Thursday, June 28, 2012

On teaching children to do laundry

Recently, my oldest child, Cephas, decided it was high time that he learned how to do laundry. I have to admit, I didn't argue or try to dissuade him in the least. He's 11 and absolutely capable of doing laundry from start to finish. I made sure that he knew how much soap to use and reminded him to double check the clothes before putting them in the washer to make sure he didn't get something mixed in to the load that didn't belong. He knows how to run the washer and how to switch laundry over and run the dryer. He also knows how to fold laundry. So, I let him loose and he did six loads. Mostly it was his and Koren's laundry and bedding that he did. Koren also helped him. To be extra helpful, they threw in some random pieces of everyone else's laundry. They sorted, washed, dried and folded. They had a huge amount of laundry in baskets on Cephas's bed. And then things got busy here.

It was a couple of days before I had gotten back in to their room to deal with the laundry (yes, I needed to "fix" a few things. I'm particular about folding and I don't ever put anything away inside out, small details that the boys overlook and they had also folded a number of items that normally are on hangers, which I figured they knew since they know where to go to get the items, but regardless...) and guess what I found?

The clothes weren't dried. Or at least not completely. Oy! So I have had the pleasure today of re-washing every single item. I let the boys know (gently - I don't want to deter them from wanting to do laundry) and they were so sad that they had created extra work instead of less work for me.

I have decided that from now on, I will do the laundry and each child will have opportunity to help me until I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are capable of doing the work. With Cephas, he just needs to be more observant about the dryness of clothes coming out of the dryer. Koren needs additional training in that area as well, but also needs to learn how much detergent to use, as well as which setting to use for both wash and dry. Oralee and Jeriah need to learn all of it yet, except for the sorting. They are pretty good at that already. And all of them need to learn how to fold clothes Mom's way and which items get put on hangers and which get folded and placed in drawers.

I think I am going to make a laundry cheat sheet for the kids and put it somewhere near the washer and dryer. That should make it easier for everyone (Hubby included).

Finishing up the laundry and putting it away is our plan for tomorrow, along with their regular chores. I will post tomorrow about our chore system that had been working beautifully for the last month and a half. I think that is probably the longest a chore system has worked for us (to the level of effectiveness that those one has). I'm excited to share it with you. It works really well with our ADHD child as well as our Asperger's child. Which in my opinion, makes it a winner!


I have been MIA, I know. You have summer and the craziness that goes with it to thank for that one! I feel as though we need a little bit of a catch up, wouldn't you agree?
Growing up, my best friend was a boy, Melvin. We have known each other since we were two, so nearly twenty-nine years now. His parents treated me just like I was their child and my parents did the same towards him. On May 5th, his dad retired after 28 years of service in the Army National Guard. He had been on at least three tours (that I can remember-two of those homecomings resulted in Melvin's younger siblings) and had earned the highest rank possible without being an enlisted officer - if I understand it all correctly. He was a CSM. He was and is my hero. If I could pick a father, he would be it. I can recall him being harsh and (extremely!) strict when it was needed and a shoulder to cry on when I needed that as well. I love that man and am proud to call him my pseudo-dad.
Earlier that week, Oralee turned six and we had a nice get together for her the day after pseudo-dad retired. Just a small family gathering plus Melvin and his daughter, Calla. It was fun and have Melvin and I a chance to catch up. We spent a good chunk of the day, sitting on the back deck, watching the kids play and talking. Interesting fact - it was also Hubby's birthday. He spent most of his time indoors, playing a video game with his dad. But a good time was had by all and that is the important part.
Koren's class had a field trip to the large zoo about an hour from where we live. He and hoods teacher had both asked if I would come along. I agreed to, of course, because I love that class. They are my favorite class! It was a blast! I walked 12 miles that day according to the pedometer app on my phone. Loved it. We each had our own group. I just had Koren and a buddy of his and we were able to branch off and just go explore the zoo at our own pace. Wonderfully magnificent time and a perfect way to spend a nice spring day. I'm so glad we didn't have to stay together as a group.
School let out early this year. Earlier than any year Hubby and I can recall. Our last day of school was May 24th. On May 23rd, Cephas's grade took a field trip to watch our minor league baseball team play their home opener. Guess who the parent volunteer was for that trip? Yup, twas me. It was a blast! The teacher, though, had taken some medicine that recommends staying out of sunlight. It was an 11 am game, in May, with unseasonably warm temperatures and a UV index of a 10 out of 10. So I got to play class monitor. The kids were bound and determined to do what they wanted to do and I was bound and determined that they were going to follow the rules. (I won that battle, just for the record. I was there to make sure the kids were safe and had a good time. I was not there to make friends. And the kids DID have a good time.) I also got the worst sunburn in recent history. But for the first time (probably EVER), I also got a tan.
Since school has let out, we have had a number of kids stay the night, have done some movie nights, we've gone to a number of baseball games, we have had swim lessons, I have babysat a myriad of children. BC is my regular, Friday-Sunday kiddo, but I have also had a 4 year old, Angel, three year old twins, Oliver and Olivia, and then Calla as well. Thankfully, not all at the same time.
Surprisingly enough, my house has never been cleaner. Well, not true, but with that many children plus random neighborhood children traipsing through at any given point, my house has stayed surprisingly tidy. We have developed a great routine and system for the kids and myself. I knew I was excited for summer and this is part of the reason. I love it when it all just flows so smoothly.
And we are only a little over a month in. We still have lots to do and see and explore.
Calla will be back in July to spend some days with us, BC is here every weekend, Angel will be here with us during the day Tuesday-Friday beginning mid-July.
We have more baseball games to attend, zoos to visit, we still have scouting each week. We are planning a Worlds of Fun/Oceans of Fun trip coming up in August. We also have a wedding to attend in August, as well as flower girl dress fittings for Oralee. (We have also been playing a lot with hairstyles for Oralee.) Jeriah has his early admittance to kindergarten testing coming up here soon.
And this fall, Cephas is finally going to play football for our city's midget football league, Koren and Oralee are going to play soccer and Jeriah is going to continue with swim lessons. He would have passed his class each of three last three sessions if he would just put his face in the water for three seconds. But he won't. It is an Asperger's thing, as well as a sensory disorder thing and he just won't do it. Thankfully, we have great instructors at our YMCA who are patient and willing to work with him. I think we might also do gymnastics for Koren, Oralee and Jeriah for this fall. I just want to make sure they aren't too overloaded. We'll see what the schedule looks like though.