We use a chore roster to keep chores rotating and to help the kids be responsible themselves for their chores (instead of me reminding them daily.) Our chores are divided up into zones and now that the children are older, they are responsible for the daily/weekly cleanliness of that zone. We rotate weekly, giving them practice in maintaining a whole house.
Our zones are:
• Kitchen, and cooking dinner (a few meals each week)
• Bathroom and set the table for the evening meal
• Laundry – wash, dry, put away the family laundry
• Outside – Rubbish, pot plants, animals, veranda
Each child is responsible for their own bedroom – and if they share (as they all did when younger) these chores were divided up fairly but keeping into account their ability. They are totally responsible for all cleaning – airconditioners, fans, dust, finger prints, windows, floor, sheets. Their bedrooms are like a limited version of a whole house, so having them responsible for that covers some of the other chores that I do in the rest of the house.
What do I do? My main tasks are:
• Supervise my household
• Food – menu planning, shopping, general oversight
• Monthly, deeper cleaning
• My own bedroom / bathroom
Over the years the roster has looked different. Of course, when the kids started doing chores, they were not responsible for the whole area but instead were responsible for a few tasks in each zone, and I would fill in the rest. For example
• Kitchen: dishes, cooks helper
• Bathroom: handbasin and toilet
• Laundry: putting away
• Outside: rubbish, animals
As they have become more proficient they would be given more to learn and become responsible for. While they were in learning mode one of my tasks became training them.
This year, our family life looks very different – the kids have many more afternoon and evening commitments outside of the home. There is a lot of comings and goings and it has been hard to find a night where we can all sit down and eat dinner together. This has also affected 5.00pm job time as often the kids aren’t even here at that time.
Over the weekend we talked about this. My objective is to have our house function as if we were a group of adults living together (which we are). If my kids were ‘flatting’ with friends, they would still have to look after their responsibilities, even if they had afternoon and evening commitments. So though it would be ‘easy’ just to do these chores myself, it is really short-changing the training and lifeskills we are working towards.
So I encouraged the kids to start taking responsibility for their time management – if they know they have an evening commitment and won’t be home at the usual time to get their chores done, they need to find a time to do them anyways. Being a family, there will be some give-and-take as those at home will cover and help those who are out, but at the same time, those out need to balance their at home responsibilities with their out of the home commitments.
We decided though to work the cooking the evening meal differently: each person has taken one day as their cooking day and they will cook one meal per week. They will be involved in setting the menu for that day giving them an opportunity to improve the cooking skills that they need to improve on – each of my children have different abilities and challenges in cooking so we’ll be able to address those. Jessica wants to intensify her cooking practice so she is taking one day and alternating Saturday and Sunday giving her a real variety in the types of meals she’ll be preparing. The boys need a little repetition so they are choosing one meal and will cook that on the same day every week for a month and then choose a different recipe. Naomi will choose 2 meals and repeat them twice in the month. I’ll do everything else, and fill in when they do need help with this responsibility.
Do you do a chore roster?
Is it working for you?
Has your family dynamics changed and is it time to change your chore roster around?
Other blog posts I’ve written about chores: