Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Everyday Family Chore System {review}

I know I'm not the first, and I'm sure I won't be the last, to admit that it can be a struggle to balance homeschooling and homemaking.  Focusing on homeschooling the older children means the little ones have more time to make mischief, and when we get involved in science or art projects, there's more stuff to deal with at the end of the day.  The more time we invest in reading together or doing those fun experiments and projects, the less time I have for cleaning and cooking.  It's just kind of a messy circle, and I've been working more at finding the time and routine to get it all done.  Recently we had the opportunity to review The Everyday Family Chore System, a system for creating a cleaning and organizing routine with the whole family, from Everyday Homemaking.

The Everyday FAMILY Chore System

The author, Vicki Bentley, is an adoptive/foster parent, a homeschooler, author and speaker, among many other roles!  As a busy parent serving in so many capacities, it most certainly would have been imperative to create structure and predictable routines with clear expectations for everyone.  The Everyday Family Chore System, although written for large families, is suitable for families of all sizes!  I received a PDF version (88 pages) of The Everyday Family Chore System to read and implement.  It was an easy and motivational read, with a practical chore system for families.  We are a family of six, and even though two of mine are still very young, this chore system is very doable for us.

The idea is to determine which chores need to be done daily and which should be done weekly, and divide them among the children (and adults) accordingly.  There are various ideas for setting up the physical chore chart as well as instructions for how to rotate through the chores, or how to hold them in place if a child needs more time to master a specific chore.  There are lists of appropriate chores by age, if you need ideas for a specific child.  Obviously this will vary by family and the individual child's maturity, but it is a good starting point.

There are also How-to-Do-It cards, with step by step instructions for how to do the most common chores.  Although they won't all work as written (such as specific steps for our washing machine) they have given me a good starting point for how to explain the full process of doing a specific chore.  I learned a long time ago I can't just say "go clean your room" because they need specific tasks to actually achieve my version of clean.  A checklist of sorts.  In fact, her What is a Tidy Room? list is now printed and in the boys' room, so I don't have to constantly ask "Did you....?"

The How-to-Do-It cards are the same concept, but in a smaller card-size format.  I can easily use her cards, or use some of hers for creating our own for chores we do differently or that she doesn't have listed.  They're great for teaching the chore from beginning to end and for quick reference - you can print and laminate and keep in one central place, or even hide them inside closet or cabinet doors wherever most relevant.

What I like most is the flexibility.  Although there are clear instructions for how to follow the method, it's easily adaptable.  We've always just said "Please do CHORE" and they were expected to do it - but this required a lot of oversight and going back to make sure the little details were completed too.  With this chore system comes accountability and responsibility, without the need for reminders and oversight if implemented properly.  However, these cards have given me the motivation and tools to truly teach mastery first, so we're going back and taking the time to truly master the chores together, thanks to the How-to-Do-It cards, just a few at a time.  This way, I don't have to go behind and do an inspection of every daily and weekly chore.  A chore can't be "assigned" until they can regularly meet our expectation of complete, then that child will have it added to their rotation.

I also appreciate some of the ideas for rewards and consequences.  She gives ideas for fun rewards, but also for natural and "real life" consequences when chores aren't completed in a timely and thorough manner.  It really has everything you need to get started, but as I said, it's flexible and the printables/forms that are included to implement the system are a great bonus.

BONUS!  For a limited time (through September 5th) you can receive 10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking, the print or e-book version.  Use the code TOS10books, just remember to add the books to your cart, then apply the discount code.

To find out more, visit Everyday Homemaking online or their Facebook page, and certainly check out more reviews!  The crew is also reviewing Everyday Cooking, so if you're needing some inspiration in the kitchen, this may be the book for you!

Everyday Cooking and Chores Systems for your Family {Everyday Homemaking Reviews}
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1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad the system has been helpful to you, and thrilled that you have found ways to tweak it to work for YOUR family. :) Thanks for your review!