Chores:I like to do one thorough cleaning and pick up as needed the rest of the week. It makes sense to do it on Saturday, which is why I do it on Monday. I've always had trouble with distributing chores evenly and making sure everything gets done well. The kitchen might be an hour, maybe 3. The bathrooms could take 5 minutes or an hour depending on who used it. Um, I mean how dirty it is.
Anyway, I took everything I usually do on Mondays when the kids are at school and wrote it down in very basic steps. For instance the kitchen would include: clear table, clear cupboards, unload dishwasher, load dishwasher, wash table, wash stools, wash cupboards, granite polish countertops, wash cupboard fronts, etc.
When I was done, I had a little over 50 steps to a finished house, which I printed onto strips and laminated.
I put them in a jar and the kids take one out without looking so there is no picking and choosing and complete that job. When they're done they pick another until the jar is empty. I did this last summer and it worked wonders! This year I color coded them into "initial chores", "mid-clean chores", and "finishing chores" so someone wouldn't pick "vacuum carpets" before "pick up toys".
When I do my Monday cleaning during the school year on my own it takes up to 6 hours. When the kids and I do it together it takes closer to 3. Please note that it took 15 years of chore giving hell before my kids made cleaning with them FASTER than cleaning without.
- All the kids work the entire time.
- Little things that kids tend to forget are done because it is an individual job like clean under the couches" or "wash back window"
- There is no arguing over the fairness of the jobs. You do what you pick and then you pick again.
- If your kids are competitive like mine, they hurry so they've picked the most jobs that week.
- Sometimes your younger kids pick a chore you'd rather an older kid did like "clean the toilets" or "wash the dishes".
- You do have to make sure some of the kids don't skate past a job or it makes later jobs more difficult. The kids are getting better as they hate coming back to a job they felt they'd completed. (So is that really a con, they are getting better at doing the jobs?)
- You have to monitor so the kids don't lose the cards.
Anyway, here are the kids cleaning. The youngest usually helps either myself or one of the older kids with the jobs they pick.