Chores and your children.
Did I just say those two words in the same sentence?
I absolutely did.
Folks, I have been using a system with my four children for going on nine years. It is the same system each and every day that we have implemented, even when my youngest was only three years old and my oldest was eight years old.
Now, I want to break this down for you because I think it is so important in helping to take some of that baggage and some of that stress off of your shoulders.
You are the CEO of your household.
When I started homeschooling over nine years ago I thought that I could do it all.
I had a masters degree, I've got these four kids, and I can do anything.
I was just completely overwhelmed.
And as far as getting chores done, I didn't know where my vacuum cleaner was. A good day was when the timers in my house, like my dishwasher and my washing machine went off so I felt like we were actually functioning, like we were actually moving ahead because I had this new, huge responsibility of educating my children.
It was at that point I knew that I could either continue down the path and I could run myself into the ground to try to maintain everything, which those of you who have littles know that you can clean up and you turn around and everything is on the floor again.
Are you with me?
Or I could enlist the help of these four very capable children in my house to help me.
Here was plan:
I looked at the things that needed to be done in my home each and every day for it to function. And really, as I've looked back and kind of audited, we continue to do the same 4 sets of chores.
It's a fluid system.
Sometimes we change a couple of the chores, but really they have maintained the same for sets of things that need to be done in order for my house to function.
They've remained constant over the past nine years. So the areas for me that need to be looked at each and every day in order for us to function is number one we have our own self-care.
Everyone, when they wake up in the morning,
- gets their breakfast,
- brush their teeth
- make their beds
- put on their clothes.
Everyone has a fresh, clean slate and they can start their day.
As far as chores go, the way that we break it down:
Dogs, Trash & Mail:
- What that means is that they walk the dogs throughout the day, they take out the trash, and they get to check the mail. This is a favorite because we have a really, really, long driveway. They can ride their bike down, check the mail, it's something that they really enjoy doing.
Birds and Vacuum
- So birds, we have a parakeet, which it totally made sense and I get to vacuum each and every day. And we have chickens, so that is a great chore to do. They get to go out and make sure the chickens are fed, watered, and they collect the eggs. We take care of the parakeet inside, and again, vacuum.
- Now, this has kind of changed over the years because especially when my little just started he wanted to do everything that the big kids did, but he wasn't at that stage where he could do those things. So we would bring the laundry to the laundry room and he would sort darks and lights. Now, as he's gotten older all of the children actually cycle two loads. That means they wash, they dry, they fold, and then they distribute two loads of laundry a piece. Because in a family of six we can go through almost 20 loads of laundry a week. And for me, just working by myself, that can be really overwhelming. So that has been a chore that, although it's changed over the years, it's something that we need to do each and every day for our house to function.
- This is another one of those that we have kind of changed through the years because, again, as the children have gotten older they've gotten more responsibility. So we started out where someone would actually empty the dishwasher. And then you would graduate where you would empty the dishwasher and do the dishes. It is such a huge help.
When we started homeschooling we made this decision together as a family.
A lot of things that need to get done. And there are a lot of activities that my children want to participate in. And so for all of that stuff to happen, we still need to be able to maintain our home and do the things that help us function each and every day so we don't get to the end of the week and everyone is completely overwhelmed and nothing has been done.
It's why it was important that we implemented this system.
Now, I'm going to be honest with you and say when we first started over nine years ago it was fantastic. Implementation was great.
The first thing I did was to call a family meeting.
I demonstrated what a complete task looked like from start to finish because I don't think that it's fair for us to say, okay, go do laundry and then we don't show them how to do it. Go fold laundry and not show them how to do it. So I made sure I showed what a complete task looked like.
Be sure to grab the instructions of how to make this easy folding tool.
And then each time that they got to go through that task and I was the one who switched every task for the children.
So that's my responsibility.
I don't put that on the children because I don't want people picking and choosing what they want to do and some chores are never touched, and people don't want to do this, and then there's bickering and things like that.
What I have found is that if a couple of the children may be gone for the day, then the others will step in and help.
Or I can say, "Who's dogs, trash, and mail?" The children can quickly look, see who it is, and it's not that conflict between the parent and the child.
They go and do their task.
They may not like it at the time because I may have pulled them away from something, but that is their job. That is their responsibility to do for that particular day.
And here is something else that I want to make sure that I'm very clear about, is that I wasn't taking work off of my plate and shoving it onto the kids and making them do things.
These were things that as people, the six people in our family, these are things that we needed to do in order for our house to function.
And because of that it allows me to be able to do other things while the children are doing some of the maintenance that we need to do each and every day.
I found that I am teaching my children life skills.
I am teaching them to take care of themselves.
They can keep the house clean, they can do their laundry, they can make their own meals. All of those sorts of things. It is life skills that I am teaching. I'm also teaching them to work together as a team.
Trust me, I would take my team anywhere. My kids are such a huge help at home and even in the children's consignment sale that I run twice a year, I've been doing that now for 14 years. They come in, jump in, they are a part of my team and we can get massive amounts of work done in just a very short period of time because they see how working together as a team, their little job, they see what that big picture is and how that helps everyone function.
So today I have for you, a challenge.
It is to get you and your family up and running with a chore chart very quickly within five days.
All you need to do is go to the link below. You'll be sent an email and you will get started.
Friends, I can't tell you that the impact ... I mean, when I think about some of the things that I have done with my children - consistent day in day out - a chore chart comes to mind as one of them.
Now, my oldest is 16 years old.
A chore chart, learning how to take care of yourself will help him in life as he gets ready to graduate next year.
I feel my job as a mother is to help them be independent beings out in the world.
It is certainly something that has been a blessing to my family and we want to share it with you.
Start the challenge today.
You will be forever changed.