Posted in At Home

Big Family Chores

Oh, hey!

Before I had Lucy, I talked in-depth-ish (That enough hyphens for you? Ha!) about what chores look like in our house over on Instagram.

Lucy’s pregnancy made me incredibly tired, and I needed extra help. Usually during my pregnancies, I have better control over the cleanliness of my house because I’m preparing to bring another person into our home, but this time, I was just tired and needed to delegate more. Luckily for me, this was easy to do since my kids enjoy change, and for the few months that it really mattered, they were excited to complete the tasks given.

Toward the end of my pregnancy things started to get a little hairy. Things weren’t getting done properly, (And I have pretty low standards when the kids are in charge.) and I was just kinda hanging on for dear life. In fact, our house was a disaster when I went in to have Lucy. I was not prepared at. all. since I had over two more weeks until my due date. But, that’s a story for a different day. Her story is coming to the blog soon. 😉

Anyway. I learned about breaking your home up in zones on Youtube, (Our Tribe of Many, check them out. You won’t regret it.) and I thought, “I could make that work!” And it reallllly has! The kids have the opportunity to master a skill by working on that particular area of the house every day. There’s never any question of who did what each day. By making it “their” area of the house there’s not any need to delegate each day, or arguments. “I did that chore last time! I’m not good at that!” Those conversations were eliminated.

Disclaimer: my home is pretty small. It’s 1,100 square feet, and that includes four decent size bedrooms. So, the actual living and communal spaces the kids are in charge of aren’t massive rooms, or anything. That’s why giving them each a room works for us. Maybe try splitting things up if your kids aren’t ready to take on a full room, or the rooms are large.

Here is the first chart I created: (Excuse the horrible picture, I threw this away and had to take a snapshot from my Instagram stories.)

Obviously, I went a little overboard. When we created this chart, I split up the house, and then determined which child would be capable of handling each part of the house. Then, I sat with them and we talked about the things that need to be done, and the things that should be done in that area of the house. Obviously, (or maybe not.) these were ambitious goals. Our house was super clean when we started these zones. We’d just hosted a birthday party and I did deep cleaning, so things started out as upkeep. As our house got back to normal, the zones started to get a little harder. Things get extra messy when we have a lot going on, or someone gets sick. It is what it is.

By the end of my pregnancy, the house was pretty messy again, and after I brought home Lucy, we did a big clean all together and then reassessed the zones. (Also another story for Lucy’s post. lol.)

Here is what we currently do:

Living room: Ella
Kitchen: Hayden
Laundry room: Lylah
Hallway and bathroom: Ryder and Emma

The zones are the same, just simplified. There were things that weren’t being done properly, that I just needed to take over, like dishes, bathroom counter, and the toilet. We did away with the kids living room (It was a hassle to keep clean, and a waste of space for our family that likes to be in one place at a time– and now we have a school room again! Whoop!) so that weekly task was eliminated for the kids. Mopping with the Swiffer daily was leaving a film on our floors, so we mop weekly now.

Overall, things are the same, I just picked up the things that I “let slide” while I was pregnant-tired, and simplified our chore process even further. I now wash all the dishes, and pick up the “extras,” like the school room, laundry when we wash linens, etc.

Zones have my house so much cleaner, and make weekend deep-cleans faster and easier. (We do not deep clean every weekend. I wish we were that awesome, but we’re not. Ha.) When we do deep cleans, everyone is responsible for making sure their area of the house is sparkling. I usually help out in the areas kids aren’t so great at like, the stove and oven, and wiping down walls and baseboards.

We’re going to be shaking up zones pretty soon, so I’ll let you know how that goes!

Anyway, if you’re looking for a way to simplify your chore routine at home, I hope this helps if you were looking for inspiration! How do chores work in your house?

Posted in At Home, home education

Homeschool Critics

Months ago, someone asked my husband when I’d be going back to work to “help” him. Wouldn’t it be “nice if he didn’t have to work so many hours,” or “bring in our families income alone?” And of course, “so, you’re not going to put your kids back in school… at all?” At first, I felt offended and it kind of surprised me someone outside of our home honestly thought their judgment on how we raise our family was acceptable to speak on.

Everyone has an opinion about how you should raise your children or run your household. It’s up to you to decide whether you allow their opinion to affect your decisions.

His response was that we didn’t chose to homeschool our kids to save money on after-school care, or keep the kids out of daycare. That it was a life-decision for us, and that we had no plans on sending the kids to public school. That he did sometimes work long hours, but that it was worth it. <insert heart eyes here.>

My husbands response still makes me so proud. When we first started homeschooling he was on board, but skeptical. He wasn’t sure that homeschool was the right choice for our family, but willing to try. He grew up in the small town we live in, and was concerned that our kids would “miss out” on all the things he participated in. It was never a question of education, because he felt lacking in that aspect upon graduation. I’m happy to say that now he doesn’t just understand, but believes homeschooling is right for us.

Facing skepticism can be hard. Especially if it comes from family or friends. When we face inquisitive relatives or pessimistic friends, we have the power to choose how we will react and what we take away from the conversation.

The fact is, there’s a high likelihood you will not change their opinion. Unless you homeschool, keep your home, or raise your family exactly how they feel it should be done, they’re not going to be convinced, and that’s okay. It’s not their family. It’s yours.

When you’re faced with unsolicited opinions or questions:

  1. Don’t allow their opinions to sway yours. If you’re homeschooling, it’s because you spent countless hours pouring into all there is to know about keeping your kids home. Remember your truths, and your “why.”
  2. It’s not your job to educate everyone. It’s your job to teach your children, maybe someone else’s kids at a co-op… possibly a Sunday school class, but it’s not your job to convince someone that will never, not once, take part in your journey.
  3. Remember that God chose you to be their parent. Not uncle Bob or cousin Kate. Not your siblings, mother-in-law, or sister-in-law. You.

Truthfully, there are a hundred more memes and posts on facing adversary than the number of times you will actually face it. I think most are surprised by the support they actually receive. Questioning someones lifestyle is a bold move most will avoid. Obviously, judgment and adversary will exist. Family, friends, and strangers will probably judge what you do, because that’s what humans do. Whether or not you try your hardest to be nonjudgmental. <– Preaching to myself there.

But what’s that saying? “What’s said about you, not to you, isn’t your business.”