Some children love a tidy room and others...well...hmm. Let's teach children & teens to organize and clean their world in a fun way. Scheduling can be enjoyable, too.
When we organize, clean, or work on schedules, I try to stay lighthearted and make it fun. I always have a treat afterward like watching a movie or going to the park.
You see, these things are not my favorite things so how on earth would I expect it to be my children's favorite things, but they are part of life so I want to do them with a cheerful heart. My children will see things the way I do, so in training children, my attitude is the most important thing.
Also: how well my children clean their room or stay on schedule or organize their things has NOTHING to do with their value. I never want to belittle my children over these things, but I want to lead them from success to success to success.
In my family, there are messies. I won't name them in case you know them or meet them in person. Messies need more training, but they can learn to keep things mostly tidy. Free spirits can learn to stay on a loose schedule. Everyone can learn to clean.
Here are some blog posts and a podcast on organizing:
Smart Storage to Eliminate Clutter
Organizing Your Homeschool
Children enjoy cleaning more together. I clean with my children and we often work as a whole family in getting big jobs done.
When children are younger, they want to be Mommy's Helper. I always let them and nowadays I let my grandsons help. I've learned that cleaning up the mess after they "help" takes time in the short run, but years later they see helping as positive and something that is fun. So, it's worth the hassle in the early years to have happy hearts in the later years.
I teach my children to do a chore and work with them before turning it over to become someone's sole responsibility. I hate being thrown to the wolves myself so I don't want to do that to my children. If they are particularly busy, not feeling well, or feeling overwhelmed, I'll surprise them by doing their chore.
I lavish my children with praise and appreciation when they do their chores. After all, I like to be appreciated for making dinner and homeschooling.
I have had to lower my standards a bit to delegate certain chores to younger children.
Confession Time. I do sneak into the bathroom once a week and wipe everything down with a bleach wipe just to be safe since my children each have a bathroom to clean.
Here are some blog posts on cleaning and chores:
Questions & Answers about Chores & Homeschooling
Mommy's Big Helpers
Family Chore Time
Scheduling helps us stay on task, but it has to be our servant and not our master. I want to be able to break free and do something fun without missing school time or getting behind.
For years, I have made individual schedules with each child. We try them out for 2-4 weeks and then redo them. As children get older, they take over and I just look it over. This helps so much in keeping us all on task.
My goal: finish school and chores and then relax and have fun. I want to ingrain that in my children's minds and hearts. Work hard first, play second. We get most of our schoolwork done in the early morning hours, especially the hard stuff. You see, I'm teaching them delayed gratification which will bring them success in all of life.
Here are some blog posts on scheduling:
Scheduling That Works
Help! I Need to Manage My Time
How to Use Weekly Homeschooling Schedules
I am grateful to see my children now as adults organizing their lives and living spaces and valuing cleanliness. Not all of them are Martha Stewart Types, but their lives and surroundings are healthy and happy.
Remember, as we teach our children to schedule, clean, and organize, we are training them for life. It is a process. Lead them from success to success to success. Praise is more effective than browbeating.
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