Summer is always the time I would reassign chores to each of my kids.
I made a master list of everything that needed to be done in our home on a regular basis. Then each summer, I would run off a new copy of the list and evaluate who in our home was the best choice for each chore for the next year.
The reason I did this in the summer was because that was the best time for training each child in the chore they were responsible for. It doesn’t work to just say, “Go clean the bathroom”, for instance. Your child will do what they think makes it clean but they need to be instructed and trained as to how to do it correctly.
It’s kind of fun to change up the chores each year so everyone learns how to do all the chores eventually, and since we’re not doing school in the summer, I took that time to train everyone. By training them in their chores in the summer, the school year would flow more smoothly, rather than having to train in chores as well as doing school work.
When training for a new chore, I would have them watch me first, so they would know how to do the chore. Then I’d have them do it with me a few times till I felt confident that they understood how it was to be done.
Be sure to have the proper tools. I found the kids liked using the vacuum or the duster (at least for a while anyway). Train them on how to care for the tool as well. (for instance: don’t drag the vacuum up the stairs bumping it on each tread on the way up or down.)
I tried to assign chores to everyone, even 2 or 3 year olds. Kids need to know they are part of the team and the family needs them to participate. In our home, I did need them too. You just can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all yourself.
Part of teaching our kids is to prepare them for life, including the skills required to keep up a home. Don’t feel guilty about having them help. You are preparing them for life and doing them a great service.
In evaluating each chore, consider their maturity. Assign them a chore that challenges, but not overwhelms. Remember to have different expectations for different ages. They can’t do it perfectly but need to do the best they can. “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10, KJV )
When you make your master list, just consider- am I the best one for this job or one of the kids. I would try to give them choices sometimes. For instance, if one child loves working outside, outside chores would often suit them best. Maybe one loves to dust. If possible, if it’s something they love, let them have that chore. As my kids got older, cooking was one chore they could choose from. Several of my daughters loved this chore rather than cleaning.
After I trained them for the new chores, they would keep that chore until the next summer when I would reassign again.
When kids are older, they can sometimes train the younger ones.
When Nate and Josh had bathroom cleaning, I told them if they could properly train Matt and Emmy, then they would be able to take over their bathroom assignments. That was good motivation for Nate and Josh to train them properly!
Sometimes even after the kids were trained, I would help them with their jobs just because I appreciated their good work and that gave an opportunity to spend time with them. They appreciated the extra help!
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