"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

John 10:10

Monday, January 31, 2011


There is a lot of work to get done around here.  If we don't keep on top of it everyday, things quickly become a huge mess.  I have given up the idea of having a picture perfect house, and have traded in that idea for the reality of enjoying everyday with my four blessings.  However, I know that we function better if things are in relative order.  I want my children to learn about hard work.  Thus, we work as a family to run our house.  That means my girls have chores.

Here is a shot of our chore chart:

Using stickers or something cute doesn't work for me.  I fall behind with the stickers and soon it is irrelevant.  It might be fun for them, but this way is easy for me.  If things are not easy for me, I don't do them.  The important thing is that they get the chores done.

Our current system works like this:  They get up in the morning and eat breakfast, that my wonderful husband makes.  I look at the chart and tell them what their jobs are.  As soon as they get dressed, make their bed, and get their jobs done they have free time until school starts.  They need some incentive to get it done.  The free time is the incentive.  If they complain, I remind them that we are part of a family and all have special jobs to help out our family.

The biggest key to chores is consistency.  If they know they have chores to do everyday, they will do them.  When I first give them a new job, I need to walk through the job with them to show them what I expect.  How are they suppose to know what it means to clean the bathroom?  How clean does their room have to be?  What part of the floor do I have to sweep?  I probably have to walk through the job numerous times with them until they really learn it.  This is frustrating at first, but worth it in the long run.

If we did all our chores everyday, our house would be a lot cleaner than it actually is.  But, we go away for a day and the schedule gets messed up.  That's OK.  I have learned not to give up just because we get out of sync.  If the laundry isn't ready to be put away on Wednesday, I just switch that chore day with the laundry day. 

Here is an explanation of the jobs...
Sweep:   Sweep some part of the kitchen.  For the little girls, a small handheld broom works well for them to sweep under the table.
Vacuum rug:  We eat supper in our dining room.  The table is on a big rug.  You can imagine that the rug needs vacuuming a couple times per week.
Lunch:  Madeline packs our lunch for us to bring to Classical Conversations on Tuesdays.

Laundry:  I wash the laundry.  Then I sort the clean laundry into separate baskets for each girl.  Madeline and Lydia put their own clothes away in their room.  Madeline gets paid $1.50 to put away Anna's laundry. 
Baths:  Madeline can clean the toilet, pick up any bath items, and wipe the counters and sinks down with a cleaning cloth.  Lydia can pick up bath items and wipe down the counter and sinks.
Dishwasher:  Unload the dishwasher.  Moving the plates and bowls to a low cupboard was a huge help.  I still have the glasses high, but they just set anything they can't reach on the counter.
Clean van:  Remove any trash or non van items from the van.
Trash:  Remove all the bags from the small trash cans in the bathrooms and replace with a new bag.
Clean chairs:  Anna uses a washcloth to wipe down all the kitchen and dining room chairs.
The bottom job on each day's slot is for supper help.  One girl picks up the living room (clean lr), one sets the table (table), and one is my supper assistant (SA).  The supper assistant helps with getting salad dressings on the table, cutting vegetables, or whatever I think is appropriate.

I am always thinking about and evolving our chore system.  So I would love to know, what chores do your kids do?  How does it work?


Rachel Anderson said...

I think your daily routine is a good idea. I remember as a kid we had some daily and some weekly chores, and my mom had to remind us more to do the weekly ones. We got to pick what chore we wanted to do from a list she came up with, and we would do that same chore for a length of time (weeks? months? I don't really remember.) The cutest age-appropriate one was opening and closing the blinds in the windows each day, which the youngest could do while the older ones took out trash, vacuumed, etc.

jibby said...

Wow! That is so helpful! I'm so random in cleaning/chores, that I've never set down on paper what needs to be done. I think I might try to implement some of your ideas!

Erica said...

Thanks for the comments, girls. I love the little kids opening and shutting the blinds. One of the hardest parts is thinking of jobs for the littles. It is too bad that when they are most eager to help, they are least capable to really help.

The O's said...

Looks great! We have a schedule too and it's funny how much joy the boys get from accomplishing their "jobs" and getting praise for them!! =)

MamaW said...

I love this! I need to call you and pick your brain sometime soon because my house seems chaotic and unorganized and yours seems like a well-oiled machine! Can you email me your new phone number? amyjowithers (at) gmail (dot) com