Category Archives: Cleaning

Homeschooling Journal Week 34

In my life this week…

Rocky Moutains

Last weekend I took my two older kids to Calgary,AB for their Irish Dance Competition. A seven hour drive there, one day in town and a 7 hour drive home left me a little out of it on Tuesday. The kids had fun and did well compared to their last competition but didn’t win any trophies. My wife had a business trip to Portland,OR and left Ian with Grandma for one night. So there was one night were we were spread out over 3 cities in 3 different provinces/states and 2 countries. It also meant that I was doing this competition for the first time without my wife there. There were some minor confusions one of which had me acting like a charging rhino trying to get my daughter to the right stage before her dance started. She was trying to tell me that she was a the right stage. I had misread the schedule. She had disappeared on me and I couldn’t find her so by the time I did I was sure she was about to miss her trophy dance. That I would have never lived down. She, having also read the schedule was peacefully waiting at the correct stage.

More Rocky Mountains


Some Critter

Bird That was after my lunch
Bird That was after my lunch. I Didn’t Zoom in.

My wife is really enjoying Portland. Her hotel is much, much nicer that the one we stayed at. She texted me last night asking what books to look for, for me in Powell’s. She spend an hour and a half there last night and her text to me stated she had to leave before she bought any more books. She is going back later today before her flight and I am to get her an email list of books I’m looking for. I jokingly said that we need to plan a road trip to Portland in the next couple of years. I think she felt that was a good idea. I will need to discuss it with her when she gets back. Google Maps says it is only about a 9 hour drive. With Kids I would spread that over two days.

My Weekly Clean up task…

Cleaned Front Area Planter

Last week’s clean up task wasn’t to bad. Most of it was recycling. I did find a padlock and deeper down a key. It turned out to even be the right key. In this house that’s pretty miraculous. It does still need to be vacuumed out but my so is doing his Chinese in his cave and he needs quiet.

Philip Cave Sneek Peek

This weeks task is the shelf above my desk. It has long been the home to “Important papers” that can’t really be all that important judging by the depth of the pile.

Messy Shelf Above My Desk

In our homeschool this week…

Philip is plugging away on his Chinese. Basically that is all we have done all week. Monday was a holiday. Tuesday we had speech therapy in the morning but the rest of the time has been Chinese.

The trip to Calgary turned out to be educational as well. One of the thing we covered this year was the physical regions of Canada. Philip piped up from the back seat that we should be crossing from the Cordillera to the Plains. I told him to watch for. Sure enough suddenly you are on the plains. We had a good talk about that and reinforced some of the ideas. Coming back it was even more obvious. He compared it to Dora the Explorer. “Flat, Flat, Flat, MOUNTAINS!” You had to be in the car, we all broke out laughing.

Plains to Cordillera

Plains to Cordillera

Just a note all these Rocky Mountain pictures were taken on our trip last year for the same event. My wife took picture while I was driving. This time she wasn’t there and that was going to lead to concerns and confusion.

I’m cooking…

Salsa Chicken cooked

With my wife out of town for the week I’ve been rather lazy in my cooking and did stuff that me and the kids like but she doesn’t. I did post another recipe For a Blog hop. This week’s recipe is Salsa Chicken. I have posted about it before but not the recipe.

Linking up at: Homeschool Hop Button


How to get your kids to clean!

Getting kids to clean is always a battle but it is becoming less of one each time.  My to older kids (5 and 8) are responsible for cleaning their room, the play room and library/craft area.  They must have it done by Friday morning to get their allowance so I can vacuum.  The key word here is responsible.

Teaching responsibility is a big part of why we started this routine.  Getting them to understand that things just need to get done isn’t always easy.  I used example like “I am responsible for cooking you dinner.  I can’t just decide not to cook dinner just because I don’t want to.”  It takes a lot of repetition but it is starting to sink in.

The first thing is defining and making sure that they understand what it is that they are responsible for.  I am a big fan of 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen Covey and some of this comes from listening to his CD.  They are responsible for:

  • Getting all their laundry in a basket and downstairs to the laundry room.
  • All Stuffies  on the bed or in their hammock.
  • All books on bookshelves
  • All toys in bins (preferably the right bin but we are working on that one)
  • All Craft supplies away in the craft drawers
  • All Art projects on their shelves or filed.
  • All recycling recycled. (Had to define what is recyclable and what isn’t.  That took some work and I check both and explain if there is a problem)
  • All garbage in the garbage.
  • Floors to the point that I can vacuum.  That is the final checkpoint.

I also had to explain what was not acceptable, ie piling everything on the couch.  While it made the floor clear enough to vacuum the coach was unusable.

They can do this anyway that they want as long as on Friday morning I can vacuum.  They can choose to keep it clean by doing a little bit each day.  Never has happened even with all my hints.  Come Wednesday night they have to clean.  My wife is out Wednesdays so me and the kids clean.  Seeing me clean my area reinforces the responsibility lesson.

So last night they choose rooms.  First choice goes to the one that I say cleaned best last week.  Second choice goes to the other one and the third room is shared.  My daughter cleaned her room and more than half of the shared room.  My son cleaned a bit and then got distracted by a book he found.  My daughter is done and can do what she like this afternoon.  My son, who wanted to have a friend over is going to be cleaning instead.  I also have a new Mythbusters on the PVR to offer as enticement.  He will have it done for tomorrow I have confidence in that.  They also get an allowance that is conditional on the Friday morning clean rule.

Repetition is the key,  same expectations, same rewards, same consequences.