Organization

New Chore Assignments

Cutting Chamomile The Prudent Homemaker

Five weeks ago, I made new chore assignments at our house. After a month, it was apparent that the new chore assignments were not working, so I made some changes, and the new assignments are a much better fit.

We added a few new chores into the mix, and Ivory, who turned 3 in April, now has regular chores as well. She already helps fold napkins and washcloths as part of the every day laundry. She often times helps me move wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. She picks up her toys. We’re giving her a couple more chores now; she can easily set the table with napkins and silverware. She also will have dusting to do; I have some small dust cloths that I made up that her hand can fit inside for some simple dusting of low areas, including the piano.

Here are our children’s ages:

Winter: 13

Cyrus: 11

Ezrom: 10

Liberty: 8

Wren: 7

Elsa: 5

Ivory: 3 

 

Laundry is every day but Sunday. I wash 3 to 4 loads of laundry a day. You can read more about my laundry system here.

The trash gets picked up twice a week, so twice a week the big cans get taken to the curb. 

Several things are repeated through the day (like sweeping) because they constantly need to be done.  For mopping our floors, we use a hardwood floor mop similar to this one, and these floor mop covers. We just use water to clean the hardwood and marble floors (the kitchen and my bathroom have marble). In the children’s bathrooms we have tile; for that we use water and homemade orange vinegar.

 

Before Breakfast:

Everyone:

Prayer

Get dressed, brush hair and wash face

Make bed

Straighten bedroom; vacuum bedroom

Sort dirty laundry

Winter: Wipe one door

Cyrus: Put away dishes & Pour waters

Ezrom: Pick up boys’ hall

Liberty: Take out trash

Wren: Pick up living room & Help Mom with breakfast

Elsa: Take out trash

Ivory: Set Table

Everyone:

Fold and put away laundry

After Breakfast:

Everyone:

Clear Spots

Brush Teeth

Winter: Wipe table and chairs

Cyrus: Sweep under table

Ezrom: Pick up boy’s bathroom

Liberty: Wash dishes

Wren: Pick up girls’ bathroom

Elsa: Sweep kitchen floor

Ivory: Dust

Before Lunch:

Everyone:

Put away school books

Winter: Pick up and vacuum by front door and Library

Cyrus: Sweep wood floor and Pour Drinks

Ezrom: Help Mom with lunch

Liberty: Pick up living room

Wren: Set table and Sweep Boys’ Hall

Elsa: Pick up Library

Ivory: Pick up Library

After Lunch:

Everyone:

Clear Spots

Winter: Clean Bathroom

Cyrus: Sweep and mop under table

Ezrom: Clean Bathroom

Liberty: Wipe table and chairs

Wren: Wash dishes & Run dishwasher

Elsa: Mop wood floor by piano

Before Dinner:

Winter: Put away clean dishes

Cyrus: Pick up and vacuum living room

Ezrom: Pick up and sweep girls’ hall

Liberty: Wipe table, set table and pour waters

Wren: Clean up backyard

Elsa: Pick up wood floor to door

Ivory: Pick up living room

Everyone:

Clean rooms

5 Minutes cleaning in the Library

After Dinner:

Everyone:

Clear Spots

Put on pajamas

Brush teeth and wash face

Winter: Get ivory ready for bed

Cyrus: Wipe chairs

Ezrom: Sweep and mop kitchen floor

Liberty: Clear and wipe table

Wren: Sweep under table

Elsa: Sweep wood floor

 

In addition to our regular daily chores, we have a few weekly chores as well. Both Cyrus and Ezrom are now taking turns mowing the lawn. (In the winter this job doesn’t need to be done at all; though it doesn’t snow here, it is cool enough that grass doesn’t grow much). Cyrus uses the gas mower and Ezrom uses the push mower. 

 

You can see our past chore assignments here.

You can read more about how we do laundry here.

You can read our daily schedule here.

