Thursday, September 6, 2012

Everyday Homemaking Molly Crew 2012

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                   I am super duper excited to bring to you a review from the new Molly Crew, this is a review crew for products for the home and everyday life, brought to you by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. I was tickled pink to be chosen for this review, for a couple of reasons. One, I know some of my readers do not homeschool and I do not want them to feel left out. Second, every Fall we look to change things up a bit around here and this product is just what we were looking for.

          So you probably want to know what I am so excited about? Well I am here to share with you one of the books from Everyday Homemaking.com, we as part of the Molly Crew were given the choice of one of two books, The Everyday Family Chore System, or Everyday Cooking. There was no hesitation in this decision for me, we chose The Everyday Family Chore System. You see Fall around our house means fresh beginnings and with that comes change where change is either needed or craved. To keep things running smoothly around here a chore system of some sort is not only wanted it is needed and mandatory. The problem is usually by Spring we are all tired of the chore system that has been in place and Summer ends up chaotic to say the least. I am always by  August madly searching for the perfect system to make our home run like a well oiled machine and this year was no exception. God has the perfect timing, I was chosen to review The Everyday Family Chore System and it was just in time for Fall.

    Written by Homeschool Mom and activist Vicki Bentley....

Biographical information:

Vicki Bentley is the mother of eight daughters, foster mom of over fifty, and grandma to fifteen wonderful grandbabies (and another on the way!). Vicki has homeschooled 17 children alongside her husband Jim, and led a local support group of over 250 families for 14 years. She has served on the executive board and convention committee of the Home Educators Association of Virginia and has addressed state and national conventions, university teacher organizations, and many mothers’ groups. She is the author of My Homeschool Planner, Everyday Cooking, The Everyday Family Chore System, Home Education 101: A Mentoring Program for New Homeschoolers, High School 101: Blueprint for Success, and other homeschool and homemaking helps, and coordinates Home School Legal Defense Association's Early Years program (Homeschooling Toddlers to Tweens) as well as their Group Services. Vicki has a heart for parents--especially moms--with strong practical wisdom and encouraging words.

   Now let me start off by saying changing things up each year is not for everyone and it does take some getting used to the new routine. After reading this book I think what our problem has been in the past is not the chore system per say but how we effectively implemented it. The Everyday Family Chore System, is not only a system but the tools to teach and train your children and in my case hubby and myself how to work effectively and efficiently and do things the correct way the first time, which in essence saves time in the long run.  This book teaches 3 key components...
  1. Laying a foundation: Child Training is the first step to successful home management training.
  2. Implementing the plan: Teach them HOW to work: Motivate them to SUCCEED.
  3. The actual chore system

   I was impressed by the tools the author Vicki Bentley gives her readers. In the past the chore systems I have found and chosen to use with my family were just that, a chore system. They did not include the tools to teach my family to use the system or how to accomplish the tasks asked of them. I often find myself just telling the kids what chores to do and then find myself upset with them when they are not done to my standards. This is a tiresome way to not accomplish much of anything, and ends up with frustration from all parties involved. I was looking for a quick fix, that is where I was wrong, training my family or in my case untraining them so that I could retrain them the correct way takes time. We did not learn the wrong way over night we were not going to magically fix it over night either. This book has restored my patience, something I lost long ago. You are taught to enlist helpers, make job cards that outline what needs to be done for each task that is to be accomplished. Instead of simply saying clean the bathroom, have an index card that explains in detail what the task of cleaning the bathroom entail. Shine the sink, mop the floor, scrub the toilet, replace towels, empty trash can, put away toiletries that have been left out in haste. Now these steps may be different for every family and is greatly dependent on the age of your children. Mine being almost 13, 14 and almost 16 they are much more capable than say my friend whose children range in ages from 2-7. You are taught that you need to have reasonable expectations for the age of your children. I learned my expectations were not high enough and that was where some of our problems were.

    After reading about training my family, we moved onto the implementation portion of this new journey we were on to removing chore chaos from our home. I enlisted the children as helpers so they could learn how it is to be done. I went through each chore with each child and my hubby and we did them together so that they could visually see what is to be expected of them as they complete their designated chores each day and each week. There is to be daily chores and then there are those weekly chores like putting trash at the curb or picking up the garage that only need to be done once a week. This helped the kids to truly understand what is expected in relation to each task. This way we are all on the same page and there is no confusion or excuses later if the task is not done appropriately. I think this was where much of our problem was and it was simply a breakdown in communication.

    The last step was actually the finished product, the chore system itself now Vicki Bentley outlines an actual chore system for you or gives you the option to apply the tools in her system to adapt it to any chore system you want to use or are currently using. Now pinterest has been a great help in that area as I wanted something fun and functional with rewards for good efforts. I do not believe in allowances but I do believe in a system that allows the boys to earn privileges and outings that are special to them. Going to the movies, out to lunch or a special field trip. A new item they have been working on or a couple bucks of spending money. I used to assign a money value to each chore and found that did not work for us and led to some arguments among the children because his chores are worth my chores kind of thing so instead we use a point system and work towards individual goals. These goals have a point value and when the individual has earned the expected amount of points they can cash them in for their "prize". This is what works for us but you can use whatever system you want or the system Vicki has set up for you. We did use her idea of the board and the clothes pins, setting daily and weekly chores and  the chore cards themselves. I used foam core board purchased at the dollar store, clothes pins and a label machine. I used some of the included chores as starting points and added some of our own. This is a slow process but I believe worth every effort in the long run.

     The Everyday Family Chore System sells for $19.99 for a glossy covered, spiral bound printed book or $17.99 for the E-book version, which is what I received. There is also a companion one hour workshop that is on audio CD that you can purchase for $6, "Getting kids to help at home". I not only think that this is a valuable purchase, I think it is a great investment in your family as it will help to guide your children into adulthood. They will be self sufficient individuals when they leave their nest and I wish I would have found it years ago when my children were younger. I feel that it is never to late to start though and just because your kids are older do not hesitate to make the change. You will be so glad you did. Everyday Homemaking.com has the books mentioned in my review as well as many other homemaking and homeschooling products to make your home run efficiently and effectively, be sure to check them all out. Also be sure to check out the reviews from the rest of The Molly Crew, by clicking on the banner below you will have access to the reviews of both The Everyday Family Chore System and Everyday Cooking. Happy  Homemaking to you and your family.


“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or
services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it
on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally
and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance
with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the
Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

1 thoughts shared:

Rebekah {honeyandcheese} said...

I didn't think of checking Pinterest--what a great idea! Sounds like you found some great ways to adapt this to your family's needs. Thanks for your review!
-Vicki (posted under my daughter's google acct so I could comment)