Snow, Kids, and Chores

We live in the surrounding area of Denver, Colorado.  As of today, we've been here for just over 4 months.  We came at the end of fall, so our first experience with living in Denver is with their winter.  The snow is fine; I've lived in Idaho where it seemed to snow for 5-6 months.  I know it didn't, but it sure seemed like we had extremely long winters there.  Here it snows, then the sun comes out the next day and melts it away...for the most part...usually.... ok, sometimes it's wishful thinking, but for a California girl (sunny, southern California by the way) I like the snow.
My neighborhood and cars
buried in the snow.
I love that Lewisville will be experiencing the changes of seasons again.  The kids love sledding, the dog loves running in the snow, but no one likes to shovel it.  Today, we got 2ft. of snow.  We're in a bit of a blizzard, and as of today, we are officially saving for a snow blower.  There are essentials you must have when you live in the snow and things you have to take care of to survive live.  You must be equipped with winter gear (snow boots, snow gloves, hats, sleds...etc) and before each winter you must have your sprinklers blown out or your pipes will burst.  With every snow fall, you must shovel the driveway, the walkways and be sure your pantry is stocked with hot cocoa.  A pain? yes, but such are the responsibilities of living in a snow town.

I'm thinking something like this
will work for me! moohaha

There are responsibilities we each have in Lewisville too.  Everyone in the family takes part in maintaining the home- sunny days or snow days.  Because I home school, we use our home all day.  Lets just say with 3 kids, a dog, and a bird, our home is well lived in.    I'm not someone who has to have a perfectly clean home all the time.   In fact, I confess that for many years, I didn't even do a presentable home unless I knew someone was coming for dinner.  When my kids saw me cleaning, they'd ask, "Whose coming over, Mom?"  Pretty sad, I know.  In the last couple of years though, as I've fallen in deep like with any blog that has organizing or cleaning or simplifying in it, I've learned to confront my cleaning challenged personality and accept a presentable, though not perfect, cleaning routine for Lewisville.  A home is just lovelier when it's clean, and this blog is really about my journey in making Lewisville lovely in every way.

laundry room storage idea
Inspiration. Motivation.

I'll talk more about my personal cleaning routine soon, but for this post, I'll be sharing about my kids and their chores.  My kids are 12, 10, and 8 so they actually help out quite a bit.  They do get paid for their chores,  but it's only a few dollars.  The money they get is really to teach them about financial responsibility, but that's another post.   Chores, responsibilities, jurisdictions...whatever you want to call them, should be a part of every home with kids.  Well, at least every home that wants a sane mom.  Sanity for mom? Yes, please!

part of the job

If you're trying to do it all in your home, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry, and picking up after kids who are capable of picking up their own stuff...etc, then at some point, you'll burn out, get frustrated, or both.  You know the saying, "And when mamma's not happy, no one is happy."   So can a fun home still have clean (enough) floors and happy kids? I think so.

This is the actual chore chart my kids are using right now.  I change it up every couple of months just to keep things "interesting".  The girls do their own laundry on Mondays (wash, dry, fold, and put away). They switch off doing dishes after dinner while the other helps me clean up the rest of the kitchen.  At some point during the week, they each have to clean a bathroom (sink, mirror, toilet) and vacuum the living room.  Is it perfect? nope, not at all, but I'm ok with that.  The house is clean and presentable; not perfect, but I'm a firm believer that my friends come to visit me, not my house.

By the way, they love the "pick a chore" idea.  LOVE.  Their words, not mine!

The Lewisville kids do their chores everyday at the same time- right after school.  They can't play outside, play on the computer, watch t.v. or text friends unless chores are done.  It takes them all of 15minutes to do chores (not laundry of course) sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.  On Saturdays, we take it easy, so it just has to get done sometime in the morning. Every night before they go to bed, they pick up anything they brought out during the day and haven't put away.  I don't pick up their messes and this system works for us. Well, it works for me at least :-). "Pick a chore" are just a few of the things I can't always get to, so they get to pick how to help me.  During the summer  the chores and schedule changes a bit.  In due time, I'll share it with you my young patawans. (quick- what movie?)

The kids don't whine about chores or try to get out of them....anymore.  It's just part of their daily routine.  That's the key really; kid's thrive with routine.  And all the big, fancy experts agree that "chores give kids self esteem as they feel they are an integral part of the family's dynamic".  Yes, Dr. Clean.  I couldn't agree more, but really, I just need some help getting a few things done and want to raise kids who aren't lazy. 

If you've never done chores with your kids, it's not to late to start,no matter how old they are.  Whatever their age, be clear about what you expect of them.  If you ask them to clean the bathroom, you must show them how to clean, what cleaners to use, and where to get them. Show them first, then have them repeat.  Wash, rinse, repeat!

You can start chores with kids as soon as they start walking- really.  There are many websites dedicated to the kinds of chores appropriate for each age group.  It's all good stuff, but however many list you find with chores and kids,  Momma, you have to remember you know your kids best.  If they can do more, challenge them.  If they can't do what's on someone else's list, start somewhere and move from there. 

Here's a list I've compiled from a few charts. The best list comes from you though.  Think of the things that will help you, even if it's something small.  And to you, new chore charters, welcome to whole new world!

 Toddlers/Preschool-   use pictures to help them see how to  help mommy


5-7year olds
       8-9 year olds

10 and older

          Happy cleaning!  or should I say, Happy cleaning, Kids?


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Women Living Well 
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