From Our House to Yours
A Quick List to Check Chores, Personal Health, and Rooms
I find the biggest obstacles to beginning our Heart of Dakota school day on time often have nothing to do with homeschooling. If the dishwasher is full, the trash is overflowing, or the dogs still need to be fed, I just can’t teach. Likewise, I find it difficult to homeschool if our sons haven’t had time to groom properly. Finally, I find if we don’t have our bedrooms in order fairly early in the day, they may never right themselves. Using a ‘quick list’ is an effective way to check chores, personal health habits, and rooms. I will be sharing how to make a quick list in this blog. Once this quick list is made, I hang one on the fridge, set another copy on the kitchen table, and give another copy to any child who wants one.
A Quick List to Check Chores
There are some chores that truly need to be done early in the day. This is either because they need to be done first thing or because they need to be done so I can stay sane. I think what these chores may be varies from home to home, so my list might not be your list. However, if you want to know what chores matter in your home, just pay attention. What chores do you find yourself doing or telling your children to do each morning? Or, what things do your eyes light upon that weigh you down the most? These are the things that need to make it on your chores’ list. On my quick chore list, each son has assigned chores each day. I make sure to take time to train each of them to do their chores well, and then they are responsible for doing them.
A Quick List to Check Personal Health Habits
I have found there are some personal health habits that truly need to be done early in the day. This is either because timing-wise they need to be done first thing or because they need to be done so I can stay sane. For example, I find our tweens/teens need to have enough time to shower, shave, etc. Likewise, I want each of them to have a Bible Quiet Time (which is part of their HOD guides anyway), to use the traction bar/wobble cushion for healthy spines, and to try to drink water throughout the day. I think what these personal habits may be varies from home to home, but just pay attention to what you find yourself (in frustration) reminding your children to do each day. These are the things that need to make it on your personal health habits’ quick list.
A Quick List to Check Rooms
I have found there are some basic guidelines that truly need to be followed each day to keep our bedrooms picked up. If we don’t do these fairly early in the day, they just don’t ever seem to get done. I want there to be a balance of enjoying using our rooms throughout the day and of keeping them fairly neat. Rather than a spotless room, I like to aim for a picked up room. Actual cleaning (i.e. dusting, vacuuming, etc.) of our rooms takes place on the weekends as we are able. I only put things on the quick list for checking rooms that visually help the room look fairly neat and put together. They are not all that complicated, but they matter to me in the overall visual look of the room, as I walk by the rooms throughout the homeschool day.
So, what makes the quick list so effective?
Three things help make the quick list effective. First, the list needs to fit on one paper. If the list is several pages long, it can’t be seen at-a-glance. It also takes too long to get done efficiently prior to homeschooling. Second, the list needs to be read aloud and checked each weekday. I do this simply by taking the list and reading aloud each thing, asking if they did them. For the room checks, I go upstairs and glance in their rooms as I ask them. If something isn’t done, they do it right away. Third, there needs to be some incentive. I give them a small allowance each week they can spend on anything (i.e. $3, $2, and $1 each respectively, from oldest to youngest). I hope this gives you some ideas about how you can create and customize your own habits’ quick lists!