Not for a Bygone Era: Saturday Morning Chores

By: Martianne Stanger

As I write this, I am sitting on the couch sick. I can get up and do some things, but, each time I do, I am beset with a coughing fit.

So, I am pacing myself.

Meanwhile, my household is still humming.

The laundry machine and dryer are turning. The dishwasher is finishing off a cycle. The dish-drainer has pots and pans drip drying in it. The floors are mostly swept. Shoes have been tidied. Compost has been taken out.  Chickens have been cared for. A hot spot has been tackled and neatened. A lost library book has even been found … And more!

Not by me.

By my children!

Praise be to God and thanks be to my blessed children for the blessing of Saturday morning chore success!

For years now, I have been working to instill daily and weekly habits of “family work time” and “Saturday work” in my children.

We started with a few timed minutes of chores daily and worked up to 30 minutes each, using a me-we-you system where I had kids watch me do chores, do them with me, then do them with me supervising before being able to do them 100% independently

Likewise, we worked up to two hours of time on Saturdays to tackle things we miss during the week and move forward on the many things that need attention in our home, because, sadly, for too many years we let it get deeply out of control!


And, now, although things are by no means always perfect or easy, the kids know how to help and can do so as needed.

Like today.


My middle child was the first one up and on her feet today, and, immediately, began to list what she would tackle for her Saturday time. (Recently, I have begun asking each child to list 8 15’ increments of work before beginning tasks, and, then, check them off as they go, taking breaks as needed. The system, more or less, keeps them on track and gives them some ownership of what they are doing to help our home)

She then got right to work tidying, organizing, cleaning, and more.

Meanwhile, when her younger brother got up, she asked him what he’d be doing and motivated him to help.

Then, she even got her big brother to pitch in some.

How heartening it is to have such cooperation and capability evidenced here today.

Saturday chores are not for a bygone era. They are for today’s generation, too, and, when attended to – especially when Mom is not feeling well – bring such fruit!


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