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Friday, March 10, 2017

After School Routine

We all want to see our kids become independent.  We also want our kids to help around the house and we would like them to do it without complaining.  The best way for kids to learn a new skill is for them to do it.  So when we moved, I seized the opportunity to start a new after school routine.  I wanted it to be quick and to help with keeping the house in order.  I wanted to teach my kids that if they do a 5 minute chore each day, then there is no need for large scale clean up on the weekends.  Enter our "Am I Ready to Play? lists.

The most common question after the kids walk in the door and have a snack is "Can I go play?"  Instead of running through the list of things they need to do every day, I wrote the list out and put them up on the fridge.  Within these lists are the chores expected each day.  I divided up tasks somewhat based on abilities.  Since they're just printed off the computer, I can change them whenever I want.  But I've found much less complaining about helping around the house because it is just expected.  What was one of the worst parts of my day before we moved has become a time I look forward to.  Now I get to hear a little about the day and witness my children learning skills they will need as they grow older.

There is one caveat to all of this - the chores are not done the way I would do them.  In fact, we often find ourselves redoing the chores another day of the week because my children are 6 and 8.  This is a simple fact of them being young.  I only require them to redo a chore if I note a lack of effort.  Over time I have noticed that they are in fact getting better at each chore.  I figure after about 6 months we'll switch things up.  But for now, this is working really well.

The children arrive home just after 3pm and I find they are back out the door to play by 3:15/3:20, depending on how big of a snack the need to eat and whether there was any homework.  I am so glad we chose to do this!

And here's the link to the other blog I mentioned.  First post is up, going back to my first major battle 17 years ago.

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