Friday, March 21, 2008

Well Oiled Machine

Kristina tends to be resourceful and has a strong work ethic. Its something that was instilled into her at the internot. Several mornings while we were in Ukraine, we arrived to find kids weaving brooms together from sticks they gathered in the yard to sweep the drive leading around the internot. Once we found Kristina mopping the floor of the orphanage playroom with an old shirt and a stick, though she claims to love American mops! I was impressed watching her darn a pair of socks that I would have thrown out. By the time she was done with them they looked quite good. We saw this side of her when she came for the summer in 2006. The dust buster was her best friend and I caught her vacuuming crumbs from the floorboard of the car several times. When she came home for good in December, she jumped right into cleaning and pitching in around the house. So much so, that often very few chores were left for the other children. Of course, the kids weren't complaining! But Robert and I knew we needed to find a balance for the burden of chores in the household. I came up with a list of household duties in Microsoft Excel that the kids could sign off on as they completed them (U, aren't you proud of me?). This gave us a good idea of who was (and was not) doing what in the house. The kids have really enjoyed choosing how they want to contribute. They know we expect them to choose at least four chores daily and they don't have privileges until these are done. Often they will complete their chores before school to free up playtime in the afternoon, learning time management in the process. As I was typing this, Robert started shouting at me to bring the camera. This, friends, is not on the chore chart!


Leah Spring said...

Wow, what a girl she is! I have always LOVED the microsoft chore charts. Years ago, when my 4 boys were young, it was located in "Works", and my kids really liked it! We had "morning jobs" that were usually quick things like wiping off the bathroom counter, or putting laundry down the laundry chute. Then we had "afternoon jobs" which were slightly more time consuming, like sweeping the kitchen, emptying the dishwasher, etc. It worked great! My boys are all moved out now, so my 11 year old daughter and I share the chores.

Unknown said...

Hey everyone!

Just want to wish a Happy Easter to all of you. Have a great one.

Ashley said...

Oh, this is hilarious! I got such a good laugh out of this! :o) The chart is a wonderful idea! I do it at home with my boys, but a little different than yours. I think I may look into the way you are doing it when Grisha comes home. I love they are learning time management as well. I can tell I am going to learn a lot from you! Love ya, sis. Thanks for everything!

Annie said...

I'm trying to work out something like this for my family. What do the chores in bold mean?

How do they select them? Or do you?

I need details!

Leslie said...

I am not an organized mom, I swear. And to answer your questions, the chores in bold/italic are the ones that can't be done until the end of the day. For example, the shower doesn't need to be tidied up until the end of the day after everyone has had their bath or the dishwasher doesn't need to be loaded and started until the end of the day when we're done dirtying up things.

I let the kids pretty much choose what they want to do, but they've learned that if they wait too late in the day the "easy" chores are gone by then. If you want I can email you the excel file and you can change the chores/names to suit ya'll.

Debora Hoffmann said...

Leslie, the picture of Kristina darning her socks--while they were on her feet!--in your original blog post prompted us to send "Elaine" a couple of pairs of wool socks. I am impressed with Kristina's darning skills; I don't think I have ever darned a pair of socks!

We watched the video of Kristina on the roof and laughed as she scurried around cleaning off the branches. Of course, we alternated with telling her to be careful, as if she could hear us! :-)

Happy Easter / Resurrection Sunday!

Tami said...

AAaah! I just about have a heart attack anytime Shad goes up on the roof, let alone one of the kids. ;)
Great idea on the chore chart. I'll have to check that out!

junglemama said...

Kristina sounds like two of my daughters rolled up into one! I love the sock story.

Jim H. said...

Thank you for pointing out something that I've come to appreciate so much in these kids. They are indeed incredibly resourceful and I love the fact that they are so good about finding ways to spend their time without needing to be entertained.

Kristina is hilarious! Keep the videos coming.

Anonymous said...

I've been thoroughly enjoying re-living your whole adoption story. Kristina is such a blessing! I agree, please keep the videos coming!

Hugs from Canada, eh!