Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tools of the Trade Tuesday!!! Chores

This post is kind of two fold. I would love to sit down and write a post that can give you all the answers to your burning homeschool questions! But alas, I don't have all the answers!! ;-)

I, like you, am on this journey that tends to change throughout it! So as I continue to write in the coming weeks, I will both share some things that have worked for us, as well as, ask you all to share things that have worked for you!

Here is my first question.... CHORES!

What do homeschooling families do. Now I would like input from any size family, however, I will say I would like to find out what large families are doing for chores! We have 5 children, ours are 11-18 all living at home.  We have tried many things over the years, and each are successful for some period of time. I am not sure if it is that we get bored easy, or what, but we seem to need to change our method of attack semi often!

We have tried assigning the big chores for long periods of time. This is how that looked. One group of children had the kitchen, and one group had the bathrooms. (There are 3 of them) They kept those chores for a LONG time. We are talking months... and the goal here was mastery of said chore. And then with all the little chores, we just worked on those together.

Now, they did, indeed, achieve mastery, but eventually, we had a bit of a mutiny. Well, not really, but they were very bored of the same chore. So we simply flopped. And for another several months that solved the problem.  And then the same problem surfaced...

Then we  tried our next plan of attack, which has worked for quite a long time. You can really read about it here.  Basically, I made up chore cards, and each child would pick a card, and what ever they picked that was their chore until we picked chore cards again. Now the goal was to pick the cards daily. However, life sometimes gets in the way of picking cards, so we changed that to, the job is yours until we pick again. And we also added if you had the dishes on one day, you could not pick it the next day to prevent the same person always getting the hard chore.

Now we are using this method currently. However, I sense that we have reached that time for a change. Now what?

So, this is where all of you come in! Please post your comments below and let me know how you and your family handle chores!  Let me know what has worked and what hasn't! Please leave as many comments as you would like!

Our family would like some fresh ideas!  We can't wait to read your comments!


  1. Oh, wow--you all have tried many of the same things we have! yes, we have 5 from 5-23, and so we've rotated alot. Mainly, they are just mutinying...when they feel other siblings get better ones or work less, etc. It is a constant battle, really, for us. Right now, we have let all of them choose from one list of major chores (wash kitchen floor/vacumn house/etc) and one list of minor (take garbage down/tidy own room). These 2 items need to be done 1x per week, by 2 pm on Saturday. OR, else, no comp/tv/etc for rest of week. (Husband came up w/punishment when they dragged chores out all weekend--this one is working) Then, the kids each do dishes 1 night per week. As we have blended family, it is working best for us with me noting who is doing what and then letting Dad be the official policeman on it (as in, the dishes aren't done and it's 8:40...whose night is it?) Having Chris be the heavy is really helping. I have to let some things go, but at least for a few days a week, the house does look nice. (I'll do tidying thru week--I had a bad habit of making Nick help me, but that wasn't really fair as 3 others are out during the day). Not sure if that helps any, but that's all i've got right now!

  2. Have you seen Chore Wars? That worked for awhile in our house. The kids loved earning experience points for chores and I kept a Chore Wars prize box with silly bands and shoelaces and even video games in it, where they could trade in their gold or trinkets.


  3. We have tried a lot of things. What works now is telling them all that they can't play outside until school, chores, and music practice is complete. Who does what changes often, but they are all responsible for keeping their own clothes picked up. If the tv is on and there is laundry to be folded, they fold while watching.