Twice in the past week, people asked me how I can possibly have time to sew or make anything while homeschooling 6 children. First, let me say I don’t get it all done. My house is messy. Some weeks I can only focus on keeping the bathrooms and floors clean and I just have to let the rest of it go. I try to make sewing and crafting time for me a priority because it helps me calm down and focus.
But one huge help I have is extensive chore charts! I read a Charlotte Mason list of things children at various ages should be responsible for. At first I thought no way can my newly 4 year old do laundry or my 5 year old unload and load the dishwasher…then I had them try it. Guess what, they can! So I made chore charts that closely followed the Charlotte Mason list.
I sat the kids down and explained that if we all work together, chores shouldn’t take long at all. And everyone doing their chores makes for a happy family. The lists are in the most prominent place in our house, the front of the refrigerator. I taught the children what we expect with each chore, and there will be consequences, such as loss of screen time, if they do not check everything off each day. And yes, even my 11 year old has to be reminded to brush his teeth every day. My 20 month old even has her own chart that the big kids help her with.
Not only do these chore charts give me extra time for sewing, Iconography, and making rosaries, but it also give my kids a sense of pride in all that they can accomplish for the family.
These charts, along with our assignment sheets, help the day go much more smoothly. The kids know what’s expected of them and I don’t have to constantly remind them to clean this or that or get their math done…oh wait, yes I do, but not as much as I would without the charts!
***Edited to add that I also do “work for hire”. I pay the kids extra above their weekly allowance to do jobs like vacuum and wash the van, wipe down the front of the cabinets in the kitchen, etc. Typically I pay for harder jobs that should be done monthly or every few months.