I've been asked a lot of times how I "do it"--homeschooling the children, completing paperwork for the adoption, caring for the children, cooking, cleaning, taking the children to all their doctor appointments, doing the laundry, etc. The answer:
Actually, my in-laws help babysit the children while I run to various doctor appointments. Thank you, George and Carileen!!
In addition, I've been greatly helped by:
Zone Cleaning for Kids
About five days a week, we do "zone cleaning". (We take off Sundays and Mondays when Derek is off work.)
Instead of everyone picking up their "own stuff", we now pick a zone. This is so helpful since so much of our "stuff" belongs to "everyone" (like Legos, playdough...).
Everyone picks their favorite zone--which starts the cleaning off to a very good start--and each zone has a check list and boxes to check off. With a dry erase marker to mark off the boxes, the children know exactly what to do.
And, there's something about a dry-erase marker and marking off boxes that is SO exciting to the children.
The children gladly clean their zones.
I know: weird.
I'll often hear: "Can we do zones now?" (vs. at the end of the day).
So, the house stays relatively clean.
Is it perfect?
Is it lived in?
Yep. Ya betcha!
Is it relatively peaceful and easy to keep up on?
Yes. Gloriously: Yes!
Last night as the kiddos were doing their zones, I snapped these shots:
Andrew loves to clean the bathrooms:
Cherish always chooses the kitchen:
Hope often chooses the living room:
This has been a true blessing to our family. I hope it will bless others as well.
Side note: If you do indeed buy it, you may want to laminate the sheets of the book immediately. Andrew was so into cleaning the bathroom, that he decided the zone book should be cleaned, too. He washed it in the sink with soap and water. Let's just say, it's laminated now and doing just fine.