdoors to get snacking off their minds. Alot of this can be brought on by trying to get out of doing their work. Getting a routine is the best thing you can get established if you don't have one. You can give an assignment and while their working on it you can run put the clothes from the washer into the dryer. Try to pick up while they work. I have to pretty much sit with my little guy to get him to do his work. He just doesn't do well on his own. But when he takes restroom breaks I fly through and do whatever else may need tending and at the end of the day my house work is done and my little guy schooled. When he goes to bed I get the next lesson prepared for the next day. Then we're off running again. Well, I hope I helped you a little bit. Again, I admire you for what you are doing for your kids. Just keep up the good work!

    Brenda 

     

  • 10-29-2008 3:41 PM In reply to

    Re: Chores

     Hi Norma,

    Welcome to the world of homeschooling.  I have been homeschooling for the past four years.  Usually I can keep the schooling confined in one room, my dinning room, but since we moved into a smaller house, we now overflow into the living room, and bedrooms as well as the kitchen and dinning room.

    I have been fighting the overflow since September.  My husband comes home everyday grumpy because he feels the house is a mess and that the children need to do more chores and they need to clean up after themselves.

    This is what I just started:

    Up no later then 9am

    Showered, dressed, beds made and breakfast by 10am

    Schooling from 10am to 12pm

        - Monday = Math

        - Tuesday = Language Arts

        - Wednesday = Geography

        - Thursday = Science

        - Friday = Art and Catch Up Day

    They read everyday.  On Fridays we meet at the park with other Home Schoolers for a play day.

    Lunch 12pm

    Chores 12:30 - ?

    Free time after chores are done.

    Daughter has Girl Scouts every Tuesday in the evening

    Son gets to play x box while sister is at Girl Scouts.

    I am trying to get them into this schedule.  They are fighting it tooth and nail as they do not want to do their chores. 

    My goal is to have my son - 5 yrs old to begin reading by the end of the year, know how to write his name by the first of the year and to not whine and cry when he is asked to clean up his bedroom floor.  He also gets to empty the trash cans in the bathroom and kitchen, feed the cats, sort the socks and put his clean clothes into his dresser drawers.

    My daughter - almost 8 yrs old, is a very good reader, but her penmanship is terrible and she hates writing, so my goal for her is to improve her penmanship, no more floating letters, no more mixed uppercase and lower case letters, and all lower case letters uniform in size and height, by the first of the year.  She should be able to write short paragraphs - three to four sentences, without whining and crying and within a half hour instead of four hours by the end of the school year.  She should also be able to have her room clean every night before bed, plus be able to take on other chores such as wiping down the sink, toilet, and tub, sweeping the hall and living room floor and picking up after herself.  She can already do these things, but it is a fight to get her to do them.

    My goals for myself is to spend less time on the computer, get the dishes washed (by hand - no dishwasher) every morning before the kids start their day. (Hope to get the electrical updated throughout the house for Christmas, and a dishwasher for my b-day in January.) I want my house de-cluttered by the first of the year, before that if I can find a place for everything.  I want to be more organized, with my house, my time, and my extra curricular activities.  I want to start taking a little time for myself, to just do something for me.  And, I want to have a afternoon (once a month) just for my husband and I.  

     I guess what I'm trying to tell you is that you should try to put yourself on a schedule, create a routine for your family.  Set goals of where you are and where you want to be by a certain time.  Then once you set those goals, then make a plan on how you are going to reach those goals.

    I was a teacher for years, and worked outside the home for over 20 years.  Once my daughter was born, things changed for me.  I have been a home maker for the past seven years.  Tried everything I could think of on how to make money from home.  Have been fighting the idea of going back to work and putting my children into the public school system.  Instead we have cut back on all extra expenses, including the cost of curriculum.  We get most of our ideas from books from the library, but I also use a lot of the Girl Scout Curriculum, just add to it at times, plus both my children are Adventurers in 4-H, so I use some of their curriculum as well.  I have to tell you, it was much easier in the public schools.  They gave you the curriculum and expected you to follow it to the tee.  Really did not have to figure out how to adapt it to each child's interests and needs.  When the kids get routy, put them in time out, keep them in for recess, or send them to the principal.  Clean up the best you can before leaving for home and let the janitor do the rest. I know I am simplifying it, but I'm just trying to express that as a home school parent it is harder.  No matter what people say, you never take off your "Mom" hat.  You are always mom.  You deal with all the good things and all the not so good things.  Moms do not really get a break.  BUT, home school moms get to enjoy every minute of their children's days, the good days and the bad days.  They grow up so quickly, and before you know it they are off on their own.  Having an immaculate home, no toys, games or papers on the floor, tables, etc. is a dream.  Could be a goal, but probably not something you will reach until the kids have grown and left home.

