Monday, March 30, 2009

Laundry Detail

Laundry used to be a constant burden on the whole household - me because I couldn't get it all washed, folded, and put away before the next big heave-ho, my husband because he never knew the location of his socks (he's not allowed to do the laundry - I'm way too picky on how it has to be done), and the children because they never had clean underwear and they could not walk 5 feet before tripping over dirty or clean stacks of laundry. Oh, how times have changed. The kids and I (almost 2, 4, 7) now sort and wash all the laundry on Monday, and then sort, fold, and put away all the laundry on Tuesday. It's a miracle and still continues to amaze me.

Our best strategy has been to sort the clean laundry into piles on the floor. One stack for Daddy, one for Mommy, one for Daddy socks, one for Mommy socks, etc. Whatever makes sense to your system. If you're a clean and tidy person, you could lay a sheet or blanket on the floor. Then we divide up the piles and get to work.

Note we do get a little complaining once the skills have been acquired, but during the training process the kiddos really enjoyed these practical life activities (when I was not being critical mommy over their shoulder). My 7-year-old literally sings the whole time she sorts or folds, so it must not be too bad.

Toddler Jobs
- throw items in specified stack (clean or dirty)
- stretch out washcloths or socks or anything else
- hang small items on racks
- carry small stacks to drawers
- pour clothes detergent, etc.
- push buttons on laundry machines
- put clothes in washer, dryer, basket

Toddler Graduate Jobs
- sort clean clothes (even 2 year olds know which socks are Daddy's)
- stack matched socks
- fold socks
- roll/fold washcloths

- put specified clothes into waasher, dryer, basket independently
- fold their own clothes (don't be too picky) on the floor
- put away their own clothes
- fold towels
- hang their shirts on the floor
- match socks
- fold socks inside one another

- sort most of the family's clean clothes
- sort most of the family's dirty clothes
- fold any type of clothing
- change setting on washer or dryer

School Age
- all of it

- play texture game (match socks by blindly feeling row of socks)
- fold blankets and sheets with kiddos and give kisses when matching corners

(changes every couple months)

Sunday Night
Mom - carry baskets of dirty laundry downstairs Sunday night
Mom - throw in load of towels and set aside sheet load for morning

Monday Morning
Mom - thow towels in dryer and throw sheets in washer
4 Yr - sort the dirty clothes with Mom while 7 Yr fixes breakfast
2 Yr - help sort or cook or stack plates and bowls from dishwasher

Monday throughout Day
Mom (and whoever is available) - Keep running loads and dumping clean clothes baskets upstairs

Monday Night
Mom - carry up baskets and hang wet clothes

Tuesday Morning
7 or 4 yr - sort clean clothes while others work in kitchen

Tuesday Mid-Morning
Mom - fold Mom and Dad's clothes, Dad's socks, and sheets
7 yr - fold Mom and Dad's white socks, kitchen items, own clothes (not many), baby clothes
4 yr - fold own clothes (has LOTS of clean clothes), towels
2 yr - play by hanging washcloths or stretching out small items
All (esp. 2 yr) - put everything you folded away

Every one of the above steps requires some training time but then let them fly. Currently, I do alot of the moving clothes from washer to dryer and carrying baskets just because it suits our current work routine. But they do ALOT and I am so proud of them. My daugher was 6 when she first folded the entire family's laundry - not that I ask her to do that on a regular basis - but I was amazed that we could raise such independent, capable kids (though they have their issues). It took me 34 years to do what she did at 6 years old. WOW!

I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing.
Ezekiel 34:26

"Just Do It" Ideas

As unschoolers, we love creative ideas that we can quickly implement when we have a moment of free time in our day. If I find ideas on other blogs for quick grab education and if we have items in our home that we can substitute, I bookmark them under "Do It" in my favorites. Some of these ideas we have tried and some will never be attempted due to our erratic schooling, but here are the ones I thought would be easy for us to duplicate in one way or another:

Laundry Activity
Sort and Count the Eggs
Easter Graph work
Rotten Egg Game
Discovering Pitch With Water
Clothespins in Soda Bottle
Sink and Float With Washers
Mortar and Pestle
Fingerprints on Traced Hand
Playdough - Small Amount
Grace and Courtesy Games
Measuring Spoons and Wax Paper
Pins in a Shaker
Weave Construction Paper
Scrub Egg Soaked in Soda
Caterpillars from Egg Cartons
Parts of the Blood
Paint by Blowing thru a Straw
Coins in Salt and Vinegar
Pepper in Water with Soap/Sugar
Foot Paintings
Transfering Seashells by the S...
Hang it on a stick
Marble Art

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Inspiration from Penn and Teller

Penn Jillette from Penn & Teller (magician, comedian, outspoken aetheist) gives an incredible testimony of a man sharing his faith with him after one of his shows

How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"
Romans 10:15

Thanks Be To God

I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.

Jeremiah 31:3b

Each day in the life of our household is a miracle. Without God's everlasting love and grace, we would not be a family much less a family that has food on the table each day and that gets the laundry done each week. And it has been baby steps all the way with the glory going to our Heavenly Father.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:33

We are a family who has to lean on God because we cannot lean on ourselves. As the youngest of five, I was taught how to love others unconditionally, but I was not taught how to care for a home or for children.

And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness"
II Corinthians 12:9a

After having children, God has had to teach me how to do even the smallest details from making a bed to changing diapers to peeling an apple to vacuuming to putting dirty clothes in the laundry basket. And He has much more work to do. Baby steps, baby steps.

But He said, " The things that are impossible with people are possible with God."
Luke 18:27

We homeschool because He gives us our lesson plan each day, knowing at this point in our lives we are unable to make a schedule much less stick to a schedule. Along this journey with the Lord in homeschooling, He has given us wonderful gifts of other moms that blog and share resources. This blog is His gift to my friends who desire to learn more from others.

The LORD bless you, and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.

Number 6:24-26