We lived in an old house - a rental that was broken in many ways - old metal windows let in the cold and, during the rainy winters, the moisture made the brick wall in the kitchen drip white clumps of lime onto the floor. The pipes clogged on the regular and the yard was a mess. But my kids loved it there. What was once someone’s lovely garden had become overgrown - a giant fig tree with long, springy branches that reached the ground created a dream fort and old fruit trees were not only good for climbing, but still produced plums in the summer. All five were under 10 - two were in diapers and the preschoolers were in various stages of messy potty training. We were homeschooling and the days were long and busy, but full of rich time together. Figuring out how to meet each child’s needs was the most pressing problem I faced. My oldest was playing baseball, learning math and needing to do all the subject areas in school while my toddlers were pulling math manipulatives off the kitchen table and making messes faster than I could clean them up. I needed to create a schedule that guided our days and I also needed help getting all the housework done or we weren’t going to have clean clothes to wear or meals to eat. So in the midst of that chaos, I searched for guidance and found Titus2.com. I eventually purchased their Managers of their Homes and Managers of their Chores products and dove into implementing them.
Managers of their Homes taught me to schedule our days so I could meet each child’s needs. While I was doing Math with one child, another would stop doing their lessons and spend time with the little ones - playing legos, taking a “nature walk” in the yard, or reading to them.
Managers of their Chores helped me teach my children to help out around the house by giving them chores and the way they taught me to do that really worked - and still does now that my kids are all teens and young adults. If you want a highly-detailed, Christian approach to implementing chores in your home, you will love Managers of their Chores but today I’m sharing the way I did it - a more simple version of the amazing principles I learned from Titus2.
The beginning of summer was the BEST time for us to implement new chores in our home because we always took a break from schoolwork over summer. We read books over the long summer days, but no other school schedule ruled us. I also didn’t put my kids in camps all summer long. I wanted them to enjoy long, slow days - with time to get bored and create their own fun. So we had more time to start learn a new skill and create a habit of doing new chores during the summer. By the time Fall arrived with it’s more structured days and increased commitments, my kids were in the HABIT of doing their assigned chores and they were good at them.
When something becomes a HABIT, it’s so much easier to do it consistently and well. Right?
So here’s how we did it:
1) Take a few days to make a list of everything that needs to be done by room or area or category. For example, Bedroom: Make bed and pick up daily, Vacuum/dust 2x monthly (or whatever you require) // Living Room: dust, vacuum, pick up, fluff couch cushions // Bathroom: clean sink/counter, scrub tub, clean toilet, windex mirror // Chickens: let in/ out daily, refill food & water as needed, clean roost box weekly // Lawn: mow weekly // Car: wash outside, vacuum inside, clean out trash, & windex windows quarterly.
Kids should help add to this list - that way they will be more invested - and you can make it a fun family project to notice what needs doing - emptying dishwasher, taking out trash, etc…
2) Give careful thought to which jobs might be appropriate for each child, considering age, ability and even character development. Then assign the chores. Start small if you haven’t given chores before and commit to following up to make sure tasks are being done properly. You have to inspect what you expect or it might not become a helpful habit for your child. Better to have a few jobs assigned and learned well, then to assign too much and not hold kids accountable. Use the slower summer schedule to get into the habit of doing chores, tweeking the assignments as needed. By the time school starts again, everyone should be in the habit of doing their jobs.
3) Keep assigned chores all year - this way kids get good at their jobs and they become a habit for them so they will be easy. When school gets out a year later, change up the chores so everyone can experience each task. When kids learn these life skills early, they won’t be so overwhelming when they are adults.
For more support in implementing the Chore process I’ve discussed here, join my new course, Love your Homeschool REGISTRATION CLOSES for the Founding Membership on June 11.
Want to see how I teach? Watch the free training 3 Secrets to Creating Order in your Home while Homeschooling also available through June 11th.
Wishing you a FUN, restful and fruitful summer! Let me know how I can support you - what else would you like to hear about?? Comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m cheering you on!!