It’s time to get your family organized! Whether it’s a back to school routine or a New Year’s resolution. You know it’s time to have more or better family organization. I would like to share with you how we organize our family’s life with our tips and tricks for a morning routine, an after-school routine, our family responsibilities and chores, and a proper sleep routine. I have several free downloads to help you on your way!
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Mom or Dad is Ready Before The Kids
Parents, I promise you that if you will get up and get ready before your kids, you will be more productive throughout the day. I’m not going to claim perfection on this, but I prefer to wake up and get ready before my kids do. Some days I exercise before they get up and some days I don’t. It just depends on if any little ones have kept me up the night before.
Once our kids hit the third grade, we get them an alarm clock and teach them how to wake up on their own. We feel like 8 years old is a good age to start teaching them how to be accountable for their time management abilities. If they haven’t woken up within 15 minutes of their alarm going off, we intervene and wake them up.
Then, it’s on to the routine. I have this customizable checklist that we use for our family. Not only does this keep them on task and organized, but it gives them the satisfaction of knowing that they already accomplished something. When children feel accomplished, they accomplish more.
After School Routine
Time to Unwind
Once the kids come home, it’s time to relax a little bit from the school day. I let them unwind for 30-45 minutes, then they have responsibilities. I try to have an after-school snack ready for them. While they’re eating their snack, this is my time to ask them about their day. They don’t usually talk about everything that happened yet. We’ll talk about that later.
Homework is Always First
Homework will always take priority over chores in our house. We don’t have a homework space in our home, unfortunately, but if we did, I would make sure it was somewhere they could focus how they wanted. For now, my older children have a desk in their rooms where they can focus, and my younger children sit at the kitchen table.
Why I Check My Children’s Homework
I typically check my children’s homework before I allow them to move on to the next step of the after-school routine. The reason I do this is so I can see if they’re not understanding a concept. I don’t believe that the teachers in public education can fully educate my child and 25 other students. I do believe it’s my responsibility to help my child at home when I can. Once their homework is done, and I feel like they’re understanding the concepts they should be learning, then it’s time to move on to the chores.
Family Responsibilities & Chores
How to Decide What Chores to Assign Your Children
When I think of the chores that need to be completed around the house, I think of what I typically do to keep my home neat and tidy. I divide them all up into individual chores, then assign them according to each child’s abilities. For example, I know that my 5-year-old can pair socks. Rather than me having to pair all the socks, I can give him about 20 socks and let him pair them. Not only does this lighten my load (even if it’s a little bit), it teaches him how to find matches. Win, win.
Here’s an example of my chores that I try to get done throughout the week.
After I made my weekly list of daily chores, I looked over the list to decide what it was that I needed help from the kids on those specific days. Then, I divided it out among them. By the way, parents, you can’t keep your house clean on your own if you have a family. Don’t even try. You will get burned out! Take care of yourself and ask for help. It is not weak to ask for help. Besides, it’s good management skills and your family contributes to the mess, so they can help clean up too.
There are lots of ideas on Pinterest that you can use to find out what chores might be appropriate for your children’s age. Just search for age-appropriate chores and you’ll be flooded with ideas.
Weekly Chore Charts
I like to rotate the chores every two weeks. This way, the kids don’t get irritated by doing the same chore on Monday that they did last Monday. It gives them variety and reduces the complaining…maybe a little…all right probably not at all, but it makes me feel better.
So, the kids have unwound from school, they’re done with homework and they’re home from their extracurricular activities and they grab their chore chart and they get to work…ideally. Here’s what our weekly rotating chore charts look like.
To help our kids understand how to clean, I made them these cards for them to check off. Can you tell I like checklists? I may or may not have an obsession. Eventually, your kids may not even need the checklists. Once they know how you want the space cleaned, they’ll know what they need to do and they won’t need the checklist anymore.
Now, you can take these checklist cards a step further and place a value or a reward for each task completed. We don’t do rewards or allowances in our home, but if that’s something you do in your home, this would be a really great way to incorporate it.
For example, for every chore card completed, you could award them a certain amount of “Shrute Bucks.” But, they can’t earn the entire amount, unless they complete every item on the checklist. Each chore card could be worth more or less depending on how involved the chore was. After collecting so many Shrute bucks, you could have a family auction and they can buy items with their Shrute bucks.
When you download these, you can easily edit them in PicMonkey if needed! Customized for your own family.
Establishing a Bedtime Routine
When my oldest son and daughter were young, I was the master of bedtime routines. And, the kids thrived with the routine. Things changed around our house when we remodeled our home. Our routine was thrown off, and it never returned. As a result, we are convinced that our daughter’s anxiety surfaced.
Our regular bedtime routine was spent together reading, talking, and bonding. I believe it is a very important part of a family’s relationship. When we are able to have some time alone with them, this is when they open up to us about their day. They’ve had time to mull it over after they’re home in their safe place and they want to talk to us about it. We have to provide them with that opportunity, though. Believe it or not, your teenager wants you to “tuck them in.”
Now that we have 4 kids, our nighttime routine has been a bit of a whirlwind. As long as we stick to our routine, we have been able to get a good handle on our relationship and their behavior.
Use These Tools Together!
Now, friends. Let me show you how we put these all together for the most effective way to get your kids to help around the house, be accountable for their responsibilities, and learn how to manage their time wisely.
You can certainly come up with your own creative way to implement these into your own family routine. However, this works well for us.
The Morning Routine
Put the morning routine on the back of a clipboard. You can use a full-size clipboard or a mini clipboard. It just depends on your preference. Just remember, if you use mini clipboards, you need to print the downloads on half of the paper rather than the full size of the paper. We just used packing tape to attach the morning routine printable to the back of the clipboard.
The Evening Routine, Weekly Chore Charts, & Chore Cards
Next, attach the evening routine printable to the front of the clipboard. Again, we used packing tape. Your clipboard is ready for use. When you’re ready to start the week, attach the weekly chore chart to the front of the clipboard.
I prefer to put the clipboards by our kids’ doors in the evening after they have gone to bed. You could put them on their doorknob, on a 3M hook on the wall, or where they frequently return morning and night. Like, the mudroom or your family command center.
The best part about this method is that it’s nearly on autopilot. The only maintenance you would have to do is switching out their chore cards every day. Even then, you could simply have them get the correct chore card from a designated area. Eventually, they won’t need them. You’ll be the only one using them to make sure they followed through with the chore completely.
You can download the entire bundle for free by clicking on the button below. They are all in either PDF or JPEG format. The JPEGs can be edited easily in PicMonkey and the PDFs can be edited in Adobe Reader.
I would love to hear if this works for your family. Please let me know in the comments below.
Have a great day, my friends! I hope this simplifies your life…even if it’s just a little bit.