Thursday, April 24, 2008

My Home Management Binder: An Update

We are now a week and a half into using our new schedule and chore charts. So far everything seems to be running fairly smoothly and falling into place. I think the few things that are not are more due to the craziness we've had around here lately and not the schedule itself. But it will be worth re-examining when life calms down again.

I have seen four huge benefits thus far. First, Alex and Olivia just love their chore charts. They have really taken ownership of their assigned chores and they carry their charts around with them like prized possessions. Just this afternoon, Olivia was looking at hers and realized she did not have a smiley face in the dusting column for today. She asked me if she could have a rag so that she could dust. Obviously I said yes! As soon as she was done, she brought me the rag and her chart. The three of us sit down two or three times a day to review their charts and fill in their smiley faces. They always point out what still needs to be done and then they make sure they do it. It is incredible! Why didn't I think of this sooner?

Isabelle also really enjoys her chart. She has had chore responsibilities for quite a while, but this is the first time we have done a "reward" (well, a star drawn on a piece of a paper) system and she's really enjoying it. Her kitchen duties have become her pride and joy, and they are such a huge help to me. She has breakfast duty or lunch duty on alternating days. We work side by side for now, but I have definitely seen her potential and see an area where I can slowly start working myself out of job. She loves it so much that I know she'd gladly take it over.

Designated preschool time has also been very beneficial, not for Alex and Olivia, but for myself. I am surprised with how much they know already and having this dedicated time has really opened my eyes. Of course I've always known the big things that they know (the alphabet, counting to 15, colors and shapes) but it is the little things I'm impressed by. I had no idea Alex could recite "Hey Diddle Diddle." Also, I had no idea Olivia could listen to a poem and ask a relevant question about it. These little things are so important, in fact, they are one of the many reasons why we homeschool. I will never again allow myself to miss seeing them.

And last but certainly not least, my one-on-one time with Gracie has led to remarkable progress with her gross motor skills. She is now pulling herself up to stand, sitting up on her own, and climbing into or on top of anything she can. I'm no longer worried. She's just going to be a petite thing whose physical development is below the charts for the first two years or so, just like Alex and Olivia.

I think I definitely hit on something this time with my scheduling. I don't feel nearly as stressed to stick to the schedule as I have in the past. The key for me must be to not have every half hour of the day broken down into individual assignments. I can still stay on schedule even when I'm not on schedule because I have a built in buffer zone. This may be one schedule that will go the distance.


5intow 9:37 PM  

Sounds similar to our schedule. Every year is new, and even every few months things seem to need tweaking, but it is so freeing to formulate a schedule that finally clicks and instills even more joy into the days.

I, too, cherish that one-on-one time with each child at their level.

Thanks for sharing!

The Happy Housewife 10:20 PM  

I love my life when my schedule is in place, unfortunately this is not a season where I can have a schedule, but I hope to be changing seasons very soon!

Andie 10:50 PM  

Your schedule and chore charts sound great! I love having our chore charts, and now with the Disney incentive, the chores are once again getting done without a lot of reminding! I love it when plans come together!

Joy 12:08 AM  

I'm so glad it's working so well for you. It's really amazing how just a simple star or smiley face from mom or dad can motivate kids!

Teresa @ A Life At Home 1:08 AM  

I'm so glad that your schedule is working out for you. I am enjoying my later in pregnancy schedule that I have put into place. Having a schedule in place makes our whole house run better.

Even after the baby comes i'll still have us on a modified schedule until we pick back up with school in July. Then we'll go back to a full schedule.

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