Thursday, May 17, 2012

William Morris Thursday - my children

Even though I start little organization projects every day, projects that don't always get finished, I don't always feel like I have enough to share when it comes time to link up with Jules' William Morris project every Thursday. Although this week isn't any different, I thought I'd share something I started that I'm determined to finish. In fact, my sanity depends on it.

I homeschool my 3 youngest children (all girls) and because they are home with me all. day. every. day. we're all going a little stir crazy waiting for summer to begin. I have said from the beginning that in addition to the regular schooling they'd be getting, I would teach them home skills, too. I don't want my girls to leave my house not knowing how to take care of themselves or their homes. At different times throughout the year, I've started some sort of chore chart system but for one reason or another because of my lack of discipline it wouldn't stick. Then I realized something. While I've been putting into practice the William Morris quote, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." in the physical rooms of my house, I hadn't thought of applying it to my children. While they have always been and will continue to be a thing of beauty in my eyes, they have not started being, how shall I put it, "useful."

I'm crazy about them, but they're 6, 8 and 10 and they haven't ever done much in the way of regular chores. I go on occasional rants and give them things to do as consequences or follow them around reminding them of things they should be doing, but there hasn't been any system set up so they could learn to own their work and feel good about contributing.

Yesterday, I came up with all the chores I want them to be able to do on their own after some training, and put the steps in a list with a place to check them off as they're completed. I put those lists in plastic sleeves and put them in a binder. I haven't figured out yet how the specific chores will be assigned or how often, etc. but getting the binder done has already made me feel like this is a do-able thing. And of course, once they've mastered the chores, the lists will need to be altered and probably more complex chores added. Of course that's a problem I look forward to. ;)

Just this morning, my self-motivated daughter asked if she could wash the dishes. She already had the binder opened up to the dish washing page and was ready to go. I just gave her a little direction to get started and she ran with it.

On the project front, later today, my friend and I will get started using this:

 To turn this:

Into this:


Hopefully next week I'll have something to share!

Linking up with Jules' at Pancakes and French Fries.


Rita@thissortaoldlife said...

I am right there with you. Yes, my children are beautiful but not useful! Yes, I have not trained them properly because I let them wear me down and I abandon my resolve! Yes, I fear they will enter adulthood unable to do such basic things as find the bread in the cupboard or turn on a dishwasher! If you discover the secret to making these resolutions stick, I want to know. Yesterday, please.

That's Ms. Amy to You... said...

I use the excuse that my little ones are still too little (8 & 4), but I recently began encouraging (requiring) my oldest to clean the shared kid bathroom. It's a burden off me & the 10 minutes it takes her to do it makes her feel accomplished. Now if I could just get her to not throw her clothes ALL OVER her bedroom floor.....

Kelly said...

I really need to get on this, too. I know some moms who manage kid chores so efficiently, but I'm not one. My kids are 10 & 7 and like to help out, but I'm not on the ball enough to have a system, beyond "Take your junk off the coffee table and into your room."

That slipcover project looks so cool!

kristina akers said...

ahh i cant wait to see the sofas!!

Melissa@Home Baked said...

It's something most of us struggle with, it seems. Since we started our newest chore chart, the kids aren't running to do chores on their own initiative (once in a while they do), but at least they are more willing when I ask them to help out. And they've learned to do a couple tasks. I caught my son bringing in the recycling bins from the curb the other as he came home from school--no prompting necessary. Gives me hope. :)

May said...

I credit my husband for years of the importance of the kids learning chore type skills. He was absolutely right. Now that they are nearly grown and gone it is evident everyday just how important this is.

Sharon Hermens said...

My Pam. You are doing a wonderful job with your children (my grand children). I don't remember how I started teaching you and your sister to master these tasks but you did. You knew how to do the dishes, laundry, vaccuum, and sometimes clean your room. I'm proud of what you have accomplished with the girls. Keep up the good work.