I am often asked as a mother of 6 and as a homeschool mum “How do you do it all?” My honest answer to that would be that I don’t do it all. The question would then be “So what do you do?” Here is one of the answers to that question!
This is a big one! Having a large family and trying to ‘do it all’ is impossible! I believe however, regardless of your family size, having everyone contribute is important. We notice it has contributed to our family unit and we started to consider others more. We know that we are a team. It makes everyone in the family more willing to do their part.
How Chores Are Distributed
I use a few factors in deciding how chores are done:
- Age/ Capability- What is each child capable of doing? My 1 year old twins can put toys away as we sing “Clean up, clean up….” At 11, my DD can wash dishes. My 8 year old can wipe down the table and sweep the small carpet under the dining table after meals. I work with DH on the big jobs like cooking and bigger cleaning jobs.
- Rotation- We don’t want chores to become tedious for anyone, so we ‘upgrade’ them as they become capable of doing something else, or we try to rotate jobs. Right now my
self and DH sometimes take over chores especially from the older children. They already love to help outside of their regular chores.
- Motivated Moms List– I got this list a long time ago as part of a bundle. The list was made with mum in mind only. However I decided to put all of our names beside chores I thought were appropriate. E.g. nail cutting Wednesdays are mine! Some chores like cleaning the fridge I like to do with one of my children, as this also gives us some bonding time.
I don’t pay my children to do their chores. I figure that:
1. We are all a family unit
2. When they get older chores will still be very much a part of life.
There is a reward however… a clean, inviting home! On the flip side, I do pay my children for school work done well because, much like a job, out in the world you will be paid for a job well done and I find this motivates them to do their best!
It is Biblical
Now, we won’t find ‘do chores’ in the Bible. But diligence and hard work are definitely in there.
“Go to the ant, you sluggard Consider her ways and be wise,” – Proverbs 6:6
According to this verse, work is compatible with wisdom!
As we teach chores, we teach diligence and Proverbs is filled with scripture about diligence.
“The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” – Proverbs 21:5
(Also see: Proverbs 10:4, 12:24, 13:4, 27:3) These scriptures make me think about their future, and diligence is something we want and need our children to grab hold of if they want to prosper. Not just financial prosperity but spiritual prosperity also. It is worth my time to use chores to teach diligence!
Making Chores Fun
Just because chores are work doesn’t mean it can’t be fun! Here are a couple ways we make chores fun:
- Afternoon and evening tidy up- When it is time for daddy to come home we do a quick 10 minute tidy up so he doesn’t come home to chaos. We try racing the clock to be finished before he walks in! Evening tidy up is another 10 minute tidy before bed!
- Pick 10- We sometimes have everyone pick up 10 out of place items and put them away. For us not including the babies that is 60 items! Woot woot! (I believe I heard this on Power of Moms)
- Music- Because who can resist some great upbeat music and cleaning?
Now, this blog wouldn’t be real if I didn’t add this disclaimer. If you turned up at my house without warning I couldn’t promise you a pristine home. I mean we still gotta live… but give us a 20 minute to 30 minute warning and we could probably come pretty close. *wink*