This week I thought that I would share the system that we have in place for the children’s chores. Over the years we have tried many different approaches to chores, but this is what is working for us right now.
Four of the children are assigned a room each week downstairs that they are responsible for straightening up each day at chore time. They tidy that room every day for a week. The next week, we rotate them around to another room, so they each have a turn at each of the four rooms on the rotation in a month (some rooms are harder than others, so this keeps it fair).
In addition to their assigned room, they have one special chore a day. These include things like washing windows, vacuuming, sweeping, wiping down cabinets, washing mirrors, dusting pictures, etc. These do not rotate and are assigned to the same day every week. They are handed out based on age and skill level. Every so often I overhaul this chore schedule and change them around some – this way they eventually learn how to do different things as they get older.
The two littlest children are not on the room rotation, but help out with whatever needs doing that they can handle. Since Anna just turned five, I will probably start giving her one daily chore to do that will be her daily responsibility, rather than just helping someone else.
Matthew also is not on the room rotation, since he works now and is many times not here at chore time to tidy up. He does have a special chore each day, however, and is responsible for mowing the lawn in season.
Chore time is usually around 5:00 pm or sometimes I wait until Jeff gets home, so he can supervise it (if it’s been one of “those” days).
Lately we’ve started adding in something new during the day that has been a really big help. We call it the “20 Item Pickup”, and it works just like it sounds – everyone picks up 20 items each in the living room and puts them where they go. I use this when the living room has gotten super messy (most days) long before chore time – mostly for my own sanity – I can’t function when the house looks like a tornado (David) has just gone through. The children think it’s fun and it helps the house (and me) survive until the more thorough straightening at dinnertime. It also makes it a bit easier on the person assigned to clean the living room each day, which is usually the dreaded room because it gets the messiest – what can I say? – we live in it.
So, that is our chore system for our children. Feel free to ask me any questions about it. I’ll be happy to go into more detail about their specific chores, if you’d like me to.
To find more helpful tips, please visit Mother Hen at Ship Full O’ Pirates to find the list of participants in this week’s Help for Growing Families.
Hope you have a wonderful evening!
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