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Monday, August 17, 2009

What is clean?

What is clean?
Clean is definitely in the eye of the beholder.
I'm not an expert or anything, but in this house, the clean standard is set by me.
So it's not clean until I think it's clean. Am I right, Moms?
In fact, one of the things we heard my Mom say ALL the time, was "Would I think it's clean?"
We would usually have to go back and try to see it through my Mom's eyes.
I think I was a grown woman before I understood that.
One of the things I'm trying to equip my children to do is determine what is clean?
One of the struggles we are having with keeping their rooms clean is not just laziness, but truly "seeing" the mess.
They just don't see it.
So I have to help them see what needs work before it can meet the cleanliness standard.
And it's not fair to ask them to do things that are totally subjective in their eyes, really. They are kids. They need black and white clear directives.
So here is the clean chart for this year.
This has evolved over time.
When they were young, I had pictures of them putting their toys away, and making their beds.
But this clean chart has graduated to higher standards.
The little ones just have to try to keep up.
I put things on the checklist that they just aren't seeing. Like "corners clean", meaning, there's just junk piled up in the corners. And they don't seem to notice. So everyday they have to check the corners of their rooms to look for piles of junk, and I'm teaching them to sort through a pile of junk and make piles, according to where it goes.
(We have just had the summer end Organization/Clean-Out Blow-Out around here, so everyone has had some practice lately!)
I could clean it for them each day, or I could teach the kids to fish, and hopefully end up with kids who know what clean looks like by the time they leave this place.
I am certain their college roommates and spouses will thank me someday.
Each day, when they check off each job (approved by us) and color in the smily face, they work toward an allowance.
My kids have never made an allowance before.
Honestly, we feel like we don't owe them any money. Any work they do around here is to be a contributing member of the family. It's just expected.
But we do want them to learn responsibility with their money on a higher level, and also give them the ability to give generously of their own money to what they feel led to, as well as tithing their own money to the church.
So we explained to them that though we don't owe them money for work done, we are choosing to let them earn allowances with their daily jobs for those reasons.
One task on the chart is Leader Jobs.
Each day we have a leader. The leader gets to choose the cartoon, or the flavor of ice cream, or anything special like that. The leader also has extra responsibilities. Collecting all laundry, sheets to be washed, and cleaning a bathroom.
I love new school years, new systems, new organization, new schedules.
We are doing a lot of that this week, so I will try to write more about it as the week goes on.
We've been doing the charts for two days, and so far, their rooms look great! But the real test will be two weeks in.
I'll let you know.
I would love to hear things you do with your kids to help them know clean, or things your Mom did with you to teach you to clean.


The Mosiers said...

Love the new cleaning chart! Hope it continues to go well as the new school year starts! It's weird not being a part of the start of your school year....you'll have to give me daily updates :)

Love you guys

Anonymous said...

I love all the organization!! I think I need one of those charts to keep up with when to do what chores :) And all I have is an apartment - I don't know HOW you do it!!!

Great job on teaching your kids early on!