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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cleaning House!

In a previous post I ranted about my latest struggle, keeping my house clean. Since then I have tried to put a plan into action to clean up! Our ward happened to have a RS meeting on the subject of teaching your children to work in the home and it was great. A lot of great ideas were shared and I have taken some of them and made them work for our family. Two of the things I realized weren't working was 1) I expected Savanna and Miles to be capable of the same tasks and 2) I was expecting them to do all their chores while I was doing mine, just leaving them on their own. Now we are doing things differently. Savanna and Miles are both responsible for cleaning their own rooms and the playroom and TV room in the basement. Savanna also empty's the dishwasher and Miles cleans the living room. Because Avery and Savanna share a room I encouraged Savanna to teach Avery how to help. It's really cute, she hands Avery a toy or book or whatever and tells her where to put it, the few times I have seem them do this it works pretty well! Instead of walking away and leaving them to their own devices, I now "help" them with their chores by being nearby to observe and offer advice on how to do something. Savanna can handle things much better on her own than Miles, so I do spend more time with him. With Miles I try to make it fun, let's see how fast we can put the trains away! that kind of thing. They cannot go outside or watch a movie or do computer until the chores are done. They also have to make sure they have cleaned up whatever they were playing with before they move on to the next thing. When they are done they get a smiley face on their chore chart. They are rewarded for doing chores by activities, going to lunch, the park etc. So far it's working pretty well, eventually I will add and change chores. One of the things they talked about at the meeting was teaching your children that all that they have are blessings and they are responsible as a member of the family to take care of their things and work as a team to keep the house clean. Hopefully we can keep this going so they will grow up knowing what their responsibilities are and fulfilling them.
This summer I also wanted to make sure they were continuing to learn, especially Savanna since she will be starting kindergarten in the fall. They each have a Summer Bridge workbook and started doing a few lessons a day, when their books are done we are going to Pirate Island to celebrate! Savanna has always loved doing workbooks, so she is doing great. I was surprised by Miles, this is the first workbook he has done and he is doing great! He is working on the pre-k to kindergarten book and Savanna is doing the kindergarten to first grade. It seems not too long ago when I was just worrying about getting my babies to nurse and sleep and of course Avery is still my baby and I cherish that, but I feel like I am entering a new stage of motherhood, new and exciting things lie ahead.

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