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18 Comments

  1. You must school in the library for the amount of time it is a chore to pick up. Glad that it is working better for you. I hady kids totally take over all laundry but it was coming out still dirty. I observed them and they were doing everything right so I am thinking something is wrong with the washer. Ugh!!!!

  2. I love reading about how you organize your life. I don’t have kids, but I can remember the chores my sisters and I had as children (vacuuming, folding laundry, helping with the dishes, weeding, cleaning our rooms, and a few other things). Nowadays, I enjoy doing laundry and cooking, but I’m not so enthusiastic about cleaning. These posts always inspire me to do more.

  3. As the oldest child, I love to see the variety. I was ALWAYS the one washing dishes….probably the reason that I despise doing them now. Fortunately I am married to a wonderful man that says my cooking is worth all the dirty dishes & is happy to do them. 🙂

  4. Very organized. I believe in giving even the youngest child a chore to do also. It helps them feel important and teaches them to be part of the ‘team’ family. The only thing I saw ‘missing’ from your list was bath time. When do the children take a bath? At night before bed or in the morning? My grandsons always do a night bath because they are dirty as can be after an afternoon of skate boarding or boxing.

  5. Sounds doable for all the ages. I too feel it is important for every family member to be useful and feel useful.

  6. I don’t have a set time–sometimes it’s morning and sometimes it is evening, and usually a combination of both, since there are 9 of us. They don’t take one every day. I have some who shower in the morning and some who prefer evenings (those can be after dinner but for older children it can be after I’ve sent the others to bed).

  7. Nope! We do school at the table. The youngest two make the biggest messes in the library–that’s where I have blocks, Lincoln Logs, and vintage Fisher Price Little People and cars–plus they often bring the dress-up clothes and baby dolls into that room. Once they are done with school they go in there to play. The older children play board games in there on a folding table that gets taken out quite often, and there are usually reading and art books that get read but not put back.

  8. I just ask 🙂 And not always that–he helps with washing pots and pans, does additional sweeping, helps with meals/cooks some meals, fixes stuff, helps the children with their laundry folding chores, and keeps his own stuff picked up. He makes his side of the bed and puts his clothes in the hamper 🙂

  9. Rotating the chores are a great idea. I still remember breaking dishes on purpose so I would be taken off emptying the dishwasher and put on folding laundry instead…my sister wasn’t very happy about that! My mom just thought I was still too little to handle all the dishes.

    And when it comes to bath time – if anyone has seasonal allergies it’s always best to bathe at night to get all the pollen/dust/etc off before going to bed. That’s important for me and my son, although I don’t give him a bath every night either.

  10. Brandy,

    Now do you keep track of all the day to day things that you need to accomplish? Do you just write quick notes or do you have a daily planner? We are trying to,garden this year as well as stay on top of school lessons and normal cleaning. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed a bit since we moved into our new home last Autumn. I feel like I’m always forgetting to get something done and usually I’m putting aside personal time to play catch up. Any tips?

  11. I was wondering, how long it takes for the children to finish their schoolwork? I see that they’re done with school by lunch and have chores the rest of the day. I’m thinking of homeschooling but most other blogs I see, schooling continues past lunch.

  12. Anna, you may want to reread that. We have school after lunch as well–science and art. In addition, my children do [i]not[/i] have chores all the rest of the day. They have quiet time for two hours, starting at 1:30. If they have schoolwork that is not done (because they chose to dawdle during schooltime), they can do it then–a lot of the books I assign for reading get read then. But if they are done and they want to play Legos, read other books for fun (that happens quite a bit here), take a nap (even my older children will do that sometimes), etc., they can do that too. Then after naptime they have free time until 5:00 (a couple do have to practice piano during part of that time), when they have before dinner chores–which can be done in 20 minutes, giving them free time [i]again[/i] until after dinner, where they need to clear their spots, do a quick chore (like wipe the table or sweep the floor) and get ready for bed. Then they often have more free time to play again, depending on what time we had dinner, or if they decide to drag a 5 minute chore into 20 minutes–that’s completely up to them 🙂

    One of the thing I like about homeschooling is that we have evenings free together, not filled with homework.

