Sunday, March 14, 2010


I have made a few changes recently to our household chores routine. Leah is now old enough for more responsibility, Sam is old enough to officially have chores, and I now have a housekeeper for 3 hours a week. This is a rundown of what we are currently doing.

I created new chorepacks for Leah and Sam. I have had the book, Managers of Their Chores for a few years now, it is a super resource for learning all about chores.....what chores should your children be doing, at what age, how often, etc. It also includes a great resource for managing and checking the children's chores. My older three children are now capable of remembering and completing their chores without the aid of a chorepack, but Leah and Sam still need them. Young children think the chorepacks are neat! The Duggar Family (of 19 Kids and Counting on TLC) uses chorepacks too.

Daily Chores, Morning
Sam, age 4: feed and give water to one inside dog (Joy), empty dishwasher with Leah (I put away all sharp objects and plates, glasses and coffee cups that are stored up high. This leaves them with plastic dishes, cups, storage containers, and silverware. All of these items are stored within their reach.), make bed, get dressed, brush teeth
Leah, age 6: feed and give water to one inside dog (Lilly), empty dishwasher with Sam, make bed, get dressed, brush teeth, put Bible lesson materials on kitchen table
Clay, age 10: make bed, get dress, bring dirty clothes to laundry room and sort, tidy room and boys' bathroom, feed and water outside dogs, water two plants on front porch
Julie, age 12: dress, brush teeth, tidy room and girls' bathroom. She and Olivia alternate the following chores, one week at a time: one of them does all of the cat care, and the other one makes the bed (they sleep together) and brings dirty clothes to laundry room and sorts it.
Olivia, age 14: same as Julie
Mama: wash clothes, clean kitchen, make bed, tidy room and bathroom

Daily Chores, Afternoon
Sam: put away clean laundry, tidy room, tidy den, give Joy water
Leah: put away clean laundry, tidy room, tidy kitchen table (she draws, cuts, colors, etc. there all day!), give Lilly water
Clay: take out trash, put away laundry, tidy room, tidy upstairs den
Julie: help Sam tidy den, put away laundry, tidy room
Olivia: put away laundry, tidy room, clean off bar in kitchen, tidy schoolroom
Mama: fold clothes, clean kitchen, vacuum kitchen ( a few times a week)

Additional Weekly Chores
Clay: Monday--clean out van and vacuum; Tuesday--empty trash cans throughout the house; Wednesday--clean off all porches, gather up all boots, blow off porches; Thursday--take trash cans to road, burn paper trash; Friday--bring trash cans back to house, mow grass (seasonally)
Julie: Monday--dust her room; Tuesday--dust Leah's room, bookshelves in upstairs hallway; Wednesday--vacuum rugs in boys' room, Thursday--clean out something in her room (a drawer, crocheting stuff, shelf, etc.); Friday--help clean girls' bathroom
Olivia: Monday--dust her room; Tuesday--dust boys' room; Wednesday--vacuum Leah's rug and upstairs den rug; Thursday--clean out something in her room (a drawer, crocheting stuff, shelf, etc.); Friday--help clean girls' bathroom
Mama: Monday--clean boys' bathroom; Tuesday--vacuum and mop stairs to basement and all basement floors; Wednesday--vacuum and mop all wood floors upstairs; Thursday--clean school bathroom, dust schoolroom and workout room; Friday--vacuum kitchen and den. Actually I vacuum the kitchen and den at least 3 times a week.

My housekeeper cleans the main floor of our house each week. The girls do most of the work upstairs, and I do the rest. I will pay the children to do any of the chores that I have assigned myself, from $1-2 per chore, depending on how long it should take them to complete it. Clay can also earn extra money by gathering brush in the woods and burning it, and the girls earn extra money by ironing.

I give the children an allowance each week. The older three get $5 per week, and Leah gets $1.25 per week. They divide their money into three categories: giving at church, savings, and spending. They use their spending money to buy things like yarn, stuffing, books, birthday gifts for friends, keychains (Clay), etc. The extra money they make is either saved or spent--whatever they choose.

I expect morning chores to be completed before breakfast. I do check to see if they are done, but for the most part, the children are very dependable. The consequence for jobs forgotten or done poorly is simply a redo. Either right then if I am not ready to begin school, or done during the first available free time. I am currently supervising Leah and Sam pretty closely while they are doing their chores. The chorepacks keep them on track. If the older girls are not done with their chores and ready to begin our Bible lesson at 8:00 AM, they are not allowed to use the computer during their free time that day. I really don't have a consequence for Clay not being ready by 8:00, because he is always ready.

The weekly chores are done anytime after school. The afternoon chores are completed before supper. I call this time the 5 O'Clock Tidy, although it is sometimes done at 6:00!

Whenever I add a new chore I spend some time teaching the child how to do it.

One last thing--since I usually do my long run on Sunday mornings before church (so I have to get up really early), I usually rest on Sunday afternoons. I spend this time blogging, catching up on reading blogs, reading, clipping coupons, etc. Therefore, by late afternoon, (since my children enjoy an afternoon of resting and playing too) my house looks like a stuff bomb exploded! So either before our evening church service or later that night after our Sunday Cereal Supper, we all pitch in and do a whole house tidy. In about 30 minutes we can tidy the whole house!

I think that's it! I have all of these chores typed and taped inside the pantry door, and also taped up in each child's room. Routine is the key!


  1. I'm exhausted!!

    We are "Spring Cleaning" this next week while we are all out of school. We've been so busy and so gone and do not seem to have any kind of routine cleaning system at all, so we've really got our job cut out for us.

    I'll let you know how it goes! :)

  2. I just love all your advice and wisdom!!! :-) I have been thinking about chores a lot lately. Since we will likely be homeschooling next year, I really want to get the kids in a really good routine of chores this summer that will mesh well with our school schedule next year. I appreciate your posting this!


  3. I love the Maxwells books, but haven't implemented the chore system with the packs. I guess I've been waiting to be really inspired, so thanks for that:) The kids do have their normal chores, but I should make the packs for the younger kids. Charts are just too much to keep up with! We also have outside help, so that allows me to get lax with the kids, which I know I shouldn't. However, knowing when she's coming also holds me accountable to get busy and get everything ready for her. I'm loving Spring Break. The kids have had some extra jurisdictions this week. They'll do anything to get out of homework:) I love that you have your younger ones really pitching in. I still haven't come up with anything other than baseboards for our 3 yr old. I wonder if he could do anything else. Btw- I like your new look. Sometimes it's good just to make a change.