Help With Your Mother's Rule

Help With Your Mother's Rule is a forum for women who want trouble-shooting help with their Mother's Rules or about any aspect of the 5 Ps of the married vocation.

Ask Holly: This blog is composed of your questions. Contact me at the address listed on Holly's Helpers page and I will respond. Please share your unique ideas as well. The more ideas and experience we share, the more successful every mother will be in designing her own unique Mother's Rule.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What Are Your Kids Doing?

Someone has asked regarding my Pulling Things Together Again posts, "What (are) your children doing during your large chunks of time (& what are their current ages)? With my little ones at age 9, 8, and 7, I can't quite imagine the day when I will have large chunks of time ever again!!"  
I'll share with you what my kids did yesterday during my chunks of time, and while I was doing supper prep. The kids home yesterday were 12 (almost 13) year old Virginia, 14 year old Luke, and 17 year old Jess.
In the morning chunk, Luke and Jess were strawberry picking until 11 am, then came home. Jessica bathed a dog, took all three dogs for a walk with Luke. Then, Luke picked lettuce from the garden and washed it for lunch. jess then helped make lunch with me.  Virginia, from 9 to noon, (among her other pursuits), cleaned the kitchen for the family - dishes, loading dishwasher, and tipped the strawberries the others brought home before lunch.

In the afternoon chunk,  Luke did 30 minutes on Rosetta Stone French and Virginia did 30 minutes on Sponge Bob Typing. Jess cleaned her room. One or the other combined, the kids also set up the hose to water the flower garden, BBQ'd some steak, helped make the broccoli salad for supper, went down the street to mail a letter and get the mail, paid a bill at the local grocery store for me, picked up some eggs & Cheese and raisins, packed for a trip one is taking, washed and dried pots, wiped counters & cleaned the sink, put groceries away, made dog food & fed them, and did a laundry load, in addition to the 17 yr old's time on Facebook and the younger two's own personal activities.

The kids also have other things they do during day time - 15 minutes of piano practice, garden weeding and other home responsibilities, bringing laundry to the rooms, or hanging a load on the line, and usually someone helps peel potatoes or carrots etc for supper.

Many of these types of things are common duties of the home, which my children participate in, as opposed to Mummy doing everything. The only things I must do by myself are finances, organizing, planning homeschooling, and my own unique duties. Many of these normal types of things, children aged 7-9 can do as well, just needing to have instruction and practice.  Most mornings, I call the kids together, set up a list of what needs to be done on a white board, and we all go through it,  assigning certain tasks to each person, in discussion with them.  It works and I am free to do what I must do:

Yesterday in my chunk times I:
Put on a roast and a turkey; did some homeschool coop organizing; listened to new hymns for the parish music ministry; plucked the turkey and made broth; sorted all my private papers, making a to-do list as I went through them; made up files for these re: homeschooling, my mother, my rule, nutrition, pets, etc - keeping out what was 'now' and putting in a shelf that which is 'later'; and I made the Broccoli Salad with the family for supper; and went to a Book Study (Holiness is For Everyone) last night at my parish.

That's how it goes!

5 comments:

  1. I didn't want anyone to get me wrong on this -

    My children do 'fun' things too - they often (sometimes daily in hot weather) go to the white-sand beaches near our home, or go wharf-jumping down by the river down the street, or skateboard or whatever...

    We do a balanced mixture of play and work, even in the summer.

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  2. Hi, my eight kids range in age from 4 months to 15 years old. I have been trying to have a mother's rule for over eight years now, with varying levels of success and disaster over the years. I find in the school months (we don't home-school) it is much easier to know how much help to expect from the kids, because their time at home is so limited. But in the summer, I always struggle with how much I can reasonably expect them to do. Especially when they are gone to school and activities so much during the school year, they want/need relaxing time during these two months. Do you have a generalized idea of what percentage of a typical day each age group could expect to have "free time" and what percentage of the day is for pitching in to help the family?

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    1. Another question: I think in your book you said that your husband is a teacher, which would mean that he is most likely home during the summer? Is he in on the white-board meeting in the morning?

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  3. How much work should the kids do? As much work that needs to be done around the house, home and yard.

    There is an old adage - "A change is as good as a rest". And rest does not mean idleness and play.

    Manual labor, participating in family work - this is refreshing in its variety, and you arm your kids not only with serious life-skills, but with a sense of responsibility, character and a solid work ethic (if you deal with the complaints).

    God did not put Adam and Eve and their children in the garden to play and remain idle, but to work. Work was assigned before the Fall. Our human nature is fulfilled with work. This goes for kids if they are taught to do a good job.

    Figure out what needs to be done in your home & garden etc. Assign chores. Let them have a couple of hours free through the day, but the rest of the time, I would assume you could use all the help you can get!

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  4. As for my husband - yes he has summers off from school, but of course, not off from work. There is plenty to do around here.

    I don't schedule him, never have, never will. But occasionally - like once a week - he will sit down with me or with us, and work out what has to be done for the week - giving his input into what the kids need to help with as well.

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