However, at least in the cleaning department, our family is making changes. With Jon's job change and relocation over the past couple months, I have been manning the fort. At first, I thought the responsibilities would fall on me solely, but instead, we made the decision to enlist the help of the other inhabitants in our home. Thus, the littles now have chores, and I'm blown away to report that they LOVE them. Everything having it's place has made the clean-up efforts painless and much less time-consuming. We are all thriving with the new order and organization in our home, and our goal is to maintain it as we change residences. The best thing - Jeremiah, Caleb, and Rachel are wonderful helpers and don't even complain... seriously, how are these my kids?!?!
Not long after our chores began, I was introduced to Everyday Homemaking. This website is bursting at the seams with helpful information, tidbits and tricks, wonderful advice, and encouragement. The site developer, Vicki Bentley, has held a number of impressive titles and positions through homeschooling 17 children. However, it is quite obvious that what she values most is being "Mom" and "Grandma." She has eight daughters and has fostered over 50 children, and has 15 (soon to be 16) grandchildren. This vast life experience truly provides Vicki a platform to share, and she has some beneficial words and ideas for us all.
The Everyday Family Chore System.
While The Everyday Family Chore System does provide a tried-and-true model for chores in the home, it offers much more. The book is divided into three parts, and I would suggest time spent reading the first two are equally as if not more important than the chore system itself. Within the book you will find, Part 1: Laying the Foundation, Part 2: Implementing the Plan, and Part 3: The Actual Chore System.
Part 1: Laying the Foundation focuses on answering the "Why?" of having a family chore system in place. This section will serve as Mom's motivation and inspiration. It will challenge you to think of your children's future all while preparing them for that time now. Key themes in this part include: maintaining realistic, age-appropriate expectations, establishing rules and standards, family discipline, and tying strings to your childrens' hearts.
Part 2: Implementing the Plan offers so many suggestions on how to tailor fit and customize the basic plan to what will best serve your family. It is is this section, that Vicki's life experience shines, as she has also been one to make variations. Personally, being new to this chore thing, I was unsure of what my kids really could/couldn't/should be able to do. Organized by age, her Life Skill checklists were my favorite part.
Part 3: The Actual Chore System provides all you need to create your family's chore system. You will find printable chore cards as well as detailed "How-To-Do-It" cards. These cards not only let the child know their expected chores but also ensure they understand the essential steps performed in order to correctly complete the chore. Therefore, if something is done sloppily, the child can simply be sent to reference the card and remedy the situation.
Partially because we are moving and because of my children's age, I decided the How To Do It cards were unnecessary. However, as the kids age and take on more responsibilities, I may return to this idea. It's nice to know I have the resources available.
I did find this book a very helpful read. It felt like a reassuring pat on the back and an encouraging word from a friend reiterating, "You can do this!" I gleaned some helpful information and as mentioned above I was impressed by and intend to reference often the Life Skills checklists. Likewise, I believe, I'll be spending more time on the Everyday Homemaking website.
The Everyday Family Chore System is available for purchase as an 88-page, coil bound, glossy covered physical book for $19.99. If you prefer, a downloadable format is also available for $17.99.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone feeling compelled to implement a chore system in their family or who feel the need to tweak what they are already using. Don't just take my word for it. Be sure and read what other Molly Crew members are saying by clicking the button below.
Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary e-book in exchange for my honest review.