Monday, February 2, 2009

Managers of Their Homes/Chores

It has been awhile since posting here but let me assure you, we have been busy. We are implementing (with great success, I might add) the Maxwell's systems of scheduling and chore assignments in our home. You can read more about the Maxwell family, their ministry and books here. They have some very wonderful ideas. I have had their Managers of Their Home system for quite some time but have been working to tweak it for our family. Here is what we have done with our daily schedule.

As you can see, this is posted on the refrigerator. We have a limited amount of wall space in our home, and this is a very convenient place, where all can view it. It has taken me some time to tweak this schedule, however, recently, when ds needed 30 minutes of vision therapy with me every day, it was very easy to 'plug it in' without me feeling overwhelmed. I have also incorporated my own chores as well as blocks of time to 'inspect' and 'train' the children in their chores. I need to add that I tried this system many years ago, in our early years of homeschooling and it didn't work then because I tried to follow it too closely. I now have learned to use it as my guide rather than my master (even though it is called a 'master' schedule). I believe that this is a very important key to making this system work for your family. FLEXIBILITY!

Another system that the Maxwells created and is rather new to me is called
Managers of Their Chores.

Chores have always been a challenge for me to implement in our home.
I felt like I spent much of my day telling the children to pick up this, do this job, or do that job. I no longer have to do that. This system does that for me. I have found that I know that the jobs that need to be done, will be done sometime during the week, so I am not concerned about getting it done, right then. This entire system frees me up to focus on other thing, rather than chores. When I work the system, it works.
As with any new system, it takes some time to set up. One of the most time consuming but important things is to figure out what chores need to be done, how often, and which child will do them. Once you do that, the rest is a cup of tea, walk in the park...
The way the system works is that the children have a plastic clip-on pocket (note in photo) that they clip to themselves during the allotted time for chores. They do each chore consecutively, until they are all complete. At that time, the child 'turns in' his chore pocket to me. Having the child clip their chores on them has been especially helpful to my youngest son, as he gets distracted so easily and forgets what he was doing. He is learning that whenever he is 'wearing' his jobs, that is what he is to focus on. All of my children are of reading age, but the Maxwell's have software included with book purchase, that will help you make picture cards for children who are pre-readers.

For me, the most difficult part of maintaining this system was to follow up and check the work that the children had done. I created the following system to help me with that. It is located on a wall in a high traffic area of the house, for everyone to see. The pockets are made out of file folders (a different color for each child) and packing tape. After I have inspected the jobs in the plastic pockets then they go in the completed section and I load their plastic pocket for the next round of jobs, in a couple hours. The children have three, thirty minute sessions for jobs, during each day. I have conveniently labeled them AM, PM and evening jobs. Some jobs they do every day, or several times a day, other jobs, only one time per week. The system teaches you how to arrange all that. The Managers of Their Chores process is not difficult to understand and the way the Maxwell's root the material in the Godly importance of teaching our children the responsibility of hard work is very encouraging.

Several years ago, when the children were younger, I did not see such a great necessity for systems like these, however, as my children are growing and their educational demands increase, I have found myself drowning in a maze of calenders and sticky notes and an inability to figure out where I am suppose to be next, let alone the children. Most days we get all of our school work completed, as well as the many sports and music appointments. We are even getting daily Bible reading done and the bathrooms cleaned, all because these things are scheduled. It is truly a wonderful feeling. Everyone feels better about their accomplishments.

I must thank Steve and Teri Maxwell for their forethought in sharing such insightful information in their books. I will highly recommend them to any home school family. I pray that this post may have interested you in investigating some of their writings. May God bless and encourage you in helping your family be more productive.

Blessings, Suzie


armyfamilyok said...

HHMMMM I might have to try a loose version of this. I can get Miss K to do chores, but she needs reminding as well. Then, I get thrown off track from checking back on her.

Amanda said...

One question. How do you handle the daily changes? I do not homeschool, and I work 3 days a week. My problem with the MOTH system is it provides no place to have different schedules each day of the week. Can you offer any advise? Thank you in advance. Please email me privately at amthomas718 at

JeremyNSunny said...

Suzie! Thanks for posting this, and sharing it on the Yahoo Group, too. It's a.) beauuuuutiful! (lol ... am I more visual than I thought??), and b.) obviously effective! I've read enough of the Maxwell's material to have put into place a similar 'system' that is working for us now, but might not always work. The pictures and your excellent descriptions are exciting for me to tuck into my memory for possible future use!!!!! I TOTALLY agree about the benefits of such a system, even if it's worked 'imperfectly' at times, due to whatever surprises life brings our way some days. I also COMPLETELY concur that one of the biggest challenges with a system like this (or, equally, with NO system and just 'winging it') is the parental responsibility of following-up to ensure the task was done well and completely. *sigh* Good thing it's something we have thousands and thousands of days to work on as a family, eh?? ;) Again, thanks for sharing!!

A.M. said...

Thank-you for this post! I just bought MOTH and read it through. Now I am prayerfully considering what to put on my schedule. So far my list is pretty long, but I know the Lord will help me trim it up a bit.

I am loving this book so much that I am considering asking DH to just get me ALL of the Maxwell books for Christmas!

I love your schedule--it looks like Mom is the first one up and the last one to bed :)

Thanks again for the post- it is very encouraging to see someone putting the schedule into action.

Traveling Homeschool Mom said...

how beautiful! thanks for sharing!