Monday, March 28, 2011

Barn Hop #6

It's Monday, and around here, we Barn Hop to start our week off! It's a chance to share what's going on in our part of the world, things we're learning, and ideas we're dreaming! And by linking up, we connect with other kindred spirits and cultivate the Homestead Community.

Your hosts for the Homestead Barn Hop are...

Jill @ The Prairie Homestead
Kendra @ New Life on a Homestead
Megan @ A Blossoming Homestead
and Me!

This week and next I'm spending some time reorganizing some problem areas at my homestead. Because of some changes in our homeschooling (kids growing up and being more and more independent on their work), I decided to shift the classroom from upstairs where we use to spend the day, to a downstairs room. We fondly call it the "library", but until this week, it had zero books in it. Let's just say that it was suppose to be a family library, but ended up being an unfinished music room and study area for my husband. I took some photos going all the way around the room so you could get an idea of what I did. Keep in mind this was a no-cost redo so it's not perfect, but it was free!

I love this room because it's on the front of the house and has several windows which make it bright and airy, especially after I recently painted it a soft white color. By moving the classroom to this room right off the entryway and great room, I can easily move from working with the kids to the kitchen area and back. I'll be able to monitor their independent work or step in to teach a subject at the appropriate time. 

Another reason for moving the classroom downstairs is so that we can use the woodstove to stay warm instead of running the upstairs heater. Next winter, this should really save us a lot of money! And every bit adds up!

This past week I also took a long hard look at how we were doing chores around here, especially cooking and washing dishes, and decided that a change was in order. Somehow we had slipped from our usual clearly defined assignments to an uncharacteristic chaos of "it's not my chore" and a poor attitude to go with it. The truth of the matter... as the Mom, I let things slide...

• not clearly assigning chores
• not being specific in what I wanted or expected
• not following up well to determine if things were done correctly
• not initiating the proper consequences

How's that for dropping the ball? Happens to the best of us from time to time. So, we had to regroup and start fresh. I spent a good part of the week thinking about it and I made some decisions...

• I listed chores that had to be done every day
• I added several new daily chores to the list; things that needed to be done more often
• I listed chores that had to be done once a week 
• I divided the house into 5 zones; each day we clean a different zone
• We started having breakfast all together at one time 
• We began having devotions twice a day instead of once (breakfast time was now added)
• Now we will all cook together and we will all clean the kitchen together
• No more dishwasher; we are washing by hand, drying, and putting things away (this is more of a necessity because the washer is giving out, but I decided we would not replace it.)
• Each daughter will have a meal where she washes, one where she dries, and one where she puts things away, does floors, cabinets, etc.
• No iPod during chores anymore - even if it's something profitable, like listening to a classic. (Children were getting too distracted and not doing a good job).  

Whew! Big changes around here. But you know what? They actually seem happier! No, it's not Disneyland happy, but we're out of the kitchen faster and they aren't alone doing a big chore. And we're bonding more as a family. I like that and so do they. 

My new chore list? You guessed it; it includes checking on little people chores. Pray I set a good example and complete this one!

This week, I hope to set up a sewing area and get my seeds all organized! 

So, tell us what's happening in your neck of the woods!


Related Posts with Thumbnails