How Does Your Family Handle Chores?

Chores-Systems-Homeschool-DenOne of the huge challenges for me is not necessarily the homeschooling itself… It’s keeping on top of everything. Today, your challenge is to think about how your family will handle chores this year.  In this post, I wanted to share a variety of chore systems that other families have tried. Maybe one will work especially well for yours this year.

Each year our kids are just a little older. You may want to give new responsibilities to the kids. Or, perhaps it’s time to add to or change the system you were using.  Now that the kids are older and can handle more responsibility, how do you want to share the responsibilities?

How do you set up a chore system to help kids follow through?

Every family has to decide how they’re going to divvy up and divide all the tasks around the house.  I’ve seen families do it all different ways…

Morning Checklist:

Some families have a morning schedule that includes certain chores.

General Weekly Chores: Other families have more elaborate chore systems with mandatory chores.  Find a system that works for your family.  Here are some options:

  • If your kids are younger you might want to create Velcro Picture Cards that kids move from one place to another – from “To Do” to “Done” on a board or laminated card. Susan Fitch has some free chore pictures that would be perfect if you wanted to create a visual for younger kids. Visit her website to download the pictures or save the image she shared.


  • Create a pocket chore chart like the one Erica uses over at Confessions of a Homeschooler. She also has some free chore card printables.

Confesssions-of-a-Homeschooler-Chore-Chart-IMG_0334web_thumbImage used with permission from Erica. 🙂

  • Create a laminated checklist and use clothes pins to indicate that a chore was completed.
  • Create a chore punch card (like a Starbucks card).
  • Checklists of all the family chores like these as chore reminder cards for families with tweens by Annette at Tips for a Typical Mom.

Family-Chore-Organizational-chart-and-checklistsPhoto used with permission from Annette. 🙂

  • Chore spinners, so kids randomly select a chore.
  • Post-It note chore system One person developed a great system with the kids’ names written across the top and the colorful sticky notes under each person’s names.  She explains that with this system chores can quickly and easily be rotated to avoid monotony and to make sure less desirable tasks are switched around from week to week. She has a great picture of how she set hers up here: Chores with Kanban
  • Chores written on Popsicle sticks – then kids choose a chore randomly.
  • Chores written on colorful paper and chosen at random from a pretty clear bowl or canning jar. (We didn’t use colorful paper, but this shows what I mean!)


  • There are even chore apps you can download so that kids can earn points as they complete chores that you’ve set up in your user area!
  • And don’t be afraid to go simple: with checklists on paper or White board reminders. Donna Young has some free household planner pages you might want to check out… or here are several editable chore/routine charts (in Word) that you could print out and edit to suit your own family’s needs…

Chores and Daily Routine Free pdf

Chore-Routine-Chart-HomeschoolDaily Kitchen Chores: Some families have basic kitchen chores that they do for a month or so (like clearing the table, sweeping the floor, wiping off the table, load the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher, take out the trash and recycles).

After Meal Chores: Others have “after the meal” chores and divvy up those depending on who is there for a meal.

Chores as a Transition: Some families spend five or ten minutes cleaning up before moving on to something else.

To Pay or Not to Pay, To Reward or Not to Reward: And then there is the question of whether you want to pay the kids for doing chores or to pay for some chores… or keep allowance completely separate. And on a similar vein, do you want to have the kids acquire points or tickets or some other similar system? One family made electronics/TV tickets and handed them out if the boys had finished their chores. What works for your family?

Other thoughts about getting kids involved with chores:

  1. Add in responsibility gradually over time. If you are making changes to your (chore) routine, make sure you don’t overwhelm them.
  2. Make sure the kids actually know *how* to do the chore.  They might need lessons on how to clean a toilet bowl effectively.  Do the chore with the kids the first few times.
  3. Give them a choice in what chores they do.
  4. Plan what needs to get done together at a family meeting. Show the kids that their contribution to the family is essential.
  5. Schedule your chore time.
  6. Work together as a team at the same time.  Do your housework together; it makes it more fun and shows the kids that everyone is invested!
  7. Frame chores in the right way… On our daily homeschool checklist, I have Chore For the Family as one of the checkboxes… and I talk about chores that way too… Hey guys, can we pitch in and do some chores for the family.  It shows that we all have a part to play.
  8. And, simply ask the kids to help. Be specific. Be kind. Be firm!

Need some facts and research to convince you why chores are so important… Your gut tells you that it’s important to involve the kids in caring for the house but this Wall Street Journal article makes some compelling arguments — Why Kids Need Chores!

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to chores! What will your family do this year?!

Here are some homeschool resources we have here on the blog that might be helpful:

Free Homeschool Planner

If you are still in the Planning Stages of your Homeschool Year, you might want to check out this free resource:

Homeschool Planning for Next Year (Free Planning Pages): Homeschool Vision Planner

I shared these free Homeschool Planning Pages that I use as I try to figure out our long-range homeschooling goals.  This post shares share the process I go through as I plan out the next year… I shared the planning pages that I’ve been using the past few years. I like having colorful planning pages to work on. This isn’t really a weekly/monthly planner, but rather a homeschool vision planner. This 30+-page pdf is currently FREE to download! Let me know if it’s helpful! ~Liesl

Free Homeschool Planning Pages (Homeschool Vision Planner)

Free Homeschool Planner

You might also be interested in these FREE Homeschool Curriculum Resource Guides:

If you are looking for more practical homeschooling tips, you might be interested in our Homeschool Planning Series with tips on Creating Your Homeschool Curriculum. We have three (of four) free resource guides available for K-1, Grades 2-3 and Grades 4-5. (The Grade 6-8 Resource Guide is mostly finished. I hope to share that early this next Fall 2017.)


Creating a Homeschool Curriculum: Kindergarten, Grade 1  This FREE 50-page Resource Guide has been created to answer some basic questions: What subjects should I cover? Where do I start? How do I know what to teach.  It offers topics, units and hands-on activity ideas that might appeal to your kids.


Creating a Homeschool Curriculum Grades 2-3  FREE 30-page Resource Guide
This guide is a starting point for choosing the material you might want to cover in your homeschool. What subjects, units and topics should you cover in Grades 2 and 3?  Where do I start?  This resource guide will offer suggestions on what topics and hands-on activities might be engaging for your kids at this age.

creating-a-homeschool-curriculum-grades-2-3-free-resource-guideCreating Your Homeschool Curriculum – Grade 4-5 FREE Resource Guide

Creating Your Own Homeschool Curriculum Grade 4 - 5

As many of you know, we started a Homeschool Den Chat FB group last January.We take a summer break, but  so I’m not posting at we’ll resume regular posting toward the end of August. This is a closed FB group to share what’s working (and what’s not) in your homeschool. It’s a place to talk about the ups and downs of homeschool life.

• Share what’s working in your homeschool.
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