I'm probably the last mom of many on earth to assign weekly chores, but I've finally come to my senses and done it. I was looking back over Managers of their Homes by Steve and Teri Maxwell last night and felt convicted that it was time we initiate weekly chores. The Maxwells have scheduling down to a science, so if you struggle in this area, I highly recommend their books Managers of their Homes and Managers of their Schools.
So, why assign weekly chores now if we've gone this long without them? Several reasons.
1.) We've been studying diligence lately and this gives all of us a wonderful opportunity to practice diligence on a weekly basis (without being told by mom or dad, so diligence and initiative).
2.) Often times I end up just doing something myself or leaving it undone because I haven't properly trained my children to do a particular chore. Our weekly chores will require me to work with the kids and help them to master their jurisdictions. This experience will not only benefit our household, but help prepare our kids to manage their own homes someday. I think gaining the skills necessary for their weekly chores will also give them a feeling of self-efficacy that many kids today lack.
3.) I'm usually pretty laid back about chores until company's on the way, at which point I fly into a panic and shout orders at my children like a drill sergeant taking charge of his new recruits. I think the kids and I would all rather have most of the chores done ahead of time so that our cooperative efforts could focus on finishing touches rather than expending all our energy at the last minute just making our home presentable. In other words, weekly chores will help curb my procrastination.
I've also added a few chores to our daily regimen.
New Daily and Weekly Chore Assignments
Daily- Make bed and keep room neat (morning), walk dog (afternoon), take out trash (evening).
Weekly- Dust bedroom, pick-up/organize movies in theater room, clean upstairs bathroom, sweep side porch.
Twinkle Toes (9)
Daily- Make bed and keep room and closet neat (morning), straighten and wipe down counters in girls' bathroom (evening).
Weekly- Clean arts and crafts area upstairs, clean back and side glass doors, clean girls' bathroom, sweep back porch.
Daily- Make bed and keep room and closet neat (morning), wet jet floor of eating area (evening).
Weekly- Sweep front porch, clean the stairs, clean glass in front door.
Daily- Make bed (morning), keep room and closet neat (throughout day), vacuum floor of eating area with Shark (evening).
Weekly- Pick-up all outside toys from backyard and put in outside toy box.
Mom and Dad- Everything else! Actually, there are other things the kids do around the house, like put their clean laundry away. We're in the process of overhauling our laundry room (that darn nesting), so I'll post more on this later. It's usually semi-weekly, but of course depends on when the laundry gets done. They are also supposed to rinse their dishes and put them in the dishwasher after each meal and my two youngest love helping me unload the dishwasher. But weekly chores are new to us and I hope they work well for our family.
We have never given our kids an allowance. We think they need to help out around the house because it's the right thing to do, not to earn money. However, we have decided on a few out of the ordinary jobs that we will let them do to earn money.
Monk (11) has been learning to mow at my parents' ranch. He mows both with a riding mower and also a push mower. He also earned money painting a fence at the ranch this summer. (They pay him as they have jobs that need doing.)
Twinkle Toes (9) is a master organizer and occasionally I'll pay her a couple of dollars to clean out and organize a closet for me, like our coat closet with all the hats and gloves, etc. (Money well spent it my opinion!)
Measle (7) has earned a little money pulling weeds over the summer. We usually pay her $1 for each Walmart sack full of weeds she pulls. (Ahh, the joys of child labor!)
How about you? Do you assign weekly chores as well as daily ones? Do you give your kids an allowance? Are there jobs they are expected to do without pay?
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- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.