Some people have cleaning ladies. I don't. But I have three kids and I thought it time to put them to work. While they have always had a few regular chores, they were minimal and the large majority of the housework has always been left for me, especially during the school year.
Well not anymore. They have more time in the summer, they are old enough, capable enough and darn it, it's about time they earned their keep. And we're keeping score of their helpfulness.
It's been a dream.
We decided on some pretty awesome rewards and then started tracking points earned by doing work. I don't have to beg or plea, I just dangle a few points in front of them and I can get them to do just about anything. (Except bathrooms, nobody has offered to do those yet.)
Alyssa helped with dinner for two weeks. She planned the menu, helped me shop for groceries and then learned how to cook the meals. She learned that putting a meal on the table is not as easy as it looks. She passed off a Personal Progress requirement in the process and I loved having the help at dinnertime.
Caleb's done all sorts of odd jobs that were long overdue but just got perpetually buried in the list of household chores. Things like dusting those really hard to reach places, weeding behind the shed and cleaning up some things in the crawl space. The best part? He's done them all eagerly!
They've done lots of regular ol' chores, too. They do the watering (we do not have a sprinkler system), the weeding, the dishes and so much more. Now, if I could just convince one of them that the bathrooms really are worth the points as well.
The kids seem eager and determined to earn their reward, but they are a bit intimidated by the lofty 500 point requirement. Caleb said, "If I don't earn it, then I'm just going to say you tortured me!" But you see, there's some gospel analogy in all of this and I took this opportunity to explain the concept of grace. I told him to work hard, give it his all and if in the end he comes up a bit short, we will make up the difference.
I think they're learning. I'm relishing the help.
We're keeping score but I think we're all winning.