Most every family I know has struggled at some time, trying to keep up with the household chores. Large families have not been excluded, in fact every mess seems to multiply on its own rapidly. One load of laundry turns into three after bath time. Half a dishwasher load turns into a full dishwasher and enough left in the sink for another load and a half. Two toddlers eating crackers and stashing them in a pockets, means a whole house that vacuumed. For large families though there are many hands to make light work. The problem is trying to figure out what needs done by who and getting them to work.
For our family, I have broken the chores down into daily, weekly (includes 2 and 3 time a week chores), and monthly chore ( including 2 and 3 time a month chores). I have charts for all the chores too.
Below is our Daily chore board. This is on a dry erase board, so that it can be changed and adapted to what is going on daily. Each colored dot represents a specific person who is to complete each chore.
Sorry about the light reflections
The above picture was taken on a Friday, and we had been sick or away much of the week, so we had some extra chores to tend to that day.
We also have a weekly chore chart with all the chores that must be completed through the week. These chores are listed by day, (m) represents Mondays chores, and so forth. On Saturday, we do a “HomeBlessing”. We get our home all ready for a day of rest on Sunday or during the spring and summer months an afternoon in the yard and garden as a family. The highlighted colors represent a different person for each chore. Notice that for the most part, there are only two to three extra chores for each day. They are completed one or two in the morning before starting school or after nap time.
Here is our Monthly chart. Again it is arranged much like our weekly chart. I have the days set up by first Monday, Second Thursday and so forth. Again there are only a few chores added to each day. Anything that gets put off will be caught up on Saturday.
I like to keep up through the week, but with six children and homeschooling, I must also be realistic. I can typically get my home into a company ready status in about 30 minutes. Not bad with four toddlers helping.
My monthly and weekly charts are printed on Cardstock and then covered with contact paper. I use dry erase marker to highlight the colors, thus making it easy to switch around who does what chores.
Chores are also done buddy system style. The babies work with mom, the ten year old takes the three year old and the seven year old takes the almost five year old. That helps the younger children gain a sense of our need for them, keeps the older child company, and helps the younger child learn how to do the chore.
Our cleaning routines change through the year. As winter has become spring, we are moving to more outdoor activities, mowing our large yard, tending to our garden, which is expected to take about two hours or more a day, preserving produce and so forth. The inside of the house will be a bit slack as there is only so much a family can do. We also live on a farm schedule through the summer, which means I don’t have a schedule.