Whether it’s morning or afternoon, chores on the farm need to be tended to. Using a chart and a calendar may be helpful, but chore time is more than delegating chore jurisdictions and checklists. It’s an opportunity to foster relationships, build character, and more. Read on to learn the early evening chores (or dinnertime chore routine) our kids follow, working together as a family to make for a productive and happy home.
Our Early Evening Chores
This routine sets a good example to teach our children to have a productive morning, and that mindset continues throughout the day.
With many people in the house, animals to feed, and meals to prepare, it’s important to stay on schedule so we can sit together and share the evening meal around the table. It is one of our favorite times to share the day’s experiences and eat a healthy, delicious, hot meal!
Our dinner hour is set around six o’clock, so starting our evening chores at five o’clock ensures that chores are done and no one misses the family fellowship time. This strategy is a good motivator to stay on task and not suffer the disappointment of missing this special time.
Why Chore-Time Is Important
Josh and I are responsible for teaching our children the importance of chore time through patience and example. We want to teach our children while we work alongside them how to master skills that will build character and self-sufficiency in their adult lives.
The sense of accomplishment they gain and the reward of self-worth after finishing their assigned tasks are priceless. Teaching them that we may not enjoy doing certain things in life, but pushing through and knowing that a job worth doing is a job worth doing well.
Working together as a family, with everybody contributing to the whole, is a gift we share. Mama and Papa can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all when many hands make light work. The reward of knowing tasks you accomplished blessed others and vice-versa is love in action.
Chores in the Evening
While I have shared about weekly chores, planning morning chores, and daily transitions for a productive day, these chores are specific to the dinner time hour, aka early evening chores on the homestead.
Our animals rely on us to take care of them. They must be fed, watered and helped in any way they need by us. Our children know that they must take this responsibility seriously and keep the animals tended to before they come in and join the family dinner table for their meal.
Pick-up the Yard
The yard is used for playtime all day long, all year long. Picking up the yard and putting things back in place is done at the end of the day before dinnertime and is a good chore assignment for three to ten-year-olds that can be shared and taught by the older kids.
If one of the kids has left their shoes or sweatshirt by the trampoline, it’s their responsibility to collect and put away their things. Otherwise, picking up toys, sports equipment, or other items shared amongst everyone is the responsibility of the kids assigned that chore.
I want all my children to know how to cook. It’s an essential skill I believe is becoming lost in the age of microwaves and convenience meals requiring no culinary know-how.
Each of my children becomes my dinner apprentice at one time or another as part of their dinner-time chore duties. It’s a wonderful way for me to connect with them and teach them the skill of cooking from scratch.
This teaching opportunity goes beyond chopping, dicing and slicing; we can become creative with herbs and vegetables we grew in the garden, and meats and poultry we raised and butchered as a family.
Teaching them about nutrition and why eating healthy foods is so important for our bodies brings me joy when I share it with my children. This time in the kitchen is one of several ways we educate our children through homesteading.
Overseeing Younger Children
One of the dinner chores for some of the older children is overseeing some of the younger children while dinner is being prepared and the other evening chores are being done.
It’s a great opportunity for the older kids to help and teach the younger kids simple, age-appropriate responsibilities. It brings a sense of accomplishment for the younger children and is beneficial for the older children, teaching and leading by example.
Household Management Class
If implementing more routines like this sounds like a good fit for your homestead, I invite you to join me in my Household Management Workshop, where you will learn…
- How to delegate which chores should go to your children.
- How to keep your household running smoothly (even when Mom is sick or when hardship strikes.)
- How to keep up with the never-ending laundry.
- How to keep your house tidy, even when you’re really busy.
- How to get the house back on track when things get out of hand.
- And much more!
This 30-day risk-free e-course provides video lessons, my make-ahead breakfast casserole recipe eBook, and a printable household planning worksheet. Sign up today and receive instant access!