Monday, June 19, 2017

The Great Summer Chore Switch

If you are new around the blog or just don't remember how chores work at my house please go read Chores at Our House. I really lay everything out there. This brings me to the big to-do at my house today - changing our yearly chore assignments. We make this change each June.

Here is the breakdown of the chores for each person for the coming year:

(Tobias age 1 and Samuel age 3 help people for fun, but they do not have a room assigned.)

Mason age 5 will be cleaning the living room every day. This involves picking up toys and books as well as vacuuming the floor.

Caleb age 6 will be cleaning the half bathroom and alcove it is off of. This means wiping down mirror, sink, and toilet, emptying trash, and sweeping floors.

Oliver age 8 will be cleaning the laundry room/pantry and taking out the trash. The laundry room/pantry gets shelves wiped down and floors swept.

Daniel age 9 will be cleaning the full bathroom. He'll wipe down mirror, sink, toilet, tub/shower, empty the trash, and sweep the floor.

Emma age 11 will be cleaning the kitchen. She'll clear counters, wipe down counters, sink, stove, microwave, and sweep.

Joseph age 12 will be cleaning the dining room. He'll put away items from the floor or table, wipe down the table and chairs, and sweep the floors.

Makayla age 16 has graduated from our room assignments. She's able to do all the rooms in the house. This year she's officially taken on the role of chef. She's responsible for cooking 5 meals (lunches and dinners, any mix she chooses) as well as baking 1 thing each week (bread, rolls, dessert, anything). That leaves the other 15 meals of the week to me.

Other Chore Changes or Details:

We've streamlined the kitchen helper task for the coming year. Each child has 1 day per week as the kitchen helper. They do the dishwasher and help whoever is cooking that day with any meal prep that are asked to do. We start with Makayla on Sunday and go down in age each day until we reach Saturday where Mason is the kitchen help. Again, Samuel and Tobias can help, but aren't assigned because they are younger than 4.

Laundry continues to be done by the kids. One of the older kids in a bedroom starts the laundry, a middle kid switches it to the dryer, and everyone puts their own laundry away. That means I only handle the laundry for my bedroom (me, daddy, and Tobias).

Wait! What else do YOU do Tristan?

Maybe you noticed that I really don't do much cleaning beyond a load of laundry and cooking. Does that surprise you? As mom I'm working to make myself obsolete. I'm equipping my children to be adults. I encourage. I pitch in and help. I can sweep the dining room an extra time after yet another meal with messy little eaters. I do the daily medical care Mason needs. I budget and make sure the bills get paid on time. I also do the majority of the homeschool teaching, though daddy helps on Mondays. (Daddy also works full time and is going to college as well.)

Oh, and right now I'm growing a baby. My tenth! It's something I'm pretty good at and it comes with a wonderful child to love and teach. ;)

How do chores work at your house? Are you still doing most of the chores or are your children learning some of the skills they need to be independent adults through regular required chores?


  1. I stopped feeling guilty about my kids doing so much housework when a friend's teenager couldn't do their laundry. I'm glad you have a system that works! I tell my kids they need to be able to run a house by the time they leave mine all the time.

  2. I'm still working on becoming obsolete, but I find that managing it all take significant energy because of the special needs of many of my crew.

    My older girls were all gone at girls camp recently, and I found out again just how lovely it is to simply do a job and have it done without any arguing instead of waiting for and encouraging (my particular) teens get the work done. It was also tremendously relaxing to have my littles be the only cleaners in the house because they are all still enthusiastic helpers. :)

    On the flip side, we recently had rather an emergency to deal with, and my kids came together and really got the work done--without me being at all involved. They ARE capable when they need to be! So I'm less worried about the day-to-day recalcitrance.

  3. This is great! And if anyone thought "what do you do, Tristan," they're crazy! Even if all I do is cook for, mother, and teach my 2 boys all day, I am EXHAUSTED. And that's somehow never all I end up doing...

