Teachers love using graphic organizers. I love using KWL charts where students explore what we KNOW about a subject, what we WANT to know, and finally what we have LEARNED. While I am very tempted to bust out my chart paper and magic markers, I will resign myself to a KWL LIST of what I have learned this week of decluttering, cleansing, and cleaning.
What do I KNOW about myself and my kids?
1. I am VERY lazy. I honestly thought I’d be able to afford a housekeeper by now. Well, you’re reading her blog right now.
2. I love teaching and have great pride in all of the books and teachings aids I’ve bought, received as gifts, or made myself.
3. While my son finally understands that his interests have changed, my older daughter cannot bear to part with anything that she owns. She even told her kindergarten teacher last year that I threw away her toys. I didn’t. I just told her if she didn’t clean her room, I’d throw her toys away. Geez.
4. My kids do very little chores around the house. My doctor suggested that they do more and a friend of mine told me that her kids do their own laundry (her youngest is M’s age).
5. I am afraid of becoming a hoarder.
6. OMG, I LOVE ERIC, LAFAYETTE & HIS BOYFRIEND, AND THAT SEXY WERE ALCIDE. Had to sneak that in there. Can you tell what I’m watching right now?
What did I WANT to know?
1. Am I capable of cleaning for a whole week?
2. Do I really need my teaching stuff (not including a few professional development books) even though a classroom teaching job is years away?
3. Can I give away clothing and toys that we didn’t need anymore? Would the kids be able to decide what toys they wanted to give away?
4. Would the kids be able to help with cleaning on a daily basis?
What did I LEARN?
1. Wow. I CAN clean the house. REAL cleaning. Not fake Swiffering either. However I do need (1) motivation such as shows like Clean House, Hoarders, and True Blood reruns and (2) to pace myself. Focusing on one big chore or room at a time is a good start.
2. I can stay away from Facebook and Starbucks. I do miss reading goofy stuff my friends post but I can wait. While I did have Starbucks on Friday during the week, I did go eight days without it. Face-bucks Fridays are a good compromise. I got a lot of reading and writing done this week and frankly, I enjoyed it.
3. My stuff, particularly my teaching stuff, doesn’t define me. I kept the most important things to me and I wish the best of luck to the teachers and students who will use them.
4. Toys that aren’t used need to be passed on to charity. Toys that are broken should to be fixed; if they can’t be fixed, they need to be thrown away. Toys that fall between the couch or that have been ignored on the floor forever need to be thrown away. Two trunks full of clothes and unwanted toys. Four garbage bags stuffed full with broken toys and random, for lack of a better word, CRAP.
5. Wow. Jason Stackhouse is hot too.
6. I posted a list of chores that the kids absolutely have to do because they live here and they have a responsibility to the house. They are expected to: (in chronological order)
IN THE MORNING
– make bed
– start breakfast without Mommy (don’t fret, usually cereal or waffles)
– get socks and shoes on without Mommy having to say
– pack (most of) lunch
– empty dishwasher
– brush teeth
– all toys go back in their rooms or playroom (NO TOYS DOWNSTAIRS)
– load dishwasher
– set table (including getting milk, utensils, condiments, etc. for self and siblings)
– wipe down table and countertops
– get backpack ready for tomorrow
– clean room (all toys must be put away, nothing on floor, nothing on floor in closet)
– brush/floss teeth
OPTIONAL BUT PAID CHORES
(ok, NOT optional but not required on a regular basis)
– dog poop
– random backyard garbage
– reading/teaching siblings