Meal Planning and Chore Charts
November 1, 2023
Mercy Every Minute
Deborah Wuehler, TOS Senior Editor
Freeing Mom Up
Looking at my busy week thus far, I see why things have been strewn instead of stowed. I see why we made messes instead of making meals. Why? Because we have been busy with friends, field trips, family, church, discipleship, and schoolwork. It is because we have lived life to the fullest at home. Where we belong.
To stay organized, everything going on in everyone’s day must be written on one central family calendar or things will get missed, and this frees mom up because mom can’t keep everything in her head.
Individual School and Chore Charts
Each child has a daily school and chore chart that they have to check off before they have free time. This also frees mom up from children constantly asking “What’s next?”
Meals and Chores
Teach cooking and meal planning starting when they are very young. (See the Summer 2023 issue for more.)
It takes time to train our children to do things we could do faster, and it also requires patience to let their less-than-perfect job go. While we are training the youngest ones, things may get messier or even meals ruined. We have to adjust our level of perfection down a few notches, and in due time, we will benefit from the progress and perseverance. Maintaining consistency, the children will grow up to be great workers and even greater cooks.
Our highest goal is to have children who serve God and serve others, and to reach that goal, we must teach them to be joyful servants of their families, thus becoming like Christ.
“Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28).
“By love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13b).
It’s an incredible blessing to have our children learn these life skills at Home. Where They Belong.
Homestyle Project Management
As a homeschooling, homesteading, working mother, wife, and child of God, my days are always filled with something to do! I am a goal setter, checklist maker, and project organizer in my professional and personal endeavors and have used those skills to create an effective system that supports my 12- and 15-year-old boys, and husband, to be better contributing members of the household. In other words, I’ve set up a way for them, and myself, to be more aware—and accountable—to get stuff done.
3-Step Household Task Calendars
- Make two lists: one of all the common meals you have in your family, and one of all the regular and occasional tasks that need to be done around your home and property.
- Print off two calendars of each month (or use/buy printed calendars of the year). Use one for meal planning and one for household tasks. For meal planning, assign the contributing family members a day or days when they are responsible for meal planning and the cooking. For the household tasks, write down the chores to be done for the day, week, or month, however far ahead you want to schedule. Post these calendars and the lists in a common area of your home.
- Everyone looks at these calendars each day to know what their responsibilities are and note the meal they will be making, as well as to see what tasks need to be done for the day that they can complete. The household calendar also includes a project list at the bottom as a reminder of those multi-day tasks that can be written down to get the big job done.
While I am still reminding children of chores and meals on the calendars, this setup has helped me move the responsibility of getting the work done to others and also helps me to remember what I want to get done! With so much to do in a day, I needed a better system to hold myself accountable to make cheese and bread and make others accountable to clean out the barn stalls and vacuum the floors. If you’re in need of a new system for household delegating and to get your own tasks done, try out your variation of this homestyle project management system.
About the author
Pursuing her calling to help parents enjoy the responsibility of educating their children, Steph works in a sales support role with The Old Schoolhouse®, and coaches and trains entrepreneurs to start and grow their business from home. She and her family are perfectly placed in the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada. She loves being a homebody and building up her permaculture property. Learn more about Steph at www.creatingworkandplay.com.
Adam and Dianne Riveiro
Combat the Craziness with Consistency
Sometimes I feel like my to-do list is overflowing. My husband and children’s schedules are no different. We’re a busy family . . . and I’m sure your family is exactly the same! To help combat the ever-growing craziness in our family, there are two resources I use all the time: a meal plan and a chore chart. Here’s how they work in our family:
- I make a weekly meal plan. I check our calendar and then plan our meals accordingly. I write them in a central location so that other family members can help with the prep if they get to the kitchen before I do. This takes the daily question of “What’s for dinner?” out of my mind.
- I write down our chores for the week on our white board. Once someone has completed a job, they erase it. A traditional chore chart doesn’t work for our family, so this is a great alternative to make sure the most pressing jobs get done each week.
