Chores and screen time (scripts & routines)

Brushing hair and teeth are mandatory. The kids have to check off on their chore chart that they are doing these activities because if we don’t have them check off that they are doing these things… they don’t. These are the first chores of the morning. I also tell the kids to get dressed. This is mostly successful.

EC is supposed to sweep under the kitchen table basically daily. In practice it happens a few times a week when it is gross and I remind her. MC is supposed to mop once a week on Thursdays.

Academics are a mandatory part of Mon-Fri. EC has a literal physical day planner with her schooling activities mapped out. She knows what she is supposed to do on any given day. She does need assistance with some of her tasks but given that you went to graduate school and she’s in 4th grade… I’m completely confident that you could help her with anything that comes up. Sometimes she doesn’t understand the framing of a math problem. Sometimes they both need a little help gathering up supplies for a science experiment. Sometimes there is a question about history or writing. None of these questions are complicated. MC has to spend 15 minutes a day on a computer reading program and otherwise I spend a lot of time saying, “So do you have everything you need for your ES? Should you produce something today?”

Once a month the kids have to turn in 2 assignments each for language arts, history, math, and science. EC knows how she is doing this and everything is set up for her. MC has a variety of fairly simple books they can work through to produce for most of these subjects. MC still needs a lot more reading support but they can be independent on a lot of the work. (But the reading is coming along!)

Kids cannot use the screen until ALL academics and chores are done. They should not start computer academics until after other chores are done.

We (the grown ups) try to load the dishwasher and turn it on in the evening. The kids have to empty it first thing in the morning. If it isn’t clean/ready to be emptied I don’t make the kids wait on screen time until it is.

The kids should be setting the table for meals. Gentle reminders are usually plenty. “Hey it’s time to eat! We need plates!” They are fairly cooperative because they like to eat.

The kids have to clean up their stuff from the living room and they have to tidy their stuff from the bedroom and play room.

Making a meal is an optional chore for the kids. It’s on the chore list, but if the kids do it they get massive bonus points because it is not a kid responsibility in my mind. It’s a kindness they do to help out.

Don’t worry about chore points at all while you are here. I will catch up when I tabulate the sheets. Totes not your job. Just remind the kids to update the chart. They know how that works.

Screen time is paid for in 1 hour blocks. The kids know how to write down that they are using the screen but they sometimes need some reminders to keep up with it because they get a bit lazy. The kids know how to set their own timers so that they are tracking their behavior.

usually limit the kids to about 3 hours of screen time in a day. Rarely they get more than that. In practice if you are feeling overwhelmed as the caregiver during a short crunch-period like me being in labor…

Dude. Do whatever the fuck you want with screen time. It’s not going to long-term harm them and all you need to do is get through the time in one piece. It will all be fine. You don’t have to micromanage or worry about all the habits the way I do. 🙂 If you feel like giving them a bonus 6 hours and you don’t think they should have to be charged chore points for it because it is a decision you are making as the Adult In Charge… go for it. I won’t complain in any way. It will all be fiiiiiiine.

Everything else on their chore list is something you don’t need to worry about. Laundry is “as needed”. Gardening is rarely assigned and is more often opt-in because they want to earn bonus points. They can get points for exercising but in practice… that basically never happens.

I think it’ll be ok.