Make a simple morning chore list for your homeschooled kids that can easily be accomplished before their school day starts!
Chore Lists have a way of getting out of hand. We homeschool moms like to make lists so extensive and detailed that our poor children cringe when they see them.
If we actually followed our crazy lists, no one would get anything accomplished in a day except all the chores we put on there; that is, if we could manage to implement these lists for more than one day.
That’s right – we can’t actually make our chore lists work because they are beyond our children’s ability to stay focused and beyond our ability to stay consistent.
These lists are TOO MUCH!
We have to stop seeing our chore lists as the place we write down our dossier of micromanagement. We have to create simpler lists that are easier to manage. And the place we need to start is our Morning Chore List.
Homeschool families have a unique morning life. We are not beholden to a bussing schedule or a school bell telling us when to do things; therefore, many of us have chosen to be more relaxed in our morning hours.
However, sometimes our slower pace means we end up frittering away our entire morning. In response to this, we often overcompensate by creating long lists of things we and our children need to do in the mornings.
Sure, the list gives us a sense of purpose; however, rarely are we able to accomplish everything on the list, and all too often, we find ourselves either skipping over school to do chores or skipping over chores to do school – and ultimately, we feel like failures.
It’s time to simplify this thing!
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Over the years, I’ve had a lot of morning chore lists, but what I’ve found to be true is that some things naturally get done and some things require a little more prodding.
This made me realize that my morning chores list needs to be less about EVERYTHING we should accomplish in a morning, and more about REMINDING us of the things we often forget to do in the morning.
For instance, my older girls always brush their hair in the morning. No one needs to remind them of that.
My older boys always get dressed. Again, no one needs to remind them of that.
And I certainly don’t need a chart to tell me to nurse the baby.
These things are all natural parts of our routine. Putting them on a list would only clog up the list with unnecessary items!
DO NOT put those things on your morning chore list
UNLESS your child actually needs to be reminded!
Another thing I realized about our morning chore routine is that I have a bare minimum of things I need to have done in order to start our homeschool day, and no matter what the list says, those are the things I want done above all else.
They are priorities.
So, why in the world would I make a huge list I can’t stick to full of things that are not priorities? All that does is overwhelm my kids and stress me out.
(By the way, you CAN change your priorities, but the only way to do that is to have those things not previously priorities BECOME priorities. See how that works?)
What does a simple Homeschool Morning Chore List look like?
So, here is what our Morning Chore List looks like:
- Make bed
- Tidy room
- Manage laundry
- Brush teeth
- Clean bathroom
(I also sometimes have to remind the little boys to get dressed! Remember, what you put on this list are priorities and things that don’t “naturally” get done.)
Is this all we do in a morning? No, but THESE are the things that consistently get FORGOTTEN! Kids leave beds unmade and rooms a mess. They forget to brush their teeth (and their buddy’s teeth), and they forget to get their laundry to the laundry room. Bathrooms are left in disgusting condition, and all this before breakfast! ACK!
The morning chore list is a reminder of the forgotten things.
Make your own simple morning chore routine!
So, how do you create your own simple morning chore routine? It’s super easy!
1 – Decide WHEN chores need to be done.
Do chores need to be done before or after breakfast or if you can simply require all morning chores to be completed before school. (We have chosen the latter.)
2 – Decide what chores need to be on YOUR list.
Ask yourself what chores are most often forgotten. Ask yourself what MUST be done before you feel comfortable beginning school. Don’t try to add in a bunch of extras. KEEP IT SIMPLE! You can always add in more if you find your list lacking later on.
3 – Inform your children of your expectations for completion!
Don’t just make a chore list and think the kids will know exactly what to do. Yes, some things are no-brainers, but some kids need a lot more guidance. Be patient and clear.
4 – Decide how you will post your Morning Chores List.
How I have posted my list has changed over the years. When they were all little, it was pictures on the wall at their height. For many years it was on a dry erase board that hung in the kitchen. Now, it is on the refrigerator door.
You might need to post several of these lists in several different places!
Here are a couple of products that will help you create your morning chore routine:
How to keep your Morning Chore List simple.
In order to keep your list simple and doable, I highly recommend you limit your Morning Chores to 5 items. This will keep your kids from stressing out, and your own stress level at a minimum.
Five things are plenty to accomplish before you start your school day. Any more, and everyone starts to feel like something has to give, so you end up with a messy house or a messy homeschool, or BOTH!
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Also, feel free to give your younger children a different list from your older children. My big kids have learned exactly what needs to be done in the morning and it has become second nature…for the most part.
You could also use this opportunity to instill new habits in your children. But remember, these habits will have to be priorities in your family for them to stick. AND you will need to go over them again and again so they become ROUTINE!
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