In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Our Chore system

I am an organizational freak, however, in a house of 6 kids, my house does not stay very organized.  I can't even keep one room clean for more than 5 minutes.  Since our lice epidemic a few months ago, I have yet to get caught up with the laundry (almost, but not quite).  If I don't keep on top of things around here, everything piles up very quickly and soon gets so far out of hand it takes weeks to regain control.  Living in such a mess, really does drive me crazy and in turn, I turn into a grump!  I hate being too busy to do things with my family and I hate my family getting angry with me because I'm too busy to do things with them.

I will never forget when my oldest kids were 2 and 3 years old and someone brought it to my attention that they thought it was awful that my 2 and 3 year old children had chores.  Granted, their chores consisted of things like matching socks, putting silverware away and setting the table, but still...those were things they were responsible for.  As my kids got older they graduated to higher levels of chores, at 9 and 10 they were doing laundry, dishes and mopping the floor.  A few years ago, when we had to move in with my parents, we lived under a different set of rules and my children were no longer allowed to do their chores.  We've had our own place now for more than a year, but despite numerous efforts of giving the kids chores again...we are still stuck in the rut of mom doing everything.

I "can" do it myself, but there are so many reasons why I shouldn't!  I basically "let it go" around here because I spent more time on things that were more important (such as de-licing, schooling my children, etc.).  Even still, I just don't have enough time to spend time with my family and I am treated like a slave around here.

My biggest problem is, I'm simply too picky!  I don't want help because I have a certain way that I want things done.  I've always had to have my house "perfect" before I could assign chores, that way everyone knows what I expect and how something should be done.  I've spent the last few weeks "re-organizing" my house once again.  I finally have it close enough to my expectations to begin a chore system again.  Our last chore system didn't work (each child had one daily chore and one weekly chore).  So, we will try a different chore system this time.  Each child will now be assigned an area (Kitchen, Bathroom and Family Room).  They will be in charge of their area for a month.  Each area will have "Daily, Weekly and Monthly" duties.

Each child will be responsible for keeping their room clean (this will take a lot of learning to work together, since they share their room with 2 siblings) and each person will be expected to put their dirty clothes in the hamper and put their clean clothes away.  Each of the big kids will be assigned a main room (Bathroom, Family Room, Kitchen) and each big kid will have a small kid helper.  The daily pet chore's will be shared, but mostly will be a responsibility of the smaller kids.  In each room, there is a chore checklist for that below if you'd like to view or print our checklist.  Once you view the checklist, you will have to hit your back button to get back to my blog.
Our "checklists" are all stored in protective sleeves so that each task can be marked off with a dry erase marker and wiped off at the end of each day.

Yes, even my 2 year old will have chores because believe it or not...she too will someday be all grown up.  I want her to be a responsible adult and learn these life skills just the same as I want my 12 year old to!  They will not get paid for their chores, it will be expected that they do their part as a family to hold our house together, so that we all have a clean and comfortable place to live!  They will instead  "earn" time to spend doing things that generally take them away from helping out (playing, video games, computer time, blogging, going to a friends house, etc.) and time to enjoy doing all the family things we enjoy (game night, movie night, going to the park, museums, etc.).

There are a few chores that I'm willing to pay for, these are indicated with a $ and are on the Monthly, Yard and Pet checklists.  My next blog will be about teaching my children to be financially responsible and ways that my children have been and will be taught this important aspect of life!


  1. I think this is a wonderful idea. I too started young (around 2) giving my son chores, but a move put a hold on that plan. Now I can't get him to do anything. I hope you will share this on my new blog hop.
    You have given me some great ideas to make changes here. Have a blessed day.

  2. Lynda, it is so easy to get stuck in the rut, as I too have experienced how a move puts these duties on hold and it is so hard to get them to do anything. I for one, have had enough and I will stick to my guns and get back in the routine! The new year gives me the perfect opportunity for these changes and I am taking full advantage! I hope you can use some of these ideas and make changes in your household as well! Good luck :)

  3. I recently posted on Facebook about my son (turns 2 this week) getting another chore: feeding our dogs. I made it a funny post about how much he enjoys carrying the dog food but he spills and is a perfectionist and must pick up every piece of kibble and put it in the bowl which drives the dogs crazy with anticipation.

    Right after I posted it my Mom got a phone call from one of my cousins freaking out that I was giving my not yet 2 year old chores! (His other chore is carrying the chicken feed up to the coop.) She tried explaining that Xander loved to do these things but my cousin was still concerned-- gee, sure hope she doesn't find out I make him help put away all his toys before bed each night, she might call the authorities on me. ;P

  4. the nice thing about 'chores' at the age of 2 and 3, is you don't have to call them that. When kids are that age they seem to love helping with those things!

    I always liked re-figuring our schedules, chores systems, etc. I think "re-scheduling' is my favorite thing to do.... unfortunately FOLLOW THROUGH is a lot further down on my list.

    It looks like we are the only 2 on the A Day In Our Life blog hop.... I hope we get more. this is my type of blog hop!

  5. I don't know of any young child who wouldn't feel such a sense of pride for helping out. It really gives the little ones a "wow" feeling to feel so important, useful, needed, appreciated, etc.! My kids actually fight over the kitchen chore! I got out of the chore routine and I saw what a disservice it was to my children. It's probably going to take some time for them to get back into the routine because it is so foreign to them to have to do things around here. I will say, I think they like having the responsibility as they have been very eager to attend to their duties today.

    Kimberly, I am so horrible for re-figuring our schedule, chores, and even re-organizing my house. If something doesn't work, I always change it...if it works, I'm always looking for a way to make it better! I hope the blog hop gets going!

  6. Children love to feel needed, like they are a vital part of the family. Younger children actually want to do chores because they want to imitate mom and dad. As my children have grown older, I now very rarely have to clean bathrooms, vacuum, or clean up. The kids assume that it's their responsibility. I do give 5 cents per chore, so that hard workers are rewarded, and lazy people are broke. The kids can make as much money as they want, even $10 a week, but just think how clean the house would be!

  7. My son is 7 and has always helped out, he loves mopping the kitchen floor and putting away the shopping. He also realizes that if mom is done with housework mom is happy and does cool stuff with