Q&A from post on Children & Chores:
Julie asks about chores when the children are not homeschooled and you are cleaning during the day without them. I answered in the comments section of the post, but thought I would address it here as well:
I would recommend either a “Cleaning Hour” (much like Home Blessing) once or twice a week on a weeknight or on a Saturday morning. During this time, you can accomplish a lot.
Still divide up your chores, still require they care for their “domain” every day (ie. school stuff, laundry, beds made, etc), still post the list, just make it a once or twice a week thing rather than every day.
Also, a bed can be made in seconds…no reason they can’t do it before they leave their rooms in the morning. ;)
Anna says “One thing that wasn’t obvious to me, and is never mentioned in articles like this is that I do need to follow along and assist when appropriate.”
You are absolutely right! And that is what I meant when I said “teach them how to do their particular chore.” We cannot expect children to automatically know how to do something. (ahem…remember my post on Keeping The Kitchen Clean?) However, my purpose in working alongside them is to TEACH THEM…not to do their job FOR THEM.
Now, some chores are just beyond your child and you simply cannot expect them to be able to do the work. That brings me to Mirage’s question:
“How old do you start them doing chores and what kind do you have them do?”
I don’t expect much from anyone under 5. Not that they get to stand around and do nothing for 5 years, but turning 5 is somewhat of a rite of passage around here…the day you begin to “earn your keep” so to speak. Prior to age 5 the chores look more like this:
Make your bed
Take items to the trash for me when I ask
Do specific chores I dole out during our 15 minute Tidy
I’ve just found that under the age of 5, their little ole brains just can’t quite comprehend the idea of a set chore schedule. And even after age 5, you have to REMIND, REMIND, REMIND and GUIDE, GUIDE, GUIDE. In fact, it has only been in the last year that my big kids (ages 11 and 8) have learned to begin and complete Table Chores ON THEIR OWN without me constantly reminding them and they have been doing Table Chores for nearly 4 YEARS!?! (Sometimes the fruit of our labor is slow to ripen!)
My opinion on the list Mirage gave for what her 3 year old is doing…
“Chicklet just turned 3 and she washes the table, puts her dirty dishes in the sink, and unloads the silverware baskets from the dishwasher. She also does little errands for me like throws away the diapers when I change Bug and helps me feed Bug.”
If she’s doing those things without hurting herself (or someone else), then chore away little one!
Hope that helps to clarify a few things from the Children & Chores Post!