Six kids (and two adults) can wreck a house in very little time. So we make the kids clean it up! We believe that kids are supposed to do chores just because they are part of our home (not for an allowance). It teaches them to take care of their own stuff, care about their environments, and learn to serve and be a part of a family and community. In addition, you just can't have a bunch of kids and expect (and thus train) them to all just be consumers in your house. Everyone pitches in. But we have found that teaching and managing six kids in doing chores is almost as hard as cleaning the house ourselves. Overtime, though, we have developed a pretty good system for dividing the chores among the kids. This weekend we found ourselves seeing a need to reevaluate and reorganize what we were doing because it wasn't working as well as we need it to. Then Dana remembered that she bought a set of books from Steven and Teri Maxwell that included a book on how to organize your children's chores, Managers of Their Chores: A Practical Guide to Children's Chores. So I read it over the weekend; It is outstanding!
There are several chapters on the biblical basis, the current benefits, and the future benefits of chores for children. I was impressed with the way they placed something as tedious as chores in the context of loving and depending on God. So we are going to try out their suggested method of managing and organizing our kid's chores. I was especially pleased to find that they have a website, chorepack.com, with digital material, forums, and other resources. There is even an online service called ChoreWare that helps you organize and print your own personalized version of the system. Although we haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend the book. The online service is easy to use and highly adaptable to each family's needs. We'll let you know how it goes!