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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cheap Labor

After years of being fairly dumb,
Rob and I wised up this year
and are finally seeing our lovely,
amazing, fantastic children
for what they really are...


Yes, we have come to the conclusion
that the little ankle biters,
I mean moochers,
are old enough to be consistently helpful.

Each child has a daily chore list.
Besides the usual things involved in getting ready
in the AM and PM,
this is what their lists looks like:

Kate (13)
Sunday- vacuum family room and hall
Monday- straighten room. clear all surfaces and floor.
Tueday- clean out Lucy's cage (hamster)
Wednesday- distribute clean laundry to appropriate rooms and sort whites
Thursday- vacuum family room and hall
Friday- main floor walk through 
Saturday- OFF

(Note: Main floor walk through means:
all socks found are taken to laundry
all shoes found go into shoe cubby by front door
all toys/books/papers etc belonging to any of the children are bagged, taken upstairs and then distributed onto the floor of the appropriate bedroom to be put away.)

Chris (9):
Sunday- gather trash from all trash cans in the house (9) and consolidate. Put trash in large can and wheel it out to curb.
Monday- straighten room and surfaces
Tuesday- poop scoop front and back yards
Wednesday- wipe down kids' bathroom
Thursday- main floor walk through
Friday- vacuum kitchen
Saturday- OFF

Trey (6):
Sunday- wipe down kids' bathroom
Monday- straighten room and surfaces
Tuesday- main floor walk through
Wednesday- OFF
Thursday- wipe down kids' bathroom
Friday- poop scoop
Saturday- vacuum kitchen.

Also, in the summer, we have pool parties most weekends.
The preparation for this used to be crazy, 
with the food shopping, 
food prep,
house cleaning,
pool prep etc
all going on.

This year, 
we have a list of chores that gets posted the day 
of a pool party.
This helps us tremendously because now I can focus 
on the food gathering and prep,
Rob focuses on the outdoors
and the kids help out with the rest.


1- All children: main floor walk through

Kate: use minivac in kitchen
use large vac in all other downstairs rooms and hall

Chris: clean downstairs bathroom
poop scoop front and backyards with Trey

Trey: straighten up around computer and sax
poop scoop with Chris

Rob: damp dust main level and wipe down counters.

Leeann: food prep and damp mop kitchen.

All this has made EVERYONE'S lives easier.
The kids spend about 15 minutes a day doing chores
but 15 minutes times three is 45 minutes of help, 
which adds up to a huge contribution.

Plus, it helps me feel less alone in the running and maintaining
of the household, 
which helps me to have a positive attitude.

What do you have your kids do?


Marit - "Som Mine Dager Er" said...

Hi Leeann

Stumbeled across your blog, and had to post a comment. A daily chore list is a good idea, and I do need to copy that to my son aged 16. He spend most of his time in his bedroom in front of his PC. His room looks like a mess and I hate it when he argues with me about cleaning. I am so tired of these fights, but what can you do? Sigh ....

You have a lovely family and great kids.

Have a nice day.

Regards Marit
Middle of Norway

Lanny said...

Clearly I need to have more children!!!

Richard Lewis said...

Michelle swears that her parents decided to have four children because they wanted to maximize the labor. In the summer, all of them would be ordered outside and, like soldiers, given orders to tend to the voluminous vegetable garden: Weeding, digging, planting, picking, the Murken children did it all.

Then came the inside chores. Like yours, each Murken lad or lass had specific chores. They didn't like it, but they did it.

Considering the return, maybe you should have one more!

Cindi said...

With two sons ages 17 and 21, they have a fair amount of responsibilities. They are responsible for keeping their bedrooms clean in addition to their bathroom. They were taught to make their beds early on and when they each began kindergarten, that was a daily chore for them.

They also have a lot of other chores they do around the house, but during the summer when they are working and I'm not, I do most of the stuff, except their bedrooms and bathroom.

Oh yeah, a lot can be said for giving kids chores to do around the house!

Ginaagain said...

Ok.. I have a question for you. Do your boys complain that they always get poop duty? Why doesn't Kate have to do it too? This is a huge issue in our house. The girls think that boys should have to pick up the dog poop.. the boy thinks it should be an equally shared chore. I tend to agree with the boy but I'm really having trouble getting any cooperation.

Leeann said...

No, they've never commented on it and I've never really given it that much thought. There is no reason why she can't do poop duty. I think I just kind of assigned "traditional" roles without thinking that much about it. But, unless they start revolting, I'm just gonna keep it that way. lol


MOM said...

Wish I had thought as you do when you and Richard were growing up. It would have made my life easier and instilled discipline in the two of you! I never saw your room clean the whole time you were a teenager. Isn't that the way it's supposed to be? lol You are doing a great job. Just wish I had done the same thing!!
Love you anyway,

Anonymous said...

NNNNNNNOOOOOOO i do not want poop duty