Let me be honest with you. Chores with kids is a daunting task for me.
I have tried tons of methods, lots of charts, and bribing.
None of it worked. And it was all my fault.
I was putting my faith in the chart, and not the actual process of teaching my kids life-long skills.
How I Changed Chores in My Home
I first decided that I needed some outside help.
I found Tauna at The Proverbial Homemaker, and she helped me see chores in a whole new light.
I took her course Simple Chore System for Busy Moms.
And just like that chores became so much easier.
I had a system that my kids could use over and over again.
It was easy to take with me when we traveled in our RV. It was easy to transfer during seasons of change.
Let me give you a quick peek into our system.
I first learned about table chores from Amy Roberts at Raising Arrows. You can read all of her table chores posts HERE and how she uses table chores with her family.
I took her course in the My Homemaking Mentor, and I loved her idea of table chores.
Obviously, we are all going to feed our children so table chores make sense.
Especially as a homeschooling family, we normally eat all three meals together at our kitchen table.
So every meal we eat, each kid has a table chore that they complete.
You can come up with whatever table chores work for your family and the age of your children.
These are our table chores for a family of 5: kids aged 4 – 11.
- Bus the table – The child in charge of this chore brings everything from the table to the kitchen counter or sink. (At this point in our chores, I am still washing the dishes and putting the leftovers away. I have tried having the older boys do these chores, and I just feel more comfortable waiting another year!)
- Wipe the table – This child is given a warm wet rag to wipe down the table.
- Wipe the chairs – Same thing as wipe the table, but wipe the chairs.
- Dry the dishes – As I wash the dishes, I give them to the dryer. They put away the dishes that they are able.
- Sweep – Sometimes it is a broom and dustpan. Sometimes it is our handheld vacuum. (Dustin got me this handheld vacuum for Christmas, and I LOVE IT!)
These chores rotate weekly, and I evaluate them to make sure they are still working.
I just do a loop rotation with these chores.
Example for Week 1:
Brinkley – Bus table
Colston – Wipe table
Hartley – Wipe chairs
Kinsler – Dry dishes
Cannon – Sweep
Example for Week 2:
Colston – Bus table
Hartley – Wipe table
Kinsler – Wipe chairs
Cannon – Dry dishes
Brinkley – Sweep
I learned about the name “transition chores” from Tauna at Proverbial Homemaker.
This is a game-changer.
I thought about the transitions of our day and have chores for each transition.
Right now, we have chores before every meal, before bedtime, and before we leave the house.
The key to the table chores and the transition chores are to have the chore cards that are only available through the course The Busy Mom’s Guide to Chores.
These transition chores also rotate weekly through the kids and are also evaluated to makes sure they are being done properly and are still effective.
Our current transition chores:
- Feed pets
- Set table
- Help with cooking
- Clean up kitchen from cooking
- Food to table
- Vacuum main room
- Pick up toys around house
- Pick up shoes around house
- Straighten kitchen
- Straighten up the playroom
- Quick appearance check (shoes and jackets on everyone, hair and teeth brushed)
- Water bottle filler
- Carry items needed to car
- Put pets up
- Quick pick up
The Ultimate Chore Course
Putting it all together.
Here is an example of one kid’s chore card for the week:
- Help with cooking.
- Sweep after meals.
- Straighten kitchen before bed.
- Put the pets up before leaving.
The thing that helped me the most was The Simple Chore System for Busy Moms.
Here’s what the mini-course includes:
- Choosing age-appropriate chores
- How to teach a new chore
- Establishing daily responsibilities
- When to pay for chores
- Catching up on housework together
- Finding time to teach and train
- And more!
Use the videos, tips, and printables to set up a chore system you can actually do! Includes lifetime access and you can complete the course at your own pace.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chores:
Do you pay your kids an allowance?
We do not pay our kids an allowance. Working hard is just a part of being in our family. However, I am happy to pay for extra chores. If I see something that needs tending to, I will offer a few dollars for someone to do that chore. Also, now that my older kids are getting big, they sometimes get paid for giving the little kids a bath or reading books to them before bed. However, it must all be done with a happy heart. If it is not done all the way, right away, and with a cheerful heart, there is NO MONEY INVOLVED.
What about getting ready and making their bed?
We are slow movers in the morning. We tend to stay up late and sleep in. Especially during the football offseason.
But before starting school, I ask each kid if they made their bed and brushed their teeth.
Other than that, I am pretty lenient.
Why does this system work?
This system works because it goes with your daily rhythm or routine.
No more checking off a chart. By mid-week, I usually have the chore card memorized for each kid. But if not, they are easily accessible.
Since the chores go with daily rhythms of meals and bedtime, they are easy to follow through with and get done!