Thursday, March 31, 2011

10 Minutes

Busy week.

It is late and I am tired and tomorrow is another busy day, along with being April Fool's day...a big favorite among teachers.  NOT.  Teacher, there's a spider on your arm.  Teacher there's a spider on your head.  Teacher, there's a spider on your nose.  I am half tempted to go to school covered in black plastic spiders so that when the inevitable spider joke comes, I can say, "Tell me something I don't know."

But alas.  Wrong time of year for black plastic spider shopping.

I started something new with the fam this week which is working smashingly, if I do say so myself.  You see, I was getting totally snowed under with writing stuff, school stuff and stuff around the house and I just couldn't keep up.  (I mean, the house....well,.....if you threw a grenade at some of the messes, the grenade would halt itself mid-flight and turn around crying for its mommy. True.

Now, I hate to nag.  Hate it.  And I hate to assign chores, because when you assign chores then you have to remind people to do their chores and when you remind people to do their chores, they always respond, In a minute, I'm________________________. (fill in the blank with the appropriate excuse.  My kids like "I'm doing homework" because they know that, as a teacher, homework is my kryptonite.  I am powerless against it.  A teacher's kid has to do their homework.)

Thus, the work never gets done.  Except by me.  And when I drop the ball, it's pretty awful.

So, to make a quickly becoming boring story short, I initiated the 10 minute rule.  Everyone must donate 10 minutes per day to the upkeep of the casa. (And your own room doesn't count.  Must be for the greater good.  And it can't be something you are already responsible for.  But really, 10 minutes isn't going to kill anyone.Even homework can wait 10 minutes.)

I let them choose anything they want to do, because everything helps.  And 10 minutes times 3 kids (4 if you count my husband) is about 40 minutes a day....that's like 4-5 hours of extra housecleaning that gets done a week.

I am amazed by my brilliance.

(Hopefully, it won't go by way of the sugar bowl of despair....good one week, obsolete the next)

Do you have any tips for keeping up with "the house?"



Unknown said...

I think that idea is amazing! Sadly, I do nag. Having a dirty house really affects my mood so when it's not clean, I nag. When my kids clean without being asked, they get to put marbles in a jar and when the jar is full, they get Wii time with dad. That works pretty well so far. We've been doing it for a month now. I love your ten minute a day idea though! Fantastic!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Ha! Love your brilliance.
Unfortunately, at this moment in my life the only one I have to assign 10 minutes to is myself, but, hey, that's better than pretending the pile of papers in the corner isn't really there. ;)

And, TEacher, there's a dragon under my desk!

Margo Berendsen said...

What a great idea! I'm going to try that too! I loved your comments about the grenade running away and the homework kryptonite - oh yeah and spider shopping. You always leave a trail of smiles following your blog :)

Corey Schwartz said...

Ha, Highly entertaining post (as usual) My kids have no sense of time, so once a week I just say, Okay, everybody, we are cleaning to three songs! Ready, set, go!" Then I put on the really upbeat music.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I am bowing down in front of the computer in honor of your greatness... What an awesome idea! 10 minutes a day really isn't much and if everyone pitches in it will really help. Brilliant!

Unknown said...

unfortunately no and trust me I know how you feel I am in the same boat. Like right now I could be cleaning but I am tired and I have a headache so I am not...great excuse!

if you find a way let me know.


Julie Hedlund said...

I love this idea and plan to implement it TONIGHT!

Maria Cisneros Toth Blog said...

Hi, You have an award waiting for you on my blog! I discovered your blog via another writer's blog. Congrats!

Christina Lee said...

woo hoo--same wavelength, girl--YES! We do variations of this (20 and 30 minutes)and it does work!!!

p.s. there's a tarantula in your hair!

Jessie Oliveros said...

That is pretty brilliant. My son is four, so in ten minutes he picks up two legos. Yes, I do most of his cleaning for him. However, I will keep that one tucked away for when my kids are older.

storyqueen said...

Nisa-Marbles in jars! I love marbles...but I would probably keep taking them out of the jar and playing with them.
Tricia-Hahaha! I did get one dragon April fool!
Margo-Thank you. Hope the 10 min works for you, too.
Corey-That would have worked at my house before everyone started liking different kinds of music.
Sharon-It has made such a difference!
Teresa-Thanks for stopping by! And hope your head feels better!
Julie-Let me know how it goes.
Wub-Thank you! I'll go and check it out!
Christina-haha! I was going to start with 20 minutes, but I feared the grumbles. Nobody can really grumble that much about 10 minutes, can they?
Jessie-Ah, a four year old. That is when the clean up race is most effective. "I bet I can clean up these legos faster than you. On your mark, get set, go!" Of course, you must let him win....