Friday, September 25, 2009

Here's the Least You Can Do

I knew it would happen as soon as I posted about children's chores. We have had a rough week! A few late nights, kids up and down at night, minimal school work done, lots of errands, etc. To be perfectly honest, we didn't get all our chores done most days. I know we all have weeks like this (at least I hope it's not just me!) What are the absolute essentials? What are the things that must get done? I like simple mom's idea of having three Most Important Things to get done. I have my own, but since we're talking about kids here--what are the three MITs for our kids to do each day?

I'll give you mine, then I'd love to hear yours for your own children!

1. Get dressed. I know most of you wouldn't put this on your list, but for a homeschooling mother, there are days when it is a real temptation to leave them in their "jammies" all day! I made it easier for them and for me, by folding all their playclothes into outfits and putting them in a drawer they could reach. When I tell them to get dressed on an "at home" day, they can dress themselves with no help from me.

Photo courtesy of Monroe's Dragonfly

2. Brush your teeth. Yes, my children would still, even at 4 and 7, never think about brushing their teeth if I didn't remind them. I solved this problem by putting toothpaste on their toothbrushes when I brush my teeth in the morning. When they come into the bathroom, they will see it and remember to brush their teeth. Also, if they don't remember to brush, then I know it--the toothpaste is still on the brush!

Photo courtesy of cafemama

3. Clear your own dishes. I figure if I plan and cook the meals, set the table most of the time and wash the dishes, the least my children can do is clear off the table. To prevent arguments, our rule is that each person takes their own dishes to the kitchen. Then one child clears the remaining dishes and the other clears and puts the food items away.

Yes, I admit, basic hygiene and eating with the resulting necessary cleanup feel like an accomplishment on some days! Now what about you? What's your "bare minimum" for chores for your children?

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