Thursday, February 16, 2012

A New Schedule

I guess it must be the Spring feeling in the air or something that has got me all into changing things lately. Actually, having a plan for our day has been a big challenge for me. In fact, it got so bad, that I cried out to God one day, pleading for help. Help to feel like I have some control over how our day goes and what we get done and to feel like I'm not alone trying to do all of this.

So, when I was done praying, I thought that I should order Steve and Teri Maxwell's "Managers of Their Homes". And I did just that. I dove right into it when it arrived. They have some great ideas for scheduling your day and getting your kids to help with chores.

Below is the schedule I came up with for myself, Rebekah and Benjamin. I decided to wait to do Jacob's, because he can just follow along with the others for now. I have only scheduled to 5pm. My day starts at 7:30 and the kids at 8am. They have 1 hour to get dressed, tidy their rooms, eat breakfast and do morning chores. Then at 9:00, we start the day with Bible. For school I have just scheduled a 2 hour time spot. I have our school schedule separate. After school we have lunch, then 1 hour to do outside chores and working with the donkeys, this rolls right into 1/2 of outside time. Then we have 1 1/2 hours to do errands in town on Mon, Wed & Fri and on Tues & Thurs we can work on special projects during that time. Then at 3:00, we have snack and then free time until supper.

Below, you can see the system I am using for chores. It is similar to the Maxwell's, but this was free. I found this amazing website, and she has made these printable chore cards. I printed out a set for each child (which were different colours), then I cut out the ones they would need. For Ben and Jacob, I used a old photo album page and cut it in a strip of 2 photo spaces, then I folded it in half and punched holes in it for a strap. The openings for the pictures are on the top on both sides, so I slipped the chore cards in. In the front, with the name, are the everyday chores and in the back, I have put the weekly chores which we do on Fridays. This is Ben's chore pouch below and Becky's chore cards (I just used the ones from Ben's because he doesn't do those chores and Jacob has different colour cards) and the "Help Mom Cook" card. This "Help Mom Cook" card was such a blessing, because my kids were always fighting to see who could help me at supper, now we just rotate the card from child to child.
So in the chore pouch, after the child has done the chore that is showing, they take it out and put it to the back of the other chore cards lined up behind it.

This is a picture of the back of Ben's chore pouch with the weekly chore cards.

For chores that are not to do with personal care the kids get a sticker on a sheet and when they have 20 stickers, they get a prize from our prize cupboard.

I like that I have scheduled chunks of time to get things done as opposed to, say, 15 minute increments. This way we know what we have to do and by when it needs to be done. Now it seems we have an overall plan for our day and it feels great! This goes right along with what we have been learning in our Bible time about Orderliness. One of our bible verses was "Let all things be done decently and in order." 1 Cor. 14:40. Praise God he showed me a way of doing this.

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