Chores with Children

Each person in our family has opportunities to make contributions each day to bless our home and those within it. By having a chore routine not only do we keep our home maintained but we also create a space that is inviting and welcoming. A place where we can play, relax, and invest in each other. Our goal is not perfection but rather good enough. 
We have daily routines that help us keep rhythm and order not just in our home but also in our day to day lives.  These habits 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 is a large magnetic board divided into equal sections, one for each child, with chores written on wooden craft sticks. Each craft stick has an age appropriate 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. 

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". A simple, laminated, index card with vintage graphics that tells us the tasks that need to be completed for that area of the house. 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 there are a few laminated miscellaneous chore cards that I may need help with from time to time.  They include things like:
filling the bird feeders
watering the indoor plants
weeding the garden

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 using a dry erase marker.  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) or other activities, they know that their tasks must be initialed. This system helps keep everyone focused.  If they ask to play screen time  I just say "Well, let's go look at our board." It keeps life simple and establishes clear boundaries that have natural consequences. 

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,