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If you’ve read very many of my posts, you know that I struggle to balance all of my responsibilities. I have a lot of things on my mind every day! I need to making sure everyone is cared for and has everything they need. I don’t know how many waking hours I spend every day pouring cups of juice and getting snacks or food for meals. Then, of course, there’s making sure our house stays in a clean enough condition to be considered livable (I’m setting the bar high, aren’t I?). As a homeschooling mother, I also have to make sure that the kids’ educational needs are being met. Let’s not forget nursing a baby. I can’t get much else done while I’m nursing the baby…though I must admit to a certain amount of screen time while I’m doing that!
There just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get everything done that needs to be done, much less the things I want to get done…things like playing a board game with the kids, or curling up on the couch to read a stack of books to them, or heading out for a bike ride. But these things are just as important to the emotional well-being of my children as are their physical needs. Plus, sometimes I just want to relax without worrying about the things I’m not getting done!
The only way to accomplish all I need to do and all I want to do is to have everybody, from my 8 year old clear down to the 2 year old, pitch in as their able. All the kids really actually enjoy helping out, most of the time. But sometimes they get frustrated because I don’t give them enough guidance. I say, “Clean up the living room.” But, they don’t know where to start. A task that seems straightforward to me can be daunting to a six year old.
We’ve tried all kinds of chore systems, but until recently have met with little success.
Enter Zone Cleaning for Kids. This system is fantastic! It gives kids, even young kids, the tools they need to really help out. It walks them through all the steps to get the clutter monster under control day in and day out.
The Zone Cleaning for Kids system contains everything you need to help teach your kids the right way to help you keep your house clean. When you order, you receive the Clean ‘n’ Flip chore chart, an instructional DVD, basket labels, and even a dry erase marker. You also receive an e-book containing instructions to make some kid-friendly cleaning solutions. These are non-toxic and can even save you some money! Who doesn’t like saving money?
When we received the system, I sat all the kids down around my computer, and we watched the video together that explains how to use Zone Cleaning. It’s amazing how excited my kids get over watching a simple video. After it was over, they were excited and ready to get started. That’s right, I said they were excited…about cleaning! I’ll take it when I can get it! Then, we went through the Clean ‘n’ Flip chart. Bear, my oldest was really excited about being able to check off the steps as she went.
You can find some sample pages on the Zone Cleaning website
How We Use Zone Cleaning for Kids
There are 4 Zones: Living Room, Kitchen, Bathrooms, and Bedrooms. There is a space on the chart to fill in the child’s name or names to be responsible for that zone for the day. I have our kids work in teams of two on each zone. One of the girls always works with one of the boys. The girls help keep the boys on task…since the boys are younger, they do tend to get distracted more easily. I try to switch up who works with who on a daily basis. I float between the zones to help out and make sure things are getting done properly.
There is also a space on the chart to fill in the times of day each zone needs to be completed. I’m not super-specific on the times. I usually just fill in “morning”, “afternoon”, or “lunch time”…you get the picture. Sometimes each zone needs to be done more than once a day. Each zone has 3 time slots you can fill in.
The core of the system is the check-off pages that use pictures to detail how to complete each section. Even young children can use it, because the pictures show them what to do. It’s also written with complete instructions for those who can already read. In each zone, these pages detail step by step how to complete each task. If your kids need additional help, you can watch the DVD for additional instructions.
There is also a page to fill in extra daily chores for each zone. This is the page where you can really customize this system to work in your home, with your kids’ ages and abilities. My kids are still pretty young, so I don’t really use this page much yet. The core of the system is enough for right now. But, as they get older, this system can grow with them as I can add to it. Even with the kids doing just the basics, it takes some of the strain off of me, so that I can tend to other tasks that need to be done as well.
I like the Zone Cleaning for Kids system because I can customize it just for our family…for our kids’ ages and abilities. As they grow and show new capabilities and talents, I can continue to tweak the system to fit our needs. Best of all, this system actually teaches skills my kids will need for their entire lives. As homeschoolers, teaching life skills can often fall by the wayside, but with Zone Cleaning, I have something tangible I can use to help them learn.
If you’d like to try Zone Cleaning for Kids, right now, there is currently a 20% discount for anything offered by Trigger Memory. This includes Zone Cleaning as well as their fantastic Times Tales program.