I just read “Beyond the Chore Chart: Chores, Kids and the Secret to a Happy Mom,” by Kimberly Eddy; I also read “Help! Around the House” by Don Aslett. These books together helped me to decide that unless I want to be stuck for the rest of forever, doing clean up after my kids, I need to teach them simple habits, now, which become habits after 21 days. I need to show them how to do the items, and expect the same items to be completed, daily. I chose 6 habits because my sister-in-law once told me that I’d get more done if I selected the most important 6 items I needed to do, and focused on those.
The 6 habits I chose for my kids are:
1- Leave No Trace Breakfast
2- Groovy Grooming
3- Beautiful Bedrooms
4- Lovely Living Room
5- Cozy Kitchen
6- Leave No Trace Lunch
I have a chart, with specifics for each of the 6 habits. You could probably guess what the specifics are. I love this! It has been very gradual, but my kids are doing these more often, and actually did all 6, twice, in 2 weeks (which is a start). My kids are very good at 1, 2 & 6. 3 is a little hard for them. 4 is very hard for them. 5 has been achieved twice. I think with time, they’ll be able to get all 6 done easily by 10:00 a.m. The first time they got them all done, it was accomplished with a lot of parental help, by 7 p.m. The second time, it was all achieved by about 2 p.m.
Last night, I was reading “Eternal Harvest: An LDS Perspective on Homeschooling and Accelerated Learning,” by Tari Elizabeth Cartwright. There is a section called “Environment,” which said a lot about how the spirit of the Holy Ghost, which brings peace and helps us learn better, too. Tari said that the environment and being able to have a Holy Ghost -friendly atmosphere in which to learn in homeschooling, are like the chicken and the egg argument (which came first). It’s true. It’s so true! Does the Holy Ghost help us in wanting to keep the house clean, first, or first, does the clean house help us to feel the spirit of the Holy Ghost in the home? They need one another. I need to be kind and patient with my kids and we need a clean house, to invite and keep the spirit of the Holy Ghost here in the home.
I do so love to see the table cleared & washed off, and two kids with brooms, sweeping, right when they are finished eating breakfast & lunch. It makes things so much easier on me, and the kids fight less, with a clean home. Last night, my husband said it has been very helpful to him, because he can spend time doing things with the kids, instead of getting them to help clean, when he gets home.
I highly recommend trying something like this.
My habits 7-12 are all homeschool, learning things. I can’t wait until we can make those into habits also. I am still teaching them homeschool, but have been doing so irregularly. I think getting 7-12 to be daily habits, will be amazingly helpful for our family.