Monday, February 18, 2008

Lists and schedules, Oh My

OK, I am finally admitting it to myself that at least one of my children is most likely ADHD, and well their mother too. Last fall in my attempt at that time to get things under some sort of control I created a really good schedule for us and hung it on the wall in the kitchen. It makes a mighty nice wall decoration.

Anyway, we had a good fall. Lots of outside therapy and the diet seemed to be working. Hell, the stars and the moon had lots of alignments going on. Things just kind of flowed. We had issues, but they didn't seem like issues.

Fast forward to this winter...too many days inside the house, and well whatever. We are struggling. We are struggling with time management, discipline issues and even learning. I feel some days as if I have taken a step off the cliff into chaos. Since my surgery I have been absolutely exhausted. I don't have any back-up energy resources for this.

Last week it was finally time to step up and take charge. Mary was/is miserable most days about it. I was toast by the time DH got home and just haven't been up to keeping the house in any sort of order. Over the weekend I attacked the 'front room' in our house. The room that is our office/playroom and homeschool staging area. Piles everywhere, little hands had pulled things out and mixed them up. I cleaned, threw away, organized and straightened. That looked so nice I moved on to the family room, where we actually do most of our day-to-day studying. Piles of books were put away, table tops were cleared and I actually think I know where most of my materials are now.

So with chaos confronted, it was time to come up with a gameplan to prevent our downfall again. I still like our schedule, but need something to reinforce it (for all of us - remember I am just as guilty as my kids). Mary loves her checklists. She likes to count how many things she has to do and she likes to physically mark off her accomplishments. So using that I now have a daily checkoff list for her. From waking up, to brushing her hair, doing schoolwork and chores, and even going to bed at night.

And, since we are adding things anyway, they now have two chores each to do daily on a rotation. Mary & Katie are also trading off kitchen duties (fixing vs. clean up) for the three daily meals. They have had way too much free time for getting into trouble.

Everything went into place as of this morning. Everyone now has a wake-up time and something to keep them busy for most of the day. The plan seems to have gotten favorable reviews. The biggest complaint is the wake-up time and bedtime. Chores have never really been an issue, it is more that I don't let them do a whole lot because it takes me a lot less time. So, I am teaching them how to do them. Today the family room was vacuumed, kitchen floor swept, kitchen cabinets wiped down and Mary did an awesome job on the bathroom - even cleaning the toilet.

It will take us some time to get used to it, and I'm sure a certain amount of patience before it is all routine for us. But, if *I* can just stick with it I really think the kids will be behind me. It may be time for me to dust off my daily to-do list.


1 comment:

Melora said...

Good for you with having the kids do chores! I know I Should, but it is one of those things I keep postponing.
Travis does have a wake-up time and a start of school time, and that has done good things for us (except on weeks like this, when the kids are passing the Plague back and forth and Absolutely Nothing is being accomplished). Katie still does her subjects when she feels good and ready, which is undoubtedly a dreadful habit to have let her get into, and I am, as of now, resolving get her on at least a loose schedule!
I hope you feel better before much longer!

A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.