I was thrilled to review The Everyday Family Chore System from Everyday Homemaking, I had bought Vicki Bentley’s book a few years ago after I heard her speak at a homeschooling convention. I have been using her system since then. So when I saw she had updated it I couldn’t wait to see it !!! I love this digital copy that I received to review! I want to share with you how we’ve used this and what has worked for us.
I have to back up a little here: I met Vicki a little before this homeschool convention at a Leadership Convention in Williamsburg Virginia. She is a sweet, sweet lady who has so much wisdom to pass along. I enjoyed listening to her talk and tried to soak in as much knowledge as I possibly could.
When it came time to decide which speakers my husband and I would listen to at the homeschool convention, I said we needed to go to Vicki’s one about chores! I knew she had 8 girls of her own and had many foster children. She knew what it took to run a household and I needed to hear it. My husband and I both grew up in households that were managed very differently. When it came time for us to decide how we would run ours, our options greatly differed. I have read LOTS of books and tried LOTS of different things, but none of them were “it”.
We decided that if we liked Vicki’s system that we would use it. We would kind of “blame her” if it didn’t work. We needed something different than either of us had growing up. After sitting through the session, we bought her book.
I read through it all and made my notes. It’s an easy to read and understand book. The first part of the book talks about laying the foundation and training your children, not just expecting them to do what you are thinking. She reminds us that we need to model good behaviors for our children to see:
- Submit to authority without rebellion
- apologize if needed
- do everything without complaining
- work on skills and character (theirs and ours)
- work ourselves out of a job
Vicki not only tells us what jobs our children can do, but she wants us to remember to “tie strings to their hearts”. She says that children with connections to their parents hearts will desire to please and honor them. She goes on to give examples on how to do that. I love that this is in here!!! I think sometimes we forget the big picture in the everyday details.
The second part of the book guides you through delegating and assigning responsibilities. Here you start to list all the things that you think should be done at your house. She tells you what age appropriate expectations are and what each age children can developmentally handle which chores. Now you take that list and divide them among the children you have at home. Some of these chores will be done daily and some weekly and some monthly.
This is what the example from the book looks like.
Vicki uses how-to-do-it cards to ensure the job is done to the same standard that it’s expected to be done. She also explains how she trains each child for each job. How-to-do-it cards are included in the last section of the book along with other printable resources to help you set up the is system for yourself.
Here is what our version looks like:
It has been very versatile which has been perfect as we are in a season where kids are living at or attending college and working. Some of our older children have been taken off of daily chores because of their schedules. We only have daily chores right now. We took off the weekly chore for a time. We want the choice to add them back in so we didn’t alter our “chart”.
Not everything we have tried has worked for us, but we didn’t expect it to. I think that’s why it’s worked so well, we knew we would have to tweak it some and that didn’t mean that we failed and that it wouldn’t work for us. We adjusted and tried again.
I love the digital version that I have now. It’s easy to print and I don’t have to worry about the spiral binding getting in my way when I made copies.
There are many other treasures in this book. She explains zone cleaning which we have used for the past 16 or so years. I love it’s simplicity and effectiveness. She also go through making your house child friendly; an environment that works for the children so they can easily succeed. If the kids can’t reach what they are to put away, they will struggle. She also has a daily schedule and some checklists to model yours after.
10% off The Everyday Family Chore System and/or Everyday Cooking (print or e-book) through Labor Day! The code is TOS10books –they can apply it to as many books in their cart as they’d like, shop first, apply the 10% discount code last. (Sorry — eccentric cart function) Expires Sept 5.
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Click on the banner below to see what others on the Homeschool Review Crew thought about Everyday Family Chore System. Other members received Everyday Cooking, their reviews are linked here too.