There is no perfect system for reining in your to-do list. However, let me encourage you to find a system that works for you and then implement it. Remember, consistency is better than perfection.
About the author
Pastor Adam and Dianne Riveiro live in Easton, Massachusetts, where Adam leads Liberty Baptist Church. They’re the authors of several books, including Hope from Our Heart to Yours: A 30-Day Devotional Journey for Special Needs Families, available from their family’s publishing label at www.readyscribepublications.com. They have four children: Bethany, Kaylee, AJ, and Peyton. They’re passionate about helping their fellow special needs families find joy and contentment in Christ.
Pillar of Faith
God Equips Us to Keep an Orderly Home
As moms who believe in the calling of homeschooling, one of the areas that can be most challenging is meal planning. The daily 5 p.m. concern of what to cook is often a dread that can overwhelm us and steal the joy from an otherwise productive day. God’s word reminds us that He equips those He calls. I believe He equips us not just to be strengthened in our ability to homeschool, but to also manage our households. We can homeschool and get dinner on the table.
Hebrews 13:21 encourages us that He will “equip you with everything good for doing his will . . . (NIV)” Likewise, He equips us to raise children who understand the value of hard work. Chore charts allow our children to participate in the running and well-being of our households, knowing what tasks need to be done when and to do them without grumbling and complaining. Colossians 3:23 reminds us that “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men (ESV).” Let us be encouraged that our Lord cares about meal planning and chore charts; He knows we depend on Him to care for our families well.
About the author
Natalie Mack is a National Certified Counselor, author, TEDx speaker, and experienced twenty-three years military home educator, with over twenty-two years of service to military homeschooling families and military homeschool support group leadership. She is known for her words of encouragement and advocacy for homeschooling, particularly during the journey from high school to college. Natalie is a mom of five: three college graduates, one college senior, and an 11th grader.
Are you looking for something new or different for language arts? Be sure to check out the variety of curriculums, products, and programs offered by eighteen different companies in the “Language Arts: Reading, Writing, and Grammar” Resource Guide in the Fall 2023 issue of The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine. You might just find a new favorite for your family!
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Can elementary children learn how to cook, manage their money, and throw parties? The proper care and running of a home are goals we never want to lose sight of in the midst of educating our children. With the Home Economics course on SchoolhouseTeachers.com, your child will learn the basics of self management, hospitality, and cooking through printables and many hands-on practical activities.
Could you sustain your family with food for three months of hardship? Heather Vogler talks “Food Storage Smarts” and tells how, beginning slowly, you can eventually have everything you need on hand. (Find all the articles with HomeschoolApp.com.)
Congratulations to our September winner, Mia P. from Ohio!
for the month of November
Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management
Focus on the Family
In a culture where living paycheck to paycheck is the norm, teaching our children about money management is very important. In Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management, author Matt Bell presents ways parents can teach their children to honor God with their money.
As the author recommends in the introduction, I read the book from cover to cover on my own to understand “the big picture” presented. Then I returned to lessons I wanted to cover with my children over the next few months. This is a book that I will return to for advice as my children enter new stages in life.
The lessons offer advice, activities, and suggestions for all ages. Each lesson begins with ways that parents can manage their own finances. This helps parents as we serve as role models for our children. The author gives real-life examples showing the consequences of poor money management and other examples of God-honoring money management. After this, the author provides tools and activities to help parents instruct their children.
I highly recommend Trusted: Preparing Your Kids for a Lifetime of God-Honoring Money Management to every parent who desires to teach their children how to honor God with their finances. This book provides lessons that can benefit parents and children of all ages. To quote author Matt Bell, “The most effective money-management lessons are those that are learned with real money in real time in the real world.” This hands-on, role-modeling, Biblically-based approach to teaching money management will appeal to many Christian homeschool families
This is part of a review of the book Trusted. Read the full review on our site which includes more details about the content.
Go to the contest page of our site where you can ENTER TO WIN the book Trusted.
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Give Thanks Scripture Writing
Click on the image to download the full free printable pdf.
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