Deep cleaning with Children

When teaching a child to clean, we must teach what we do on a weekly basis and also what we do 2-3 times a year or for a deep clean.

There is a little method that should be used when teaching anyone anything. It is called the IDPE Method and it has 5 steps:
  • Step 1- Instruct: verbally explain what needs to be done while you show them how it is to be done.
  • Step 2- Demonstrate:  Have the child demonstrate to you what he/she understood.  Review with them any corrections that need to be made.  This is best done with the "Sandwich” Method.  (compliment – criticism – compliment)
  • Step 3-Perform: Allow the child to complete the task without any assistance from you.  When the child thinks he/she has completed the task to the standards that are expected, then the parent is called in to…
  • Step 4-Evaluate:  Again, using the "Crap Sandwich” method, review with them the things that are done correctly/completely, and the things that are not.
  • Step 5-Repeat:  repeat steps 2, 3 & 4 until the job is learned and can be done without any feedback from a parent.

Rewards & Consequences

When we are teaching our children to deep clean, they already now how to do the weekly cleaning job for that space.  We hand them this list and off they go.
Here's a VITAL part: upon completion the child MUST tell the supervising adult they are finished.  The adult/parent then inspects the job to be sure its been performed in a satisfactory manor.  If yes, they are done and may receive their reward.  If no, the unsatisfactory part must be redone + an EXTRA JOB is given.  This ensures the child will do their best work as nobody wants an ADDITIONAL JOB! We use this method for weekly jobs too and have found it SO motivating, that now we don't usually have to inspect at all!  I simply inspect randomly.  Since they never know if I'll inspect or not, and they know the consequence, they always do their best work.

YES all the above requires a big dose of patience and time. So as you sit on the floor watching your 4th or 7th child clean the bathroom for the 2nd time and are realizing you could've been done cleaning it yourself half an hour and 3 grey hairs ago, It is important to remember, we are NOT cleaning our house, we ARE raising our children. 

Remember to be the loving parent/teacher, and that the investment you are making in your children is SO worth it.  Now when 'rotating jobs' are announced, our house is clean to my inspection in 20 minutes, 10 if we have a fun event to scurry off to!

Here are some useful lists of deep cleaning tasks for bedrooms, bathrooms and the whole house.
Deep cleaning bedrooms
Deep cleaning the whole house

I wish you the best and happy teaching/cleaning till next time!
~Joanne Wilcox

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Tags: deep cleaning with children  kids cleaning  kids work  teaching kids to work  

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