Chores for a bunch of kids

In years past I have asked my kids in advance what one chore they'd like to keep, and what one chore they'd like to be done with.  Then I try to accommodate their requests.  That just sounded like too much work this year, so I ended up assigning chores based on abilities and what would generally be most helpful.)  Here's our system for the year, inspired by a pin I saw on someone's Pinterest board:


(All you need is some cute washi tape, some craft sticks, a sharpie marker, and some jars.  :))

I assigned a color to each child, and then wrote their chores on their sticks.  After each meal it's chore time at our house.  Ella (12) generally gets down the appropriate jar, pulls out the sticks, and when they're completed, they go back into the jar.  (Our first thought was to turn the sticks upside down (colors down) when accomplished, but they always end up pulling all the sticks out to read their chores so this is now what we're doing and it's working great.)

{ morning chores }
Just to give you an idea of what each child is doing each day, here's a breakdown:

Audra (age 5), is responsible for getting herself dressed, putting away the silverware, wiping the kitchen table after each meal, helping to fold laundry each day, and brushing her teeth.

Adelia (age 6), is responsible for clearing the kitchen table after each meal, putting any books back onto the bookshelves, setting the table for dinner (with Isaac), helping to fold the laundry each day, and brushing her teeth.

Isaias (age 9), is responsible for emptying the dishwasher, picking up 5 things in the living room (2x/day), making lunch every day (with Ella), taking the garbage and compost out, cleaning the kitchen in the evenings, carrying the hampers upstairs, helping to fold the laundry each day, and brushing his teeth.

Isaac (age 10), is responsible for refilling the wood/kinding boxes OR (when it's not cold enough out to light a fire) cleaning the back porch.  He's also responsible for picking up 5 things in the living room (2x/day), sweeping the kitchen floor, taking dirty laundry downstairs, setting the table for dinner (with Adelia), cleaning the bathroom, helping to fold the laundry each day, and brushing his teeth.

Ella (age 12), is responsible for the chickens, picking up 5 things in the living room (2x/day), sweeping the kitchen floor, making lunch every day (with Isaias), flex chore (see below for details), cleaning the kitchen in the evenings, helping to fold the laundry each day, and brushing her teeth. 

~whew!~  I think I remembered them all!

New to us this year: 
-LAUNDRY:  I am doing all the laundry, except the folding and the putting away.  Ella is really my best laundry helper, but I'm giving her a break this year.  Isaac was my additional helper last year, but he usually likes to run a load of towels and fold them, thereby choosing only the easiest loads.  ;)  It was also challenging for him to figure out how many clothes to do per load, so often we had either WAY too large a load (and our clothes were not getting clean), or way too light of a load (why bother?)  So everyone is on folding duty in the evenings while daddy reads aloud, then they'll put clothes away before bed.

-LUNCHES: Ella and Isaias are making every single lunch.  Lunch is my least-favorite meal of the day, and they are loving the freedom to make what they want.  So thankful that God plopped this idea into my head.  :)

-FLEX CHORE:  Ella's flex chore came about because I couldn't narrow down what I wanted her to do each afternoon for her chore.  I realized that I wanted to have the freedom to change it up, as per our household needs on any particular given day.  So she reports to me and asks me what to do, and I wing it based on what is most needed at that moment.  She's done all sorts of different things: wash the eggs, make a quick batch of granola bars, puree fruit and get it on the dehydrator for fruit leather, wash dishes, etc.  I love this flexible chore.


  1. Hey Stacy--I've been reading all your posts it would seem the past couple days. You are super organized to me that is, considering I am not quite organized in running our house. Are you still doing this for your chores? I am looking at different ideas for organizing our chores, and I like how you incorporate them into after meal times (seems so easy to do that). What have you found for push back over the years from any of your kids when it came time to do chores? How did you handle that?

    1. Oh, you are so cute. You should see my HOUSE! I generally think I'm a creative MESS, but I have had to *learn* to be organized in this area of homeschooling because otherwise I would go completely crazy. ;)

      Yes, we always do chores after meal times. It just seemed like the natural thing to do because there was always the table to clear, dishes to get into the dishwasher, etc, so someone was doing that already; might as well have everyone move into chore time.

      I don't get much push-back, but that's probably because it's just become part of the rhythm of our home. My attitude is basically, "This is what we do now. We're all doing something to help our family!"

      Sometimes my little girls don't LIKE to do chores, and they may need reminders, but they generally get there. :) There have been times I've paired kids up (older & younger) to get things accomplished, which generally means the older child is doing it and the younger child is assisting/watching.



Thank you for commenting! I love hearing from you, and I will do
my best to reply back to you in the comment section.