When my husband Alan and I homeschooled our children from the late 1980s to the late 2000s, we felt that learning how to run a household and keep a house were as important as academics. I was at home, they were at home, it was simple to show them the ropes and put them through their paces on a regular basis.
Just as schoolwork was an expected part of most days, so were their daily chores.
Our two boys and three girls were assigned daily chores. They alternated washing and drying dishes. They all took turns sweeping the kitchen floor and putting their laundry away.
Some could do a more thorough job due to their ages, of course.
Five kids with eight years between the first and last born meant that there were some significant differences between what chores the oldest and youngest kids were capable of, and responsible for.
I drew up schedules every month, and stuck them on the fridge for each child. The youngest ones had little drawings of beds, brooms and tea cups on the left side of their sheets, along with tiny icons for personal care routines like brushing their teeth, because they couldn't read yet.
Everyone had several weeks' worth of squares to check-mark when they did each chore. Star stickers and smiley faces were awarded for each row of squares that were completed.
Every morning, I'd make breakfast, and the kids were turned loose on clean-up afterward. Someone washed the dishes, another dried and put dishes away. The one who washed also wiped off tables and counters. Another child swept the kitchen floor.
Our oldest son was responsible for vacuuming and for taking out the trash, by virtue of the fact that he was bigger and stronger than the other kids. Our two oldest girls had the dexterity for folding laundry quickly and efficiently, so they were allotted these jobs more fully than the others.
When they were ages two and four, our youngest son and daughter had the junior-lite versions of chores, but they took their jobs seriously, and we wanted them to. They were more often responsible for putting toys away.
Schoolwork was done in the late morning and then again in the afternoon.