How We Order our Days…Scheduling and Chores for a family of 10

Look carefully then how you walk, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Ephesians 5:15-17

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slave too much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Titus 2:3-5

There are MANY books and resources out there to help with this topic. Just type in the keywords “homeschool scheduling” and over 400,000 sites come up. “Chore charts”…133,000,000! I have gleaned over the years from the wisdom of several families who have gone before us and applied what was doable for our family. Each year is a new season and adjustments have to be made.

Every family has to do what works for them…some may have children in school outside the home, some may have active extra-curricular commitments, homeschooling one or many, some may have home businesses, or maybe the husband travels a lot. Whatever your season or specific circumstances you may find having a schedule {or as I like to look at it, a “guide” for what my best day may look like} and a chore chart {where everyone contributes to managing the home they live in} may be a helpful method for keeping things running smoothly.

Each year, I reassess where we are and what the upcoming year may hold for us. This year some of the changes in store for our family are: the blessing of another child {any time now}, additional commuting for our eldest to college classes and the obvious changes of our economic times which affect our home-based business in the construction industry.

Time management {scheduling, menu planning, chore charts, organizing} is something close to my heart and a topic I desire to minister to other families on. I am far from an “expert” on the subject; however I desire to provide encouragement, equipping and edifying to other families as they enter different seasons which may help them be better keepers of their homes. I recently hosted a Homeschool Mom’s Fellowship Night themed “It’s About Time”. It was a desire to come together with other homeschooling moms to encourage, equip and edify as well as glean from others.

At the Mom’s Night Fellowship, on the topic of chore charts {the first thing I revised for this coming year}, I covered how we do things. I distributed an “Age Appropriate Chores” list compiled utilizing a couple sources {no need to re-create the wheel} and my additions/notes. I shared past chore charts I created for our family. Since I have been scheduling/chore chart making for many years now, I simply go into my Microsoft Word program and make annual adjustments based on what the season of our life is that year.

After gleaning from “Managers of Their Homes” by Steve and Teri Maxwell, I started by making a chore chart.

1. The first step was to list EVERYTHING that needed to be done in a week.

2. I then calculated how long it would take to complete each task and what was an appropriate age for each one as I would assign them later.

3. The next step for me was to then begin to break down those chores as they would be assigned to each member of our family. For us, I found having a time in the morning {after breakfast ~ “Morning Chores”} and a time in the afternoon {before dad came home from work ~ “Afternoon Chores”} would work for us.

     a. Prior to breakfast and prior to bed we did “morning” and “bedtime” routines respectively. Morning routine included waking up, reading Bible, getting shower (if applicable)/dressed for the day, and making bed. Bedtime routine included picking up bedroom floor (if needed), having teeth brushed, PJ’s on and prayer with Dad.

4. Then I broke down what needed to be done each day and whether it would be best done in the morning or afternoon. My chore chart was done for Monday – Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon was/is reserved for activities or special projects and Sunday is our day of worship/rest.

5. After the list of chore items were broken down by assigned person & day, I created a table on Microsoft Word. {I prefer creating tables to making spreadsheets myself, but either would work if you chose to use this method.}

     a. I listed the headings across the top for each column as follows: Name of assigned person, then each day of the week through Saturday.

     b. My rows would then have, in age order, the first column down the name of each family member beginning with me and working down to the toddlers {not Dad since he works daily and also handles the extra maintenance items around the home).

     c. I then began plugging in the assigned chore for the day. {Clarification: I created two charts…one for morning and one for afternoon}

     d. Finally, I colored each row a different color to provide ease in viewing the chart and at a glance see who was responsible for what.

I have chosen not to assign tasks by the room on different days…a method used in Large Family Logistics. My method is to assign tasks based on frequency. For example, the dishes need to be done daily, laundry needs to be done daily, we choose to central vac daily, a quick wipe down of the main bathroom needs to be done daily, etc. Other tasks like dusting, straightening school closets or book cabinets, straightening dresser drawers, etc. are broken down by location and assigned one day a week per person. Other tasks may need two days per week…for us chores like: glass & mirror cleaning, taking trash/recycling to the road, etc. I know for us, if we chose only to do each room one day per week, the rest of our home would be out of order all week. When there are many people living in a small space, daily room assignments seem to keep our home in better order and clean.

This year's chore charts, daily schedules, college classes, extra-curricular schedules, etc. ~ all kept in front to back order in clear sheet protectors on our refrigerator for quick viewing.  {See the "Organizing and Time Management:  Part 2 post listed below for details on our "Command Center" ~ the hub of knowing the order of our days.}

I know it has been helpful for me to “see” a finished product and is an encouragement for how to apply what will work for us by viewing samples of someone else’s labor. I hope that you will be able to see and glean from some of our chore charts over the years and create a chart that suites your family’s season of life. I am also including a copy of the Age Appropriate Chores list I distributed at the Mom’s Fellowship Night to give you ideas.

Training is imperative in any task. BEFORE you put your plan into action, you should make sure that children have been taught “how to do” the task they are being assigned to do. If you do not train, but only expect a task to be done, then you are setting your children up for failure and yourself up for frustration. The initial investment you put into training a child to complete a task, will provide much reward for you and your child. To train, be sure you “show” your child how to do the task a couple of times, then shadow them with instruction as they do it and finally allow them to do it on their own with you following up to check on how they did. Provide positive affirmation on the things they have done well, BEFORE making a point of correction. We all need encouragement.

