Monday, February 2, 2015

kids as helpers

so i mentioned in my last post that i have started a new sort of schedule thing to help me organize my day and help get the kids involved more around the house.
we've always given the boys responsibilities but as they grow, they need more. i want them to be active helpers in keeping the household running. things like, "what are you making us for dinner?" and "where are my clean clothes?" send me over the edge. so i'm putting the ball in their court as much as i can.

our boys are 8, 6, 6, and 5 (a tiny 5, which makes it hard to be a helper when he can't reach things).
in our family, we have days of the week assigned to different people. gabe, the oldest, has mondays, which means he does his laundry that day, picks which way we do discipleship time, prays at meals, showers first, gets to pick the book we read together as a family, etc.
so i've sorted the chores into four categories and each kiddo does a set based on what day it is.
this sounds confusing. i'll just show you:

but a not-so-quick side note:
laundry. this will change your life. i decided back in september that i was wasting so much time folding the boys' clothes when they just shove them in their dressers. also, the boys would fight over whose clothes were whose. AND i would wash the clothes, dry them, fold them, divvy them up for each kid, and put them at the base of the stairs for the boys to put away and they had the AUDACITY to complain about the work., sirs.

so i bought them each a dirty clothes hamper, had them label them with their names, and instituted this new method of laundry.
it has saved me so much time and i don't resent laundry so much. so here you go.
on their day of the week, one boy will take off their sheets, blankets, and pillowcases and bring them downstairs first thing in the morning before school (little tiny 5 year old gets help from a brother because the sheets are heavier than he is). i wash and dry them during the day, and after school the boy gets them from the dryer and takes them upstairs. i make their beds, but they put their clothes away.
"do they fold them?" --you may ask. probably not. the boys take care of their dressers how they please. some like folding their clothes so their space is more organized, others shove the clothes in every nook and cranny. the only rules are: no clothes on the floor and no complaining that you can't find what you need. they have more ownership of their space in their rooms. i don't oversee it. i figure we all have a way we like our own space to be, and this lets them figure out how they like their space. it's been so freeing. then on fridays i do the baby's laundry and my husband's and mine. it's wonderful.

ok, back to chores:
here's what our chore chart thingy looks like:
kid 1: laundry put away, clear table after dinner, wipe down bathroom counter and clear it of junk
kid 2. take out recycling, help me with dinner, straighten the game room
kid 3: take out compost bin, vacuum under table (little handheld vacuum that stays in kitchen), straighten bedrooms (they share rooms so it's only 2 to straighten)
kid 4: take out trash from cans in each room if needed/take out kitchen trash, feed the dogs, straighten game room if it's extra messy or straighten the craft room

---so on monday, gabe is kid 1, judah is kid 2, elijah is kid 3, and asher is kid follows birth order. on tuesday, the line moves up and judah is number 1, elijah is number 2, etc.
 it rotates, which helps the kids not get sick of stuff. it's been a bit challenging keeping it all straight. even with it written down, the hubs and i seriously ask each other which kid does what like 7 times each night. so i have big plans to have a friend make me a beautiful chart complete with days of the week and a cute pic of each kid so it's easier to manage.

we usually do our chores after dinner and before showers because after that it's just crazy time with reading and logging books and such. doing all this with a baby to feed and put to bed in addition to my own after dinner chores has been challenging but we're finding our groove.

i'll post more on how i'm organizing my time soon.


  1. I like your method in the madness. I'm sorry the flu came for you too. Love you, Mags. 💖

  2. i like YOUR method in the madness. :)
    i hope your family is doing wonderfully!

  3. Thanks for sharing. I really like the laundry idea and I'll probably start doing that it our house.


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