Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mind Maps: figuring out household chores

Mind mapping is a Mediated Learning tool that can help organize your thoughts. Even though, at first glance to the mind map sheet you are wondering, "How is this organized?"
In reality, you are actually organinizing information in a way that is similar to how the brain organizes information. You also make connections between the information you are organizing.
Here's how it went down at my house:
We talked about our Household Chores. Since I had been working while my husband was laid off, we got out of our rhythm. Then my husband went back to work and we have still been grappling to get back into the rhythm of daily routine. I admit, some...ok, 100% lack of motivation and laziness on my part.
We talked about how we feel when the house gets messy. We came up with some different plans (gotta love that one of the crew suggested we 'do nothing' as a solution!)
We came up with a plan for accountability and a reward for 30 days of consistent work.
We wanted to figure out what we needed to do each day so that we could create a system together. (Note: we included my husband's and my values. Mine is the top, his is the bottom. Efficiency and excellence)
Then we drew a line to our related topic: the Bedroom
We picked different colours to represent different family members and then branched off with all our different chores in our perspective rooms. My one year old has the job of "pick up toys". Everyone has a part to play.
Then we tackled the Laundry task. We each have different roles daily with laundry. Some days it's sorting, folding, collecting dirty laundry, washing and drying. Since collecting laundry connects with the bedroom chore of putting dirty laundry into hamper we drew yellow lines connecting the two sub-topics.
We then tackled the kitchen and wrote out our various roles.
We connected the kitchen with yellow lines to the bathroom as both rooms require removal of garbage.
Then we worked on the living room and charted our jobs there, connecting them with related jobs in other rooms (ie. fold laundry in living room connects with putting away clean laundry in the bedroom)
I included a spot for Dad. He is at work while we do the daily housework (he pitches in in other areas, but daily work is under my responsibility) and I wanted him to be included in our daily process. We included small jobs that we can do to help him get ready for his day at work.
Ta da! There you have it. Our Household Chores mind map. And it is...surprisingly...very organized and my kids can make sense of it quite easily.

Then we made up an accountability chart (an old calendar).

And each day as we do our prospective responsibilities first thing in the morning, we put our stamp that represents us under the room to show that we completed the tasks. 30 consistent days later and we'll be on a special outing!

By the way, when I started training my kids in September to do household chores, it took 2 1/2 hours every day for the first week. Then things quickly progressed to where we can have all chores done in half hour.
Since we've been out of habit, I'm giving us an hour to do chores in the morning.
Remember when you start something it will take longer as you encourage them to 'do it excellent.Do it right. Use your brain and use your might.', but over time as it develops into a habit you can keep things humming along quite that you can get the job done and go have some fun!


Cathy said...

That's quite amazing that you got it down to half an hour from two and a half.

I started having my girls do a chore list (versus just telling them things I wanted them to do) about a month ago. I've done that before, but it was a new spin on what we've done before. Some days it takes them longer. They've sped up a little, but definitely not to the extent of getting things done in a half hour. That would be a dream. I really have to work with my six year old. She gets distracted the most. She could spend 3 hours doing what should take her 45 minutes.

Camie said...'s about a follow up? lol