Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chore Chart ,Summer Routines, and mini banana cream trifles in a jar {FINALLY!}

Chore Chart:

Our chore chart was made for our family of four. If you have a smaller family or a bigger family, you can tweak it to what you need for your family. There are some things that are just asked to be done, but the main things are on the chart.

Also, we revised this from when the children were younger, so you will need to tone the job description down for younger babes.

Our chart breaks down to one child being on housekeeping and the other on kitchen help. We always had the kids on their job for one week instead of changing it every day because it allowed us to really teach them how to do things well and master it before switching jobs. Plus when children are younger, it is easier for them to KNOW "this is your job/resposibility for the whole week".

Chore Chart

We are all responsible to help keep our home a clean and livable space which means we all are responsible to clean up after ourselves as well as cleaning up messes we find as we go through our day. Doing these little things will give us more time to have fun as a family and do things for others.

Housekeeping job listing and description:

1. Vacuuming: Vacuum bedrooms and family room being sure to pick up and or move objects that are in the path of vacuum.

2. Laundry: follow verbal instructions from mom regarding loading, rotating, running loads. Help fold, sort, and put away laundry that is done being washed and dried.

3. Clear Table: This entails waiting until everyone is finished with dinner and then clearing all items from the table and helping to put away all leftovers etc…

Kitchen helper job listing and description:

1. Grocery shopping: Help with menu planning, shopping, and putting away groceries after shopping.

2. Dinner prep: assist cook with getting dinner ready. This may include actually assisting with cooking as well as making sure all dinner prep dishes are done and dishwasher is unloaded if necessary.

3. Set Table: This job is pretty self explanatory keep in mind setting the table includes setting out all dressings and condiments for a meal as well.

Note: If you will be unable to do your assigned job it is YOUR responsibility to arrange a trade of duties or to set up ahead of time if possible.

As soon as the kids got home after their last day of school and we had our traditional dinner out celebrating the arrival of summer vacation, it was time for our "ANNUAL COME TO JESUS MEETIN'".

We would talk about summer plans. It was lots of fun. We would also talk about maintaining a "schedule" during the summer. {You might want to stop reading right about now if you are "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" because this will drive you insane. I admire Moms who have the ability to do whatever, whenever, but since I am a clean-freak and control-freak...this is our happy medium for our family!}
I found that when things are "done" we all have way more fun and are able to help others with projects, knowing that home life is not complete mayhem.

Okay. Onward we go.

The children could stay up later and sleep in longer...BUT, nothing changed as far as chores were concerned. They were welcome and encouraged to trade jobs if they had something else interfere with their job.

It was fun as their parents to watch them wheel and deal with eachother and on occasion, old-fashioned bartering was even a means of getting the job done!

We tried individual chore charts, but felt like if the chart was posted on the fridge {a central location} we would learn to work more together as a family...a team...instead of as individuals. We have plenty of that in our society! It has been absolutely AWESOME!

Summer Routines:

KITCHEN TIMER! BEG,BORROW,{DO NOT STEAl} or BUY yourself a kitchen timer. I am not even kidding. This little gem has been my bff for many summers. I love and adore my children, but when they stopped taking naps, I thought I was going to die! Literally. I was patient and kind, but after lunch was over and their batteries were re-charged for an afternoon filled with more energy-sapping activities, I decided summer was not going to be one big three-month party. {I am so mean!} who in real-life has three months off anyway?! :) It was going to be a bit more structured. Have you ever tried getting your kids back into a routine after a three month hiatus? It is Nasty. Believe me!

I went out and bought a portable timer. I bought the kids timers, too. They would set them for one hour. Yes, you read that right. ONE FULL GLORIOUS HOUR. They had to be in their rooms. They owed me one hour of reading. It was amazing. It gave them some quiet and it gave me time to get things done or to take a cat nap, so I was able to be a really fun Momma for the rest of the day. I could get phone calls made, notes written etc. plus it allowed the kids to know exactly how much time they had. It kept their minds sharp and they knew it wasn't all about me being the entertainer and activities director. By the way, boys are WAY more interested in a wrist watch with all kinds of buttons. Pretty sure Caleb spent quite a bit of time on his watch instead of reading. :)Still, it was worth it to me.

I know this sounds really regimented, but it is really freeing. I was hesitant to writing posts on this, but since I was asked by a few people, I thought I would. It is so much more than "chores". It is learning how to function together as a well-oiled machine. It is learning to be sensitive to others needs.

As strict as we were with chores, we wanted them to learn the value of being servants, too. If a child was having a rough morning or week, we would suggest the other child help the struggling one out. This has by far been one we have found to BLESS our family and really create a bond between our children. It has also been a perfect teaching opportunity for us as parents to demonstrate grace and mercy to them as well. How refreshing it is to offer to help or do your child's chores for them and for them to be genuinely appreciative! Another tangible way for us as parents to demonstrate God's attributes to our children.

Be sure to have fun! After all, school is OUT and summer vacation is HERE. Enjoy lots of ice cream, watermelon, Slurpees, water from the garden hose, leftover berry pie for breakfast, strawberry shortcake, midnight S'MORES and don't forget to pack mini banana cream trifles in little canning jars for your evening picnic at the park!

shared with: inspirational friday


  1. I love this! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Although I have not formalized our chores into a chart, we do have some expectations of everyone helping around the house.

    There is also a loose schedule in place for the summer. Activities that we are going to be doing, friends we are having over, etc.

    I do not want us lazing around the house all day every day only to get to the end of the summer having done nothing. (Although the schedule will allow for a lazy summer day or two.) :-)

    Thanks for these ideas and sharing how you are doing it. Helps to be able to fine tune my system a bit.

  3. Thank you very much! I, unfortunately, am a fly by the seat of my pant gal, but I desperately need to teach the kids to do more work around here. I am totally outnumbered and I need to delegate! I'll start right away and let you know how it goes :)

  4. please tell me more about these mini banana cream trifles!? please? (I beg so politely!) ;)

    ps - today was THE day i needed to read this post. while my kids are only 3 & 4, they need to learn how to help and get along desperately. our house is filled with chaos and tears right now and maybe a little structure will help get rid of at least SOME of that! so thank you! (now about that trifle...) ;)