My three eldest children are now aged 7, 6 and almost 5. I felt at the beginning of this year that they are old enough to be doing chores now. They’ve been helping me out with bits and pieces around the house since they were toddlers (mainly just tidying up toys or carrying groceries in from the car) but I thought it was time to make chores an official part of their days. I have chosen a few chores each based on what I feel like I need help with the most and what I believe would be achievable for them. I want them to be a little challenged but not to the point that they are overwhelmed by their tasks. I really want my children to grow up understanding what it takes to run a household. By giving them chores they are developing character while learning good skills that they’ll need for the rest of their lives.
This is the current chore list and later I’ll share what I do to keep them motivated.
7.5 year old son:
- Put away all the clean dishes from the drying rack
- Take the recycling out to the recycling bin
- Put away clean washing
6 year old son:
- Tidy up shoe racks
- Empty and rinse out the compost bucket
- Put away clean washing
Almost 5 year old daughter:
- Clear off the breakfast table
- Put clean washing away
These are their daily chores. They put their own washing away after I deliver it folded and placed in their rooms in plastic tubs a few times a week.
Lets face it sometimes children, (AND adults!!) are in a stinky mood or are occupied by something else and really don’t want to do their chores. To attempt to conquer this problem and to make daily chores fun I made up a simple chart. It is just a piece of A4 paper with their names on it.
If they do their chores…
- Straight away without being distracted
- Without any whining or complaining
They get a tick on the chart. When they get seven ticks I give them a chocolate bar, Freddo Frog or a mini pack of Maltesers!
This is working at the moment! What a blessing it is to have the children helping out! I’m thinking of introducing table chores for everyone to help clean up after our evening meal. I’ve been putting it off because the children (and myself) are usually pretty tired and grumpy by this time of the day but it is usually daddy who cleans the whole kitchen by himself after tea while I get the baby and toddler ready for bed or help the older ones have showers. It might be time to change up our schedule in the evening a bit to share the load of the evening kitchen clean up.
Do your children have chores?
Do you give them any rewards or allowances? Leave a comment and share what’s working …or not working for your household.
Blessings, Peta xo
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I was first introduced to the concept of scheduling my family a few years back when my first three were all little from reading Erika Shupe’s blog Large Families On Purpose. Over the past few years I have tried a few different schedules but if they are run by the clock, it hasn’t gone well for me. I have a very loose schedule written up now. Well, it’s more or less a routine than a schedule because it doesn’t have any times on it – except for meals and bedtime. It works somewhat but it’s perhaps a bit too loose. There are moments in my day that aren’t working. And some things that I consider important are getting missed. I’ve been scratching my head for a while wondering and praying about how to order my home life so every thing works. I love the idea of the home running like a well oiled machine. Everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing and when and everyone working to help each other reach a common goal. My home doesn’t look like a well oiled machine…it looks more like 2 parts of the machine (me and Luke) trying our hardest to keep order in the home while the other parts of the machine cause chaos. It’s time to get every thing and everyone running smoothly.
Will you join me on my journey into scheduling? I have almost completed my first day of following my new schedule from start to finish. In fact; the only reason I am even writing this right now is because my schedule said
I am amazed at how much I have accomplished today! The best thing about a schedule for me is that it ‘thinks’ for me. My mind is often a jumbled mess as I go about my day – especially in the mornings. This is because I have so much I need to do and all of it is reasonably urgent (change the toddlers nappy before it explodes, feed the baby, shower etc) and I often go running from one thing to the next trying to decide on the fly which thing is more urgent and needs to be done first. My schedule eliminates the stress of making 100 decisions because the decisions I need to make – such as feeding my baby her breakfast and when to put on the first load of laundry – have been made for me ahead of time. It makes me more efficient at getting these things done because I can work on the task at hand more wholeheartedly knowing that all the other things on my mind will get done when my schedule says so.
*Edit – I wrote the above in the last week of term 4 2016 – so around 4 weeks ago. I decided to make a schedule for myself for the summer school holidays too. The schedule has really taken the lethargy out of the holidays that I often feel after Christmas. Often I will sleep in (as long as I can) in the holidays and sluggishly go about my day. My mind would be a jumbled mess, full of things that I knew I needed to get done but I struggled to decide which task was most urgent. My school holiday days are going better and I feel like I’m living with much more intention. I also am making sure that I don’t get so busy with the urgent tasks and I allow time for things I feel are important. Like reading a story to one of my children. And exercising. I haven’t followed my schedule 100% of the time but overall I feel I am achieving more in my days then I was before.
Making a ginger bread house with all the cousins
We have begun a 10 minute ‘power clean.’ Just before the children’s bed time too. I set the timer on my phone and we all rush around and see how much stuff we can put away before the timer goes. After wards I am amazed at how much tidier the house can look in such a short amount of time!
My eldest two children have been busy this week with swimming lessons, so I tweak the schedule to work around us going out too. A home schedule doesn’t mean I am always home, I work it around our outings. But also I find a happy balance so I am not going out so much that my home responsibilities are not getting done.
Do you run your days with a schedule or do you use a looser routine? Let me know in the comments. Do you follow a schedule during the school holidays?
Holiday fun – we spent a week on my parents farm before Christmas.
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