•   Lead family devotions once each week. While this shouldn’t be looked at as a chore, it is an important part of your child’s preparation for parenthood.

Quick Ideas

Now and then, mix it up. Draw chores out of a hat instead of doing the usual assigned chores. If time is limited, stage a 15-minute room rescue—set the timer and watch everyone scramble to see what can be accomplished before it rings. If one (or more) of your children chronically leaves a trail of personal possessions around the house, use the Nickel Box. Mom or Dad quietly walks through the house, picking up items that are out of place; the owner must pay a nickel (or amount of your choosing) to get it back. Remind them that if they don’t pick up their stuff, they will have to hire you to do their maid service. Unclaimed items are given away after one week.

Remember: Your children are not helping you with your work, they are helping with the family’s work. Everyone eats food, wears clothes, and gets things dirty, so everyone needs to know how to cook, clean, plan, and fix things around the house. When everyone does his part, the whole family can enjoy relaxing together. You will be amazed how much your children do. In fact you probably won’t realize how much they do until you’re an Empty Nester like me and find most of it back in your hands again. Enjoy them while you’ve got them—yes, they make messes, but they also make memories that last long after the messes are forgotten. 

*This article published on August 11, 2009.

Get a FREE subscription to the digital edition of Home School Enrichment Magazine! Sign up today for immediate access to the latest issue! Visit www.HSEmagazine.com/digital

©2009 by Marcia K. Washburn, who writes from her 19 years of experience homeschooling five sons. Read more articles and sign up for her free newsletter at www.marciawashburn.com. Catch her blog at www.HSEblogs.com/marcia  

This article was originally published in the Jul/Aug ’09 issue of Home School Enrichment Magazine. Visit www.HomeSchoolEnrichment.com for more information.