Chores! Chores! Chores!
On any given day I confess my house isn't as clean as it should be- dishes in the sink, or on the counter, shoes haphazardly left at the door and a stray book or two that somehow has drifted to the floor. We homeschool and are often home for the entire day- which mean that despite our best intentions our house always has a "lived in " kinda feel.
We strive for order and cleanliness and as part of the character development aspect to our children's education and as such we often are heard talking about "chores". I believe chores are important to children and parents. I believe that if a child does not participate in doing chores then they will have lost a valuable opportunity and experience for personal growth- and quite frankly their spouses and children might not appreciate it very much either!
We started with chore charts- for our three children- and an allowance which was loosely attached to them. But sometimes mommy wound up emptying the dish washer, setting the places at the table and even sweeping the floor. It seemed that before long I was doing all of their chores and that's no good at all!!
So we started something a little different. Each child is responsible for cleaning up after themselves- clearing the table and setting their spots, putting away their toothbrushes and laundry. In addition each child - every day- is responsible for a specific amount of time for "communal" chores. These are chores that need to be done for the sake of everyone in the house. The shoes need to be straightened- laundry needs to be done/put away- the hallway needs to be vacuumed- and sometimes mommy just needs someone to help her clean by being her runner to different rooms of the house to put things away. We start the timer in the morning and we all work together to keep the house clean! It has been a neat thing for our family. They learn that they have both individual and communal responsibilities. We all do it together. If they do not finish their chores in the designated time then we carry on with our day but they must finish them during their "FREE TIME" before they begin anything else.