“Many hands make light work”. We all live in this house and we all share a portion of the work. I’ve found it helpful to divide chores around the ages of our children. We also rotate chores seasonally to help keep the work fresh and more fun. 🙂
I can’t do a graph (or at least I don’t know how) on this blog – so I’ll just write it out. Below are the 3 stages of development and a list of chores that seem to fit each stage. I separated the preschool years, because there’s so little they can do. For each age range I’ve given simplified examples of chores, beyond making their beds, picking up their rooms and personal hygiene.
Preschoolers – 2-4 yrs.- Basically, ‘chores’ at this age consist of picking up after themselves – we called this a ‘pick up party!’ It’s important that they learn to become a ‘helper’ at these ages. This character trait will carry them in the years to come.
Examples of preschool ‘chores’ are:
- Help put things away with Mom’s help
- Bring Mom baby’s items
- Close the door behind you
- Put their clothes in the hamper
- Pick up toys and put away (within reason)
- Help carry small bags
Grammar-stage – grade school years – 5-11 – Basic chore lists do well at these ages – they like a sense of accomplishment and a job ‘well done’. REPETITION brings them security and identity! At this age – they’re learning to live a disciplined, responsible life.
Chore lists – Choreganizers – is one I’ve used for years.
They like chore lists with their names on them and some way to visualize progress. A small reward at the end of a week is nice.
Simple Mom blog – has chore lists and detailed examples for young children. There are many more blogs that cover this and endless online ‘helps’. Be sure to view the blogroll to the right – these are blogs about organization, decluttering and keeping a simple home. This can minimize chores – because there’s less to do in an organized home. 🙂
Jobs for this age can be:
- Feed animals
- Clean and wipe off table after a meal
- Set table – properly (girls and guys)
- Make baby’s bed
- Load/empty dishwasher
- Load/unloading the dryer
- Vacuum – about 8yrs +
Logic-stage – Jr High Years – 12-15 – This age does well with ownership of an area. They need the ‘how’s and why’s’ behind the job so they can UNDERSTAND! Once they do, they’ll be getting on to their siblings for messing up their area! It’s thoughtful to make sure they have adequate tools for the job. They may ask for a specific mop or a certain type of yard bags. My guys like the steam mop and window cleaner that WORKS! They’re learning what it takes to operate a home – these skills will carry them into adulthood and help them notice and care about their environment. Their spouses will thank you!
This age can handle:
- mopping the kitchen
- raking and bagging leaves
- Keeping the guest bathroom clean
- Cleaning the kitchen after a specific meal
- Sweeping the backporch and keeping it clutter free
- Taking garbage and recycling out weekly
- Doing their own laundry! 🙂
Rhetoric-stage – High School Years – 16-18 – They have great ideas and usually something to say – ask their opinion and assistance in managing the home. As they EXPRESS themselves, they can give you some good insight into how to run the home more effectively or in a more interesting manner. At this age they begin to value what they ‘want’ to their own homes someday.
- Keeping the yard mowed
- Keeping all the towels and sheets washed and put away
- Spring cleaning, deep cleaning
- Decorating and helping the home be more functional – they have great ideas!
- Making dinner one night a week
I hope you find this helpful. This is just an abbreviation of what can and should be done. The bottom line is – the work needs to get done and the family is left to divide up the jobs. The question is: Which job is a fit for each age? What’s too much for a young one? What’s too little for an older one?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!