August 14, 2010

Nickel Clean Up

HI! I'm supposed to be a contributor to this blog, but Erin has been doing a great job all by herself, and she has so many good ideas. But I now have something to share and a few minutes to jot it down for you.

When every flat surface in the house looks like this:

(This photo barely gives a hint at the disaster that we call home.)

Then it's time for nickel clean up. We write each child's name at the top of a piece of paper. We work very quickly and I call out jobs for each child to do. "Andrew- socks, hamper." "Jack- crayons, drawer." There's no time for extra words. They are working quickly to get to the next job. Each job means a nickel for them. They put a tick mark under their name for each job they complete. Each tick mark means a nickel for them when I pay out after the house is clean.

(They were using code names today)

What would have taken me two hours to accomplish alone, takes us 15 minutes, and only costs me a few dollars. Today, they each earned $1.25. It is worth every penny.

I save nickel clean up for days when the house is really bad. For day to day picking up and cleaning, it's the usual nagging. A variation on nickel clean up is jelly bean clean up. We just replace the reward with some little treat. They like that too.

(Ah, a clean house. For a few minutes at least...)


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