I, like many parents out there, seem to have a never ending cycle of house work to be done. I have made cleaning charts for myself, I have re-worked daily routines to try to squeeze in more time in an attempt to get more cleaning done, and have set alarms on my phone to go off regularly to try the “do a chore for 15 minutes every hour/2 hours” thing. Nope.
Let the kids do that
It seems so simple yet when my husband said that about the dishes a few months back I was surprised. “Wait, they are old enough for this now,” is what ran through my head. I had been on auto pilot, not really thinking about the fact that they could help now. Sure they had their chore packs to do in the morning and at night but those were just self care things. We hadn’t started adding home care to it. Now we are.
One new thing at a time
Our school year is done in stages and so we finish in stages. As we finished a subject I introduced a new chore to them. First were dishes. They had already been clearing the table and putting their dishes in the sink, but now we had them emptying the dishwasher in the morning and loading it up with their dishes when they were done using them. This allowed me to just put in the soap and run it at the end of the day. Next was vacuuming and sweeping. This was actually my daughter’s idea since she wanted to learn to vacuum. Sweeping is going to take some practice and patience but they both understand the vacuum.
Now we are learning the dreaded laundry
We just finished our last subject and I am teaching them to do laundry now. It’s just how to put their laundry away on their own but I am hoping by the end of the summer, maybe even fall, the older two will know how to start the wash and run the dryer too. If I can get them to handle their own laundry I think I might throw a party. The laundry in this house, like in so many, is the bane of my existence. So much time is taken up with laundry and yet I am always behind. Teaching them is teaching a life skill but is also saving mom’s sanity.
Summer time will cover all the big chores
The goal of this summer is to learn all those chores and have them get used to doing them. Slowly adding in new chores as they are comfortable and used to doing the ones already taught, I hope will help them not feel over burdened as they transition into big kids with responsibilities. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we as moms need to get done, we do not realize that we can delegate to our kids as they get older, and not only make things easier on us, but help them grow into responsible kids who can take care of their own home one day.
Not all work and no play
We will not be stuck at home learning chores all summer so please put your mind at ease. This year we will be traveling up to Virginia to visit family and see Jamestown. This past year in history we have been learning about the pilgrims, where they came from, why they left and how things were when they first arrived in the new world. A trip to Jamestown was essential in growing up in Virginia and honestly any of the surrounding states. I cannot wait to show my kids this place and see them make connections between what we have read and what they see at Jamestown and in the reenactments. They will still be practicing the chores they have learned while we travel, though, but also get to see how pilgrims had to do their own similar house work.
Please share how you teach your children to help with chores. Do you use any special reward systems, a chore chart, games? Let us know in the comments below!