Monday, August 13, 2012

Advice - chores & routines

So - this week McKinley starts first grade. And in another couple weeks, Ireland starts Kindergarten. It's going to be a bit strange having just Kezia & I at home in the mornings. Part of me thinks of all I could & should accomplish. The other part of me just wants to hang out with my youngest while she's still my youngest. Hopefully I can do a bit of both & find balance :)
Anyway, McKinley starts school on Thursday, so this week we are trying to get into our school routine - going to bed at the right time & waking up at the right time. We're not exactly morning people over here, so it's going to take some getting used to. This morning was a bit rough getting going.
As we were eating breakfast, I was thinking about this new schedule & how much it's going to change everything over here. We've always had "morning things" and the girls have completed their chores in the morning. Of course not EVERY morning, but that's been our schedule.  I just don't think there's going to be time for anything other than making beds, getting dressed, eating breakfast, fixing hair, brushing teeth, getting lunches together (McKinley will eat lunch at school for the first time!), and getting them to the bus stop by 8:29. Seriously 8:29 AM. And even if by some miracle this goes smoothly for the first month or two, a baby in November will ensure that I should not try & add anything in the morning.
I could have her do her chores after she gets home & we talk & she does her homework. But then I feel bad. When does she have time to just be a kid? And what if I put her in lessons? Chores on top of all that seems rough. I was thinking maybe we should just give her a couple weekly chores instead?
Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am going to try & get everything together as much as possible the night before (backpacks ready, outfits laid out, lunches put together as much as possible), but I'm still worried about getting it together in the mornings without feeling crazy & feeling like my kids never do chores anymore.


Get Hooked said...

I'm curious how others do it too. I feel my kids have no time to play/relax after school. Alyssa practices piano before school. (That's a tough one.) Then both girls have one simple (15 minute-ish) family chore to do after school. And then also a bigger chore on the weekend. They can choose to do all 5 chores in one day or one a day. And then Saturday's chore has to be done on Saturday. (I made the most beautiful chore chart.) We decided to start paying commision. So they can choose to not do a chore, but they don't get paid for it. (.50 per weekday chore 2.50 for saturday chore.) That way we can teach other priciples like tithing, saving, spending. Idealy they would pick up their room/stuff before bed daily. Good Luck! Yay! For first grade!

Diane said...

I am so glad you posted this....I wanted to know too. I think that they should still have chores but I've been trying to simplify it. Like Addison needs to take out a garbage on her way to the bus...or she has to feed the chickens before she leaves. Just something quick. Then on saturdays it is something bigger. I'll be checking your blog to see answers!

Trish the Dish said...

That's a really great question Heid. Wish I could help. But that's what you're for-you do it first and then teach me how you did it! Right? :). Sweet. Sorry-that's rough though, again, glad you can figure it out for me.

Lena Baron said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to read this!! Well, I'm far from an expert! But this was a struggle for me, especially going from Home Schooling to Public School. I finally evolved to just getting out the door for school without forgetting the backpack or library books.:) Last year we had chickens, so Jakob's every day chore was to gather the eggs. Now I have to find one for him to do since the chickens are gone...:) So one "big responsibility" every day, besides the "part of a family routines" like cleaning up after yourself, and family house cleanup. And then, since Leif is gone, Jakob is responsible to roll the big garbage can out on garbage day and bring it in. The weekend at our house is used for play and R&R. I realized that too many "to-Dos" at home during the school year caused far more melt down and overwhelming reactions then teaching responsibility with chores was worth. Between homework and the small chores, we feel that the lesson has been learned and will continue to evolve throughout the years. Also, with me being sick and not as strong lately, I have resorted to offering Jakob an extra $$ for helping me with his siblings. I most often use this when I need one of the Littles to come up the long flight of stairs and I can't make the trip myself. Jakob has earned many a .50 and Loves it! However, he has to complete the task completely without fuss in order to earn the extra $$. And actually, that is the only way Jakob earns money. Otherwise, they earn family dollars for our family store twice each month. So, dear friend, that is how we run things as often as possible here in the Baron Fam. NeVeR Perfect! Always Trying! Love You! Good Luck!