The year 2020 has become synonymous with the word “adjustments.” Work at home. School at home. Stay in the home. It’s reminded us of the importance of family time and has also come with a few … let’s just say inconveniences. Among them, the nonstop messy house. You can continually sigh and pull your hair out or devise a plan to bring more order and less stress.
The plan we’ve created will also teach your kids responsibility because, after all, if they’re learning from home they should also learn how to take care of one.
1) Just as your child’s class has a schedule, create a cleaning schedule for your child too that can supplement their class schedule. As I learned earlier this spring, my kids actually enjoy following their class schedules. So when I sneak in a quick cleanup break as part of that schedule, they hardly notice. And if they do, they don’t complain. They just see it as another item to do on the daily agenda.
2) When creating the cleanup schedule, try to break up the chores and keep each task less than three minutes long. The lesser the appearance of “work” the higher the adoption rate. Try to have between two to five tasks for your child each day. Here are some examples of easy tasks:
– Make Bed – Easy to do and provides a sense of accomplishment to start the day. One plus, they can then use the bed as an area to read or hop on their class call.
– Put dishes away – Aside from the sharp items, this is something kids enjoy doing because they see parents do it all the time.
– Disinfect Door Knobs and Handles – Another easy task with major benefits. Just have them take a microfiber cloth and dampen it with a nontoxic disinfectant or probiotic cleaner. Then, simply wipe the handles and knobs.
– Organize toys
– Feed pets
– Tidy up desk/learning area – This is a good task for them to practice after completing each subject. A clean, well-organized, open space fosters a good learning environment.
– Laundry – This can be broken down into four different tasks for them to do at varying times throughout the day so it doesn’t seem like it’s an all-day event:
-Pick up clothes
-Get laundry started
-Fold clothes and put them away
3) In my opinion, it’s never too early to teach accountability. Therefore, if a task is not completed, there must be a consequence. To keep focus on schooling throughout the day, however, those consequences can come at the end of the day. Perhaps a toy gets put in timeout or the choice of park you go to is no longer theirs or bedtime starts earlier than usual. In any case, coach to accountability.
In the journey of distance learning and, for you as a parent–teaching–I wish you patience, care and cleanliness. May we all adapt successfully.
by Lyndon Conaway / Germz Be Gone