  4. We have a similar system, but I think it sounds a little more complicated than yours, LOL. But they all know what to do and runs smoothly, so I guess that's what counts. :) We have three main kitchen jobs that gets rotated monthly. One is loading dishes, one is unloading dishes and sweeping the floor, and the last one is cleaning the kitchen (putting away any leftovers, wiping down counters and tables, and general tidying up.) Right now the three older girls rotate on those with Adam helping with little tasks like putting the silverware away or straitening the shoe rack so the sweeping person can sweep easier. Then they each have a downstairs room to take care of. Alexis has the library room, Ashley the playroom, and Emily the livingroom. Adam is in charge of picking up toys and books in the living room and assists in the playroom, too. We kind of self serve breakfast and lunch for the most part. Usually once a week or so one of the older girls or myself will make a batch of muffins or sweet bread and I might do pancakes one morning or eggs. But mostly everyone fixes their own sandwiches,
    cuts up their own fruit or grabs some precut veggies from the refridgerator, grabs some nuts or sunflower seeds, fixes their own toast or oatmeal, heats up leftovers, grabs a yogurt, etc, (of course we help the two littlest) but as for dinners, Alexis and Emily each take a night to cook and I cook the other nights. We also do at least one load of laundry a day with one child stain treating and putting on a load, one child switching it at lunch time, another child taking it out of the dryer during our before dinner tidy up, everyone helps fold quickly, and then the last child delivers it to the bedrooms. That's all for daily chores (except for keeping their own rooms tidy.) Then Monday mornings we spend an hour and a half to 2 hours doing all the weekly chores at once (during the school year we split these up to one chore assigned to each child each morning of the week M-F.) But we wanted to get it done all at once during the summer. :) These are chores like cleaning the bathrooms (each girl is assigned one bathroom), cleaning the stove and microwave, cleaning out the refrigerator, mopping, vacuuming the stairs and upstairs, etc. Then on Thursday mornings if we don't have other plans (again just for the summer - usually we do this on Saturdays), I might pick a few areas that need organized and assign those to kids (sometimes as partners). As an example, maybe the bathroom closet has gotten very messy so I might ask Alexis to organize it. Or the food pantry is messy but a bigger job so I might assign Emily and Ashley to tackle it. I do pay for these extra jobs so they can earn a bit of money and learn to manage it. And we have a list of extra jobs that always seem to need done that they can ask about and get paid for, as well.

  5. Ahh, chores. I had great plans that would teach my kids to self-sufficient adults, but they came with special needs. Intellectual disability is NOT fun for moms. Nope.

    So, I began not knowing my kids had I.D. They seemed to get through their chores, but things started going down hill.

    Now, right when I thought I had it down, things still went down hill, such as my 16 yr. old picking my friend's used tampon applicator out of the bathroom trash can when she was supposed to be emptying it.

    My 18 yr. old has stolen and destroyed/thrown away too many of my things to be trusted out of my sight. She used to do the dishes and vacuum two rooms every day. Food disappeared during dish washing time and the dishes didn't get clean enough. Now, she does what I tell her to do and only when I can keep an eye on her directly. Today, she got to vacuum the family room and living room while I made lunch. She also got to empty the dishwasher while I was preparing dinner.

    My 16 yr. old got to cut cherry tomatoes in half. I don't usually let her into my kitchen because she has the fine motor skills of a 4-6 yr. old. Her daily chores are sweeping the front hallway and emptying the recycling can. Weekly, she empties all the trash cans, but she's under strict supervision with it now. She used too vacuum the bedrooms, too, but the cords on all my vacuums are broken so no one is allowed to touch my vacuums unless I'm there to watch.

    These two girls alternate days sweeping their bathroom floor.

    My 13 yr. old sets and clears the table, picks up the dog poop outside and brushes the cats and dogs every day.

    My 5 yr. old has to hold the blankets on her bed and keep her toys picked up and put "in their right places."

    None of the girls does their own laundry, but they fold and put away their clean clothes. I help the 5 yr. old. They all help with yard work. They all help carry in groceries, too.

    They won't ever be independent so I try to see what they can do, but it's always less than I hope for, like my 16 yr. old still touching trash.


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