Do You Have an Efficient Chore Routine?

Heart of Dakota Teaching Tip

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Teaching Tip

This is the next installment in our series of things to check if your school day seems to be running longer than you would like. I know this can happen to any of us, and hopefully these tips may help!

Do you have an efficient chore routine?

You might be wondering why I mention a chore routine on my list of things that can make your school day long. Yet, it is amazing how much joy and peace, not to mention time can be stolen by an inefficient chore routine. If you look around and see piles of laundry, dirty dishes, and clutter, how can you stay focused on school or even find a space to do school?

Conquer the reoccurring types of clutter.

The most important types of clutter to conquer are those that continually reoccur. Laundry, dirty dishes, school books, and toys are the most commonly reoccurring types of clutter in a homeschool home. These types of clutter can steal time and derail a homeschool day!! It is almost impossible to focus on school if you are schooling in the middle of a mess. So, a plan is needed to address these time-stealers.

An efficient chore routine includes a plan for laundry.

At our house, we have tried many different laundry routines through the years. The routine we use now is for each child to have his own laundry day. On Monday-Friday, the designated child for that day brings down his laundry hamper, sorts, and begins the first load of laundry. That child also helps fold and put away his laundry that day. It must be done by bedtime. We find having a day assigned to each child minimizes sorting. My husband and I have the same laundry day as the towel washing day. We take Saturdays and Sundays off from laundry.

An efficient chore routine includes a plan for dirty dishes.

Have you ever started making lunch only to realize you still have a sinkful of breakfast dishes? Now that my boys are eating big meals, the dishes can really pile up at our house. So, we assign the boys cleanup tasks after meals to keep the dishes under control. Our boys clear and wipe the table, dust bust the kitchen rug, wipe the counters, unload the dishwasher, rinse off and load dirty dishes, and take out the garbage. Our boys used to keep the same task for a long time, so each child knew exactly what to do after a meal. In that way the boys became very efficient at their chores. We also make sure to run the dishwasher every evening, so we have clean dishes in the morning.

An efficient chore routine includes a plan for putting away school books.

Schooling with Heart of Dakota means your house is filled with good books! But those good books need a place to be stored. At our house, we have a central cabinet where each younger child has a shelf for the books he is currently using in his guide right now. We have another cabinet where each child has a shelf or two for overflow books… or books the child is not using in his guide right now. We move books on and off the “current” shelf as needed. Each child also has a portable art box with basic art supplies. Our high school students have their own bookshelf near their work area containing all their books.

An efficient chore routine includes a plan for putting away toys.

Through the years, we have tried many plans for corralling toys. We cleared out a bottom cabinet in the kitchen to place storage tubs with toys for our 2-4 year olds. We used child protectors to keep the little ones out for awhile. Only one tub of toys was allowed out at time. It had to be picked up before another one could be gotten out. We turned our dining room into a playroom and put shelves on our walls. We lined our shelves with fabric cubes and placed the toys inside. Whatever you decide to do for toy storage, be sure that a routine for putting away toys is part of the plan. Also, try to find a plan where you don’t have to view the clutter of toy storage. Store toys in cabinets, fabric cubes, under bed storage tubs, or closets. In this way the view is more pleasing and less cluttered.

Make laundry, dishes, school books, and toy cleanup a part of your chore routine.

Once you have a plan for laundry, dishes, school books, and toys, make it a part of your chore routine. Involve your kiddos in the routine. Train them to do what they are able. This training will pay off as they mature! It is alright to train them to do only a few tasks well. We often keep the same tasks for each child for a year. This makes my time spent training worthwhile! Try some new chore routines and see what you think!

Blessings,
Carrie

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8 thoughts on “Do You Have an Efficient Chore Routine?”

  1. How old were they when you started the laundry routine. This is definitely a life skill necessity. We still do it as a family thing, but we only have two boys. The boys sort their clothes with all the others and then help with the day’s laundry. They are responsible for realizing if they are running low on any items and making sure those are the loads we do. Thank you for the helpful tips.

  2. Deanna,

    It sounds like you have a good routine already in place! Way to go!!

    We switched to each child having his own laundry day about 5 years ago. At that time, our oldest son was 17, our next oldest was 14, our next son was 10, and our little guy was 6. Our oldest son began doing his own laundry fully by 17, and it helped for him to have his own day. It also was less chaotic for me to have less laundry to do daily… especially as the boys’ clothes were getting bigger and the laundry loads were getting larger!

    Blessings,
    Carrie

  3. My oldest boys are 7 and 5. A couple of months before our baby was born, in November, they started doing their own laundry. They can put it to wash themselves and can take it from the drier and put it away themselves. The olny I do is put it from the washer to drier as we have a top loader and they can’t reach. Plus I check for stains then and pull anything that needs another wash. This has been a life saver with two in school, a toddler and a new born. They do clean up their own toys each night too. But I’m still struggling to get them involved in the kitchen and bathrooms. Hopefully soon!

    1. That’s awesome, Jennifer! What good training you are providing for your sons! It is important to turn to our family for help in managing our home well. They feel important having jobs that keep the house running well! The kitchen and the bathroom are tougher areas, so you were wise to start with the laundry!!! Our boys started with taking out the garbage and unloading the dishwasher when they were young. I unloaded the sharp things first, and I had to be ok with a few broken dishes. Keep up the good work in training your family to have good habits, Jennifer!!!

  4. I read your entire blog, Carrie and Julie. You both are so much like your mother and dad. Organization was so much a part of their lives also. I feel like we have had a wonderful visit together over coffee this morning. Love to you and your family.

    1. Thanks so much, Miriam! I’m so glad you are enjoying our blog! You are one of the most organized ladies I know. I remember being little girls and loving to spend time at your home – especially because you are such a good cook!!! I still make your cinnamon rolls once a week for our sons, and they love them! Love ya too!!!

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