Sunday, February 3, 2019

Chores with Children

Chore time is important in our household. We are a large family and in order to keep our home tidy, we all need to work together as a team to keep things afloat.  To accomplish this we divide our day into chunks.  We have daily routines that help us keep rhythm and order not just in our home but also in our day to day lives. Our routines help us to stay on course and not become overwhelmed.

Every morning after breakfast we all do our chores. To help know what needs to be done we have a chart to go to.  Over the years our system has been tweaked and  changed  but the overall premise is the same. For us, that looks like having a spot in our home where there is a simply laid out plan of what each person needs to do.  Currently our system looks like this:

Above is a picture of our large magnetic board divided into 5 sections. One for each child. (Our 17 year old does not have a section as he knows his chores and has his own routines set at this stage in his life.) Each craft stick has a task written on it with a magnet on the back. The children all have the same basic chores (make bed, brush teeth, get dressed, take care of laundry, etc.)  Then each child has a chore or two that is specific to their age level and we have a few daily tasks on their list as a reminder. The large white sheet in the sleeve at the bottom of the board on the right is my routine.  I like to have my routines visible in case I am having a brain fog kind of a day and cannot remember what the next step is.

Here is an example of our five year old's tasks for the day.  Everyone has the same basic morning tasks as well as their special responsibilities.  He cannot read yet so I drew some simple pictures.

On the marker board along the bottom are our "zone cards". We bless our house by focusing on specific rooms during the week. The cards help remind us which zone we need to focus on that day. You can read more about how we bless each area of our home by reading this post. 

Beside the zone cards are a few laminated miscellaneous chores that I may need help with from time to time.  They include things like:
folding a load of laundry
filling the bird feeders
watering the indoor plants
finding items to donate 

If I find that I need help with one of the above listed chores I just post it on the board for all the kids to see and they know there's a little extra task for the day. 

When the children have completed their chores they ask an older sibling to "check off" on them. Which means, the older child checks the list and if that chore is completed they put their initials next to it.  If it is not completed they put a ? which tells me that I need to check in with that child to see why they were not able to complete their task or if they simply forgot, in which case, they can go finish it. This system provides accountability and builds teamwork.  It has worked very well for this season of our lives. 

If the tribe wants to do screen time (devices/a program) they know that their tasks must be initialed. Screen time is not a given, it is a privilege that comes with responsibility. So, this helps keep everyone focused.  If they ask to do a screen I just say "Well, let's go look at our board." It keeps life simple.

So, that is a glimpse into our world. How do you do chores in your home? Do you have a system you want to share? I would love to hear all about it. :)

Learning alongside you,

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