Saturday, July 28, 2012

Flying through Chores

I love the Fly Lady!!! She has been inspiring me since 2004. Her and Dave Ramsey do a wonderful job of reminding and teaching skills that we have lost from our grandparent's generation. Fly Lady with the cleaning, decluttering and maintaining the home and Dave Ramsey with staying out of debt and financial responsibility.

I hardly had any chores at my mother's house, I was raised in the new mindset of doing everything for the child. I was a spoiled, only child, raised by a single mother. My mother may have also been in the same mindset as many women: that it takes too much time and/or it is too much trouble to train our children, so it is easier to do it myself. Only at my grandmother's house was I responsible for different tasks. I knew I didn't want to raise my Beloveds in the same way, so they indeed do chores, but it wasn't consistent. It would be more "oh your room is messy, time to clean it" or "the trash needs dumping, Z Man can you dump it?" or "I am setting the timer, I want everyone to see what they can pick up in ten minutes." Although, we might schedule a morning chore period, rooms would get overlooked and we did not keep track of who did what. Recently, I was thinking about the pre-Ramadhan talk about going counter the culture of always serving the child, but teaching your children to serve you and teaching them to be a service to others. I was reminded of this beautiful youtube video of how an Islamic school in Europe did not feel it was enough to just teach the youth Quran, but they felt teaching chores were important also.
          "It is at the core of our teaching: Serving. The best of us is the one who serves the other."

I pay my kids for doing school work because I think that it translates better into the real world. You do well in school, you will get paid through grants and scholarship. You do well on your job, you will get a salary and God Willing, you will get bonuses. However, I do not pay my kids to do chores because in the real world, I do not get paid to clean and maintain my house. Some people pay other people to do it, (no disrespect to that profession- I think they should get paid more) but I don't want to raise my children to be housekeepers. Therefore, I don't want to financially reward them for something they should be doing to help the family, themselves and most importantly to please Allah ( God). But the Reward of Praise for a job well done is given generously :)

I wanted to start a chore list and have been muddling through this pdf for awhile. Inspired by the Flylady and my love for the beauty and creative ingenuity of the hot air balloon, I came up with Flying through Chores. However, the Flying through Chores Microsoft Publisher file (how I make most of my worksheets) sat for months unfinished, until I saw a post in my google reader "Mommy's Back to School Boot Camp". This post not only inspired me to finish my own Chore Chart, she shared another valuable blog and her own inspiration "Holy Spirit Led- Homeschooling" which has the perfect Age Specific Chore List (free download). I read through everything she had about chores, all wonderful resources and was motivated!

I decided that I wanted to keep my chore chart low maintenance, that it would not become a printable that can be used by others. Although, if you use Microsoft Publisher then I can send you the template, so you could customize it to you family's need: just email me I didnt want to make it too challenging. I didn't want to keep up with a bunch of little pieces to manipulate. (We do enough of that in homeschooling) However, I did want the chores to rotate. If S Man washes the car one week then Z Man could do it the next. Or with unromantic jobs, if Big A cleans the upstairs bathroom, then S Man would have to clean it the next week. So I just made 3 easy versions, switching the chores around. Some things were consistent, like Everybody needs to clean their room Every Saturday morning before doing anything else. 

The finished product I stuck in a sheet protector, put a magnet on it and placed it on it's new home on the fridge. 

Now the chore sheet is complete, it is about keeping it fun and consistent. Some ways to motivate little hands is to make a cleaning caddy, perfect for little hands. I have three different ones in my home, red for dusting and shining wood, blue for windows, and white for disinfecting and getting smudges off the wall. We use a natural polish, made out of olive oil and fresh lemon for the dark wood, vinegar for the windows, and a soapy cleaning solution for walls and disinfecting.

Target has the cleaning caddy for $1, very cheap. Most of my spray bottles were cheap also.
 My red cloth and blue cloth came from Dollar Tree. And I use natural ingredients that I make myself,
 here is a list of green living cleaners.

I also just bought a turquoise caddy for cleaning the car.

♥ Ya Allah (Oh God), please allow us to be steadfast in our prayers, chores, and other work. May we always do it for Your Pleasure, that You may use us in Your Service.


  1. MashaAllah! Very nice! A beautiful chore chart. Ours looks super boring when compared ;-). I've been tweaking out chore chart for years now, trying to find our groove. We have a chart with things that get done daily and weekly. A few years ago we settled on giving our children chores that they would do until they 'perfected' it. Then they get to teach the next in line and move on to a different 'level'. For example, my eldest washed dishes for years before she perfected it, then taught her sister who has taken over that chore, and she has moved on to deep kitchen cleaning (as needed) and baking. I was like you in that I was never really taught how to do chores as a child (or cook) and felt really crippled by that when I became an adult. My children can already do so much more than I could when I first got married mashaAllah! Even the youngest (age 2) wants to be involved. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Roxanne Aisha

    1. I remember you being super creative, so I am sure your girls get it in other ways. The point is just finding something that works, and it sounds like you have a system that is training your girls to be righteous women. May Allah protect them.

  2. Making a chore chart for little kids sounds like a good idea, and I agree that children should do chores for free! Thanks for visiting my blog and I'm glad you liked the free printable game!


Your comments inspire me!

Blogging tips