    Just my thoughts,

    Tracey, mom of two in Oregon


  • 11-12-2008 2:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Chores

     I homeschool my 2nd grader and teach preschool to 6 other children. (My other homeschooler is now a college sophomore with a 4.0 GPA!) Rules and consistency in expectations keep everything orderly. I wake up an hour earlier than everyone else at 6:30, get ready, start coffee, then lay out the clean clothes from the dryer to be folded that night, put the ones from the washer into the dryer and start a new load, empty the dishwasher, mop and vacuum the downstairs. My son gets up at 7:30 and gets ready before doing his morning chores of making his bed and feeding the pets. Then he eats breakfast and starts school at 8:00. At 9 I begin preschool and he joins us (from 5 feet away at the kitchen counter) for anything pertaining to his schooling. For instance, this week we are studying Africa and pulled up on YouTube Masai and Zulu warriors dancing and discussed the differences and practiced each. This was part of his social studies and humanities components for yesterday. He also often reads aloud to the little ones for his reading and speech time. I send them outside while I cook lunch, and they all pick up before going out, so nothing is out of order at lunch time, even if it was 3 foot deep in toys during the morning. The children are used to these "Pick up Time"s and know that they can't get out of them or do anything fun until it is done. Often it is a competition. If they are really reluctant, I'll assign specific areas or tasks to specific children so that when each one is finished s/he can go do the fun thing that comes next which encourages the slackers to pick it up. During the school day, we stay in the family room/kitchen. This keeps the rest of the house clean and orderly. Toys and kid items are only ever allowed to be in the family room and play room, and food is only allowed in the kitchen/dining area. We eat lunch at 11:30, snack at 3, and dinner at 6:30. No other snacking. Often hunger is actually a sign of dehydration, so the children have open access to individual water bottles here. I have a rotating 4-week menu of 30-minute meals that helps me to buy in bulk when things are on sale, and know in advance what I am fixing when. I often make double batches and freeze half so I only have to reheat items if I'm running late on a day. I create my own curriculum because my son is doing several different grade levels depending on the subject. I try to schedule a week of assignments in advance, 2-3 weeks when I have a chance. We simply go down the day's activities and when he's done, he's done. Sometimes that's noon, sometimes 8pm, but we try to stick close to the schedule: 8-9 Language Arts (journaling, handwriting, spelling, vocabulary, grammar, report work) 9-10 Spanish & Humanities (arts & crafts, art & music appreciation/exploration, performing arts, speech)  10-12 Break/play time/outside time 12-1 Math (computation, time/money, geometry, logic/reasoning) 1-1:30 Science & lab 1:30-2:30 Social Studies (US geography/maps, world geography, history, civics/economics/government), 2:30-2:50 instrument practice. Everything in the parenthesis we actually do every day. At 5:30 pm it’s pick up time and everything is tidied from the family room. Before bath and story time at night, the bedrooms and playroom are picked up. If kept up during the week, Saturday mornings are a breeze with just bathroom deep cleanings, dusting and such. Organization is key. Everything needs its place and the expectation has to be there that it’ll stay there or be returned promptly. And, the expectation that everyone is responsible for keeping the house clean. Yeah, doesn’t always work for me, especially with the husband, but every little bit helps. I also take time for myself by going to the gym or park every other day for an hour, having everything done that’s going to get done by 9 so I can have an hour to do what I want, and keeping my weekends as free of obligations and responsibilities as possible. You have to have some you time or it gets overwhelming. We also do date night every other Friday to reconnect as a couple and remember: that we are more than just parents and room mates; that I own makeup and a few cute clothes; that my hair isn’t permanently fused into a ponytail, and that we’re fun, intelligent and still relatively attractive. We all need those reminders. Just figure out what you want the end result to be, the obstacles you need to overcome to achieve that result, the tools you may have available (kid help!), the steps you need to implement to reach that goal, and how to sell it to the family to get their buy-in. Best of luck. It's not easy. I've been doing this for years and just now really feel like I have it down. I explained to a friend: "You go to work, your kids go to school. There's no one in your house all day to make a mess. I have a dozen people in and out of this house every day, plus business stuff going on. It's very difficult to keep a house clean when it's being used." 

  • 12-29-2008 10:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Chores

     

    I have found a wonderful site, flylady.com that helps with routines and even has a forum devoted to sahm (stay at home mums) who homeschool and the different things they do to get through thier day. Flylady is big on routines and stresses the evening routine so you are organised for the morning. The site also has links for help with getting your little ones to pitch in around the house without the big tantrum sessions (the "house fairy" I think she is called). I have to say that routine is the big factor in our home and without it we have tantrums and screaming, and thats not just from the kids LOL. Best of luck in your future and Happy New Year.
  • 02-08-2009 7:33 AM In reply to

    Re: Chores

    Hi,

    I agree, homeschooling can make a daily schedule seem like a dream, and a clean house like an impossibility.  It can also be a great opportunity for involving the whole family in everything.

    I have seven children, though I have never had more than 5 in homeschool at one time.  At present, I have three--10th, 5th, and 3rd grade.   We live overseas, so our schedule may be a little different than yours, but the idea is the same. 

    I start my day by seven, putting in load of laundry, then exercising.  Kids are up by 8 and they all start chores.  Everyone helps with breakfast preparation, we eat and have devotions.  They do dishes, sweep, mop, hang laundry, care for the pets, etc.  I take that that time to check email and do any business that needs to be done.  We begin class at 10.  While the youngest work on workbooks or computer courses, I work with the oldest on subjects he needs help with.  Then while he does independent work, I work with the younger two.  Lunchtime meal preparation often finds the kids involved, leading to spontaneous lessons in math, science, or health.  Or, one of the kids may read a lesson out loud to the other while I am involved in preparation.  After lunch they again are responsible for kitchen cleanup and then we follow up with any subjects we haven't finished in the morning.  They then are allowed time on the computer for educational games or research.  We are usually completely through with school by three.  They are then free to play, and I can do my other business.

    Though we keep our books in one place, school actually takes place all over the house.  Some children find this to be too distracting, but for my kids, a change of scenery can actually be stimulating, and they get renewed.

    This can be harder if you have younger children, but don't overlook their ability to help you and each other.  Let older kids read their lessons to younger sibs, or take care of PE class for you by taking them out to play.  It is never too early to let them get involved with household chores, shopping, cooking, etc.  This is actually a vital part of their education and when they are grown they will thank you.  (Check out Life Skills for Kids by Christine Fields)  And, if a day just gets too frustrating, or you feel pressured, pull back a little.  It will help in the long run!

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