    School doesn’t have to take all day. Most homeschoolers can get their schoolwork done quite quickly. There is a lot of time in the formal school setting that gets used in things that take longer in a big classroom (like taking roll, passing out papers, giving 30+ students a chance to read out loud, etc.) that just doesn’t exist at home. Look at how long it takes your children to do their homework. That’s not equal to the length of the entire school day. Homeschooling doesn’t take much longer than the time it takes to do homework.

    There are many different styles of homeschooling, and school at home doesn’t have to look like school in the classroom. At my house it does quite a bit, but there are other styles of homeschooling that are very different. You can break up school with recess, or you can have them get it done before they go play.

    There’s no reason for math to take longer than an hour. Most of that time is spent doing the actual work. My older children need that full time, but my younger children do not. I usually have 50 to 75 math problems a day for my kindergartener and first grader, and they finish those really quickly. My kindergartener can be done with every subject in less than 2 hours, including art.

    With children home all day, the house definitely gets messier–especially since the children have more free time. Where many children are in school until 3:30, mine are messing up their rooms between 1:30 and 3:30. That certainly has to be addressed if they want to walk in their rooms safely at night, so I have them pick up their room again before dinner. If they are doing a good job of it in the evening, picking up their room in the morning is just making their bed.

    My children’s morning chores are pretty normal–they have to get dressed, make their beds, set the table, and get ready for school. Then they have 10 minutes to help fold the laundry, too–with 20 plus loads a week at my house, that’s pretty important.

    Every family has to figure out what works for them. If you decided to homeschool, it will take a while to work into a schedule that works best for your family.

    You’ll also find that with the children home all day, the house will get messier then before, so you’ll have to figure out how to address that. For me, having a quick pick up before each meal helps to keep the mess from getting too overwhelming.

    If you want to homeschool, go for it! Give yourself time to work into a schedule. Reading other people’s schedules is helpful, but until you do it for a while, you won’t know how long it takes you and your children. How many children you have, what grade they’re in, how much they dawdle or get distracted, and how much individual help they need will all affect how long it take to finish each day’s schoolwork.

  13. Brandy, do you have a homeschooling network of other families that you connect with? The museum I work at just had a homeschooling group come through. I think these groups often do “field trips” together which also allows the children to socialize with other homeschool children at the same time.

  14. Rhonda,

    There is a local group in my part of town, but after talking with a couple of families who have been involved with the group (one who loved it and one who didn’t) I’ve decided not to join. The one who loved it talked to me about all of the many activities, which were very costly, including lots of trips to the movies. I don’t want to interrupt my school day to go to the movies or for big play dates; if the group was something like Classical Conversations, with classes, or was more educational field trips, then I would have been more interested.

    That doesn’t mean my children lack for socialization! We have three hours of church each Sunday, where the children have two hours of classes with children their age. The boys have Scouts from age 8 up. Starting at age 8, the girls at church have activities with the other girls their age at church during the week.

    At age 12, the children have young women’s and young men’s activities each week. Winter is currently serving as the Beehive class president at church for the 12 to 13-year-old girls, so she also has additional leadership meetings in addition to her regular activities, which she helps plan. She also goes with the leaders to make visits to welcome new girls as they turn 12 and to explain the young women in excellence program.

    There are also lots of other church social activities throughout the year; last month the children had a talent show at church.

    Winter and Cyrus have also been involved in a multi-congregation church children’s choir.

    Plus they of course have friends over to play!

    For our family, this is plenty, but lots of other families do sports, participate in plays, orchestras, etc. Our state allows homeschoolers to go to school just for sports, band, etc. if they want to.

    My children also have 72 cousins 🙂

    With 7 children at home, they also have each other to play with every day! They do so much together every day.

  15. I think I would have appreciated chamomile more if I had such adorable helpers aiding me in harvesting! I think you are doing a wonderful job in teaching your children responsibilities. When my children were home, we always washed the dishes together. It became our favorite time of the day to talk things over and just have a few laughs.

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