My 3 Monsters: More on Chores

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More on Chores

One of the most interesting things {to me} about visiting my adult siblings is seeing how their households run.  I thought I was pretty good about keeping my kids busy with helping out around the house.  Who am I kidding?  I have always been mediocre at best, but my older sister, Jennie, is a master at it.  First off, I have to tell you that her home is spotless.  I'm not really sure how she does it, even after staying there for several days.  My little family must just be messier than most.  Whatevs. 

One of her keys to success is that her kids do chores.  Not just "do chores" . . . my kids "do chores", in that they kind-of pick up their stuff as long as I'm hovering over them, pointing out every single task that must be done, nagging well into the afternoon.  Jennie's kids DO CHORES, in that they just know what needs to be done and act with minimal prodding and supervision.  I'm sure it has taken years of consistent effort to get them to this point.  I was a little in awe the evening that all the kids ran straight out after dinner and hopped in the pool, but her youngest stayed behind to load the dishwasher and help clean up.  Because it was his day to do that.  No tears.  No whining.  Just got right to work, got it done, and was swimming before any of the cousins noticed he had been missing.


That scene would have played out differently at my house.

She also has them each cook dinner one night a week.  They choose what they want to make, she talks them through anything they're unsure of how to do, and then they do it!  My 10 year old nephew made spaghetti and meatballs for all 12 of us while she and her husband loaded the car for the St. George leg of our trip.  The night before that, my 12 year old niece made a delightful taco salad bar.  It was quite impressive.

So, I came home from vacation with a slew of thoughts and ideas.  Too often I let me kids off the hook and do some things for them because it's just easier.  I hate to hear whining.  Plus, I'm a faster {and cleaner} cook than any of them so I just always cook dinner.  Especially when we have company.  But what am I teaching my kids by doing that?  A big buncha' nothing, that's what.  Here's the kicker:  my kids like to cook!  I don't really like to cook, but my kids do.  When I suggested that we try following their cousins' example, they were T.H.R.I.L.L.E.D.  No joke.  And they've done a great job this week.  Taco salad, chicken sandwiches, fettuccine alfredo {from scratch!} -- all delicious.  How great will it be when they go off to college {I could just end that sentence right there, but I won't} and know how to cook dinner?!  And not just ramen and mac-n-cheese.  Real, delicious food.  Yay kids!  And, because everything is more fun with a cute chart, I made a cute chart.

Each kid can choose the day they want to cook each week based on their personal schedules, first come, first served.

We're also going to try doing our own laundry, too.  That's going to be a little more tricky because I don't even really have a handle on the laundry myself, but maybe with all five of us involved we can finally tackle it.  I'm hopeful . . . 

Here's another cute chart.

You can use these charts, too, if you'd like. Just click the image to enlarge, then right click and save to your computer.  I'm going to print them out, frame 'em and hang 'em on the door to our garage.  {Our garage door is in the kitchen and the laundry is in the garage.  In Arizona.  Who planned that?  I have some choice words for that person.}  Then we can use a dry erase marker to assign each person a laundry day each week.

I vow to be better {ahem, more consistent} in teaching my children these important life skills.  With school starting in two weeks and our return to a more structured schedule, there's no time like the present, right?!  Do you have any brilliant ideas that you use to keep your kids on track chore-wise?  I'm always looking for tips.
Lil\'LunaThe 36th AVENUE


  1. A new school year is a great time to re-prioritize. I've been doing everything for my family since we've been here. They may unload a dishwasher - but laundry, rooms, bathrooms (all things they were responsible for at home BTW) all me...
    I'm getting back on track. Thanks for the motivation :)

  2. I'm pretty sure ALL of my nieces and nephews know more about being an adult than I do. Go figure.

  3. You are right, children should really do some chores without us (mothers) always telling them to do this and that. I like your schedules, only that we are only three people over here, we have only one child. It would be funnier if I had at least three children who could take turns. ;)
    My daughter is 6 now and she helps unload the dishwasher (esp. the cutlery, because she cannot reach the cabinet where the plates go - maybe I should change that to enable her to do that!!!) sometimes (when we ask her to). She also (always) puts her clothes that need to be washed in her own little basket (that she has next to her dresser in her bedroom) and when it's full or on Saturdays she takes it downstairs for me to wash.
    I think she's old enough now to learn how to cook and your little story makes me want to teach her some easy recipes to start with. Maybe we'll start this week and she gets to cook one meal per week or so. Did I mention I am a home economics teacher? ;) *duh*
    Bye, Jule

  4. Hi!
    I was just referred to your blog from, well, I don't remember where. Possibly Pinterest? Anyways, somewhere along the way I saw someone had mentioned you lived in Chandler? If this is correct, I'm in Gilbert, and I am new to this entire state of AZ and I was wondering if you could possibly point me in the direct of some good homeschool activities and/or groups in this area? I have two girls ages 11&12. Thanks:)

  5. Nothing to add here, just that I love the charts. And I wonder if they add to the fun of the kids cooking, etc. (I know they would for me if I was a kid).


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