Back to School Prep – Part 3

Here is the next installment from The Teaching Home newsletters.

Ready Your Home for School:
Establish Daily Chores and Routines

This is another foundational block that will pay dividends by making your home run smoothly, especially through the school months.
Family Teamwork

Each member of the family can and should have responsibilities that make a contribution to the success of the whole family.

When you can, schedule chores so that the whole family is actually working together at the same time.  This is not only extremely encouraging to each one, but it also provides a good example of your attitude towards work and your diligence in doing a good job.
Teaching Life Skills

We can use chores as double duty – to keep our homes running efficiently and to teach our children responsibility and life skills.

Your children’s training and practice in various life skills will grow as they work with you.  When able, children may take responsibility for entire areas, thus rehearsing for adult life.

Assign chores. A chore chart on the refrigerator makes sure everyone knows what their duties are, and checking off the jobs that are done provides motivation.

For a simple list of daily and weekly chores, read “Magic Minimum: Cleaning Secret of Organized Families.” Also see Real Simple’s periodic table of cleaning tasks – weekly, monthly, every 3-6 months, every 6-12 months, and every year or so.

Reusable “Service Opportunities Chart” from Doorposts (with a list of 60 ideas and 56 cartoon illustrations for non-readers) will help you simplify chore assignments and teach your children biblical principles of work.

Free Printables. Look through the dozens of creative chore charts and systems (plus good ideas!) at these various websites:
• 148 printable chores, behavior, or reward charts (customize – $5).
• 25 free printable chore charts for kids
• Weekly Chore Charts for kids of all ages, plus age appropriate chores lists and a family chore chart.

Describe chores.  Write out a 3×5 card with the name of the chore, what it entails, check points to tell if the job is completed, the estimated time the job should take, and what supplies to use.
Cleaning Supplies

Consider homemade, nontoxic, and low-cost cleaning products.  See recipes at and

Also keep supplies close to the job, even if that means two sets of supplies (e.g., for the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms).

Take time to train your children how to do each job to your standards and on time.  Have your child watch you do the job as you explain it, then have him do the job while you watch and offer confirmation or correction.

Read Speed Cleaning Tips from Cleaning Pros.”


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