Helping with transferring laundry...
Assisting with bread making...

Cheerfully teaching a younger sibling how to vacuum...and excited to help

You might also want to post a step-by-step checklist inside a cabinet door or drawer for them to refer to each day/week. Pictures help younger children…just my 2 cents. Be sure that what you assign is checked daily and that you have consequences in place for not finishing a job or finishing one well. {Please don’t take consequence out of context or to an extreme.} If it is important enough for you to assign, it should be important enough for you to check and acknowledge. More than chores are being taught here…character is being built and important life skills are being learned to make each person {from the youngest to the oldest} know they are a valuable part/contributor to the family as a whole.


I would love to hear from you, as a veteran in chore charts or a mom just starting out. We all have much to learn from one another and your comments can be just what may help someone else. Do feel free to share what has worked for you. May the Lord bless your diligence to manage your home well and provide wisdom along the way.

Blessings in Him ~

This post is linked with Raising Olives: Managing Your Week ~ 4 Moms and Large Family Logistics.

If you have been encouraged and would like to keep up-to-date on future posts {family, homeschooling, menu planning, organizing, scheduling, etc.} won't you subscribe to follow via e-mail or join this site through Google Friend Connect under "Those Encouraged".  I'd love to visit you, too.


Virginia Knowles said...

Jarnette, thank you for this helpful post. I appreciate your heart for other moms and their families. We still have 11 of us at home but my second daughter is getting married soon so we are extra busy. Since our school year starts next Monday, I need to redo our chore chary and daily schedule, mainly for the five I am still home schooling. The older ones all have full enough schedules with work and classes. :-)

I have a post (among many) on household order at


Jarnette @ Seasons of Life said...

Thank you for sharing your encouraging post and your kind comment. You, too, have been an encouragement over the years as I have read your blog and watched your family blossom. Congratulations on another child leaving and cleaving...blessings on their upcoming union. May the Lord also bless and direct your school year according to His purpose and will for your lives this year.

In Him,


Monica said...

Wow! This is terrific! Most families, even small ones, are so unorganized and "crazy"! This would help so many people. We only have 3 and we have to keep chore charts or things tend to get messy and chaotic. This is the most thorough chore list I have ever seen! Thanks for sharing how your wonderful family works.

Jarnette @ Seasons of Life said...

Hi Monica. You have a lovely and encouraging blog. Noticed you were married just days before my husband and I were...sweet. ;-) Thank you for visiting and for your words of encouragement.

Messiness is part of raising a family, whether there is one child or MANY. ;-) We have learned a lot over the years and our home just is more calm and peaceful {and hopefully inviting to others} when it is organized and tidy. Plus, when all hands are on deck, so to speak, it can be picked up fairly quickly. A community effort with community rewards. :-)

Blessings in Him,


Cat said...

I would love to read your blog but the font is very difficult on these old eyes of mine.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jarnette,It's Tara Love the post and all the advice I am trying to get better about chore charts.

Dana said...

Thanks for this encouraging post. We have four children and I do have a morning chore time, but it needs some work. What is your goal for how long each chore time should take? I struggle with knowing what is a reasonable number of chores/ amount of time to spend... Thanks!

Jarnette @ Seasons of Life said...

Hi Dana. Thanks for your comment/question. I typically schedule 30 minutes of chores for the morning and 30 minutes of chores for the afternoon. The allows for about 2-4 chores per person depending on what the chore entails. Of course, our younger children (8 and under), because of abilities/age are given 1-3 chores, as they are smaller and may need more time to complete a task. Hope that helps.

Blessings as you update your chore chart ~


trooppetrie said...

this year we are changing alot of things around. I am learning what worked last year may not work this year. i love that we can change things as my family changes

Jarnette @ Seasons of Life said...

Hi Tara & Pamela ~

Thanks for stopping by. I pray your upcoming schedules/chore charts will go well and provide a guide of smooth transitioning from summer to school, peace in the home throughout the year and a means of getting done all the Lord calls you to do this year.

Blessings in Him,


Make a Joyful Noise all ye Lands said...

Dear Jarnette,
You know the circumcstances our famiy is going through during this "Season of
Life". I am cleaning and decluttering this family again and trying to implement my schedule as a busy Mama and GeeGee scheduling in time with each one added to my week. I am very encouraged after reading your post. I do not have the time nor the energy to reread some of my books on orgainizing large families. This GeeGee is going to give her gbabies little chores here too. I am thinking also I need some different Quiet Time activities while older ones are doing more difficult subjects. Any suggestions? I have coloring, puzzles, playdough, doll houses and of course cribs for naptime. It is a Blessing to be working on scheduling my home in this manner. I pray for continued wisdom and am thankful for the time your have taken to share your ideas.

Jarnette Smith said...

Hi VA. I, too, will be tweaking {Lord willing} our charts over this Christmas break as we enter into another transitioning season. Other ideas for quiet time activities: felt boards with felts, stringing LARGE beads, tangrams w/a tangram puzzle picture book, blocks, cars on a playmat/carpet, large Duplo blocks, cardboard "bricks" lacing stencils, etc. are just some things that come to mind right now. I also have a book called Preschool Activities in a Bag you are welcome to borrow. Your older girls are perfect for constructing a few of these activity kits to use with grandbabies, if you need more ideas.