Our daily chore routine has taken trial and error to see what works for us. However, we’ve finally settled on a good schedule that has been working out well for about a year now.
Our household requires that chores must be done before school begins. I tried changing the schedule to where chores were done after school, but we only made it one day that way! I just can’t do school with a messy house. It helps all of our attitudes when the house is clean.
I really struggled with keeping my children focused on their chores each morning. That is, until my husband graduated college and was home in the mornings more. He came with up with a creative way to motivate our children and since we started it last year it has greatly improved the chore performance.
Before when we required chores to be done, breakfast and school just got pushed further and further back. Our children had no incentive to complete their chores and get on with their school day. We finally decided to set a firm time for breakfast – in our case 9 AM.
If our children decide to dawdle and not to get dressed and complete their chore by 9 AM, they miss breakfast and have to continue working until they are finished. What a difference this made!
Now they (usually) get up and hurry to get their chores done! It isn’t perfect, but it has been a big help in motivating them each morning.
I will be quick to add that we give them grace in this. If we are up late, we let them sleep in and just tell them to quickly get started. If they had an extra big job that morning, we give them grace. But the general rule is for chores to be done by 9 AM, and we normally eat and get started with school around 10:00. Oftentimes I’m wrapping up business work from 9-10 each morning.
So what chores do our children do each day? We stick to a very basic routine. Each child has around one chore they have to do each day. We don’t alternate much and we change chores about once a year as the children get older.
Here is what our children do each morning:
11 year old boy – unloads and wash dishes each morning. I have a bad habit of leaving dinner dishes to be done in the morning. When Sean was in college we ate late and I was tired and not up to doing dishes. The habit has continued, though I hope to change that one day.
9 year old boy – Right now he alternates one morning sweeping the dining room floor and cleaning it, and the other morning he does a light cleaning job in the bathroom and normally brings up a load of laundry for me from the dryer.
6 year old girl – She alternates chores with our 9 year old. She does such a good job with her chores and works hard to get them done properly.
5 year old girl – She is in charge of cleaning the girls room each morning, and a few times a week she cleans the outside of the kitchen trash can with some natural cleaning spray and a rag. I don’t require her to get their bedroom totally clean, as that is a big job for her alone. But she has to work on tidying it up each morning.
3 year old girl – She floats around the house during this time, and I sometimes come up with a simple job for her to help with. A few of the jobs she does is pick up toys and she cleans the front of the oven with natural spray (sometimes LOTS of natural spray, lol).
If our children wake up and get started on their chores without being reminded about it, they receive a diligent check on their Character Badges chart. We try to encourage them as much as we can in their chores, and reward them when they do a good job. If they do an especially good job and go above and beyond what is required, they get a hard working check as well.
It’s helpful for me to have visual reminders of what the children are capable of doing. I especially lose focus on what my little ones are capable of doing when I have older helpers around. This age appropriate chore chart is helpful to print and put somewhere (like your refrigerator) for a quick reminder of a chore you can assign to your child! I hope you find it helpful!
Download the list by clicking on the link below.
I would love to hear how your household handles morning chores!