With school in full swing and everyone starting to settle into routines, we had started noticing that we were so busy some days that the house needed some more attention. Initially, I thought this just required a new schedule for myself to get the housework done but after trying a couple of weeks of that, it was clear that the kids were playing a significant role in making messes and hardly contributing to the cleaning up.
So after some discussion we decided to hold a family meeting to discuss what it takes to be a family and what our expectations were. The Eagle & I had decided that there were four daily jobs that each of us was to do, and we explained them to the kids.
1- Make bed
2- Clean room
3- Clear dishes from the table after meals
4- Pick up toys/projects when done or before bed
Then we talked about the additional jobs that the kids would have each week. We came up with a list of four jobs for each of them, and had them choose three for the week. These jobs were not necessarily daily jobs, but they could be if the kids are super messy or they could just we once a week if the kids do their best to keep the house clean.
I made a chore chart so we would all know which jobs they were responsible for.
So far, the kids have been okay about doing their jobs. They have been reminded about their daily chores a bit, but hopefully they will become habit soon. There is some concern on the Tumbleweed's part about cleaning up her things before she goes to bed because she "wants to finish them in the morning", so we are working on terms that allow things to be left out on occasion. I am leaning towards giving them each a couple of "leave it out" passes for the month and they have to use them wisely, but the Eagle & I will decide before this Saturday's family meeting (yes, for now we are going to attempt to do the meetings every week during lunch on Saturdays).
There have only been a few times that we have asked them to do their "chosen" chores so far, and overall it seems that they understand what is expected but aren't too thrilled that they are being interrupted from whatever they are doing. Once again, I think they will get used to it if we are consistent. Being consistent is my toughest household job.
9 months ago