Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Training Children

“Back in the day” when we homeschooled all of our children and I had 6 kids home with me all the time, I had lots of routines and charts and all of that. (Leslie lived next door to us at the time and thought all of my charts were wildly funny!) When we moved and put them in school, all of a sudden I began doing all of the housework and chores myself. I tried a few charts and routines, but I found that it was easier to just do it myself. When they got home from school, I made them do their homework and then sent them out to play. That isn’t working so well anymore. It is nearly impossible for me to homeschool 1 child, take care of a preschooler, toddler, and baby, clean the house, cook the meals, do the laundry, and still get some sleep! Oh, and I forgot about the hour and a half I am driving each day to shuttle boys back and forth to school.

It’s time for the kids to help out at home on a consistent basis. They are great kids and they help when I ask them to, but I have not been consistent with them and it shows!

I am going to begin re-training the older ones (7-13) and training the little ones from scratch (2-5). If they would learn to pick up after themselves, that alone would make our home much more manageable.

I am going to start with the Evening Routine. This is an idea from Flylady.

Kids’ Evening Routine


  • Clean up house
  • Get ready for tomorrow
  • Get ready for bed
  • Calm down and have a peaceful atmosphere before bed

10-minute Zone pickup

dd13-Family Room

ds9-Boys’ bathroom

B-Bar Area

E-Guest Bathroom

Ds5-Dining Room

Dd2- Girls’ bathroom

Baby- hang out with Daddy

10-minute bedroom pickup

Lay out clothes and shoes for tomorrow

Take vitamins

Get last drink

Brush teeth


Get in bed with a book until “Lights Out”

I am going to work on this with the kids every night for 3 weeks. I am going to make sure they get it down to a T. Then, we will add the Morning Routine, also from Flylady.

Kids’ Morning Routine

Wake up; Shower if needed

Get dressed to the socks

Make bed or take sheets to washer

Turn off lights and fan in bedrooms and bathrooms

Eat breakfast

Go to table for school

After they all have the morning routine down, it will be the middle of June and homeschooling will be well under way. I am going to continue working with them on our daily schedule. It helps so much if everyone knows what to do when.

It doesn’t take them long to catch on, but if I want it to stick I have to walk them through it over and over, day after day, until they can walk through it in their sleep.

After we have the school routine down, summer will be over and …

Just kidding, it shouldn’t take us that long. The next thing we’re going to work on is Afternoon Chore Time. This is an idea from Kim at Large Family Logistics. She is so amazing and inspiring and a mother of 9!

Afternoon Chore Time

4:00-5:00 pm


Put away all folded laundry

Clean zone (Family room, Girls’ laundry)


Unload/load dishwasher

Feed and water horses

Clean zone (boys’ laundry, boys’ bathroom)


Feed and water Smokey

Sweep upstairs

Clean zone (Bar and area around bar)


Wipe guest bathroom with baby wipes

Clean zone (guest bathroom)

Sweep stairs


Clean zone (dining room)

Hang up your clothes in your bedroom


Pick up toys in Family Room

Help Mommy in kitchen


Look cute

Don’t cry

After working on Afternoon Chore Time for 3 weeks, we are going to work on Table Chores (Kim at LFL). I want all of the kids to learn these things; otherwise I would just do it myself. I am trying to train them so that one day my job will be much easier and they will be prepared adults. My daughters will make great homemakers one day, very prepared and knowledgeable. My sons will make their wives happy when they help out by cleaning the kitchen and doing a fine job!

Table Chores

  • Set table
  • Fill water glasses
  • Scrape dishes
  • Carry to sink or dishwasher
  • Load dishwasher
  • Collect trash from table, put cloth napkins in laundry
  • Put food away
  • Wipe table, chairs, high chair
  • Sweep under table
  • Wash dishes
  • Dry dishes
  • Put clean dishes away, unload dishwasher
  • Wipe counters

Then, we will work on learning how to properly manage their bedrooms. My kids get overwhelmed if they are told, “Go clean your room.” They need it broken down for them. During our Evening Routine, they are to straighten their bedrooms for 10 mintues. I may have them do these things during that time, or I may assign these things during Afternoon Chore Time, or I may save them for Fridays (we do a 4-day Sonlight program, so on Fridays they will do one math lesson, then no school for the rest of the day).

Kids’ Bedroom Management

1. Make the bed

2. Put away any clean laundry

3. Put dirty laundry in hamper

4. Put toys/stuff where it belongs. If it doesn’t’ have a home, ask Mommy to help you find one.

5. Clean off surfaces- tops of dressers, windowsills, desks

6. Dust the surfaces you just cleaned off

7. Clean under the beds

8. Closets- get everything off floor, put it all away, line up shoes neatly, hang up clothes neatly

Last, but not least, if Outside Chores. These will be done on Saturdays with the whole family outside doing outside work.

Kid Assignments

  • Porch, walls- sweep, clean
  • Garage - straighten & sweep
  • Vehicles - trash, belongings, dust, vacuum
  • Toy and Trash pickup
  • Pick up sticks, put them in fire pit, and have a hot dog and marshmallow roast at the end of the day!

By this time, it will be October and the weather will be beginning to get cool. A hot dog and marshmallow roast will be great in the cooler weather!

Life never goes according to my schedule, but I think it is important to plan it anyway. If I have a plan in hand, I can go back to it after the interruptions and do the next thing.

I’m really glad life doesn’t go according to my schedule or my plans. Some of the best times I have had, the best memories, were during the interruptions of life. But we also have a family of 9, 2 horses, 1 dog, and 11 acres to take care of and that takes some planning and work!

I hear a little one crying, so I had better go! So much for that cup of coffee I wanted to have out on the porch, listening and watching the rain while the kids slept…

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1 comment:

Michelle said...

that sounds like a good schedule to have and get the kids involved too. Hope it works out!

Happy mother's day!