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Life skills and household tasks; a teaching method

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I was reading this article,, and wondered what some of your answers would be to the questions possed at the end:

Do your kids help with household tasks? What ages are they and what chores do they do? What level of supervision do you have to provide? How do you balance getting the housework done with taking the time to teach practical life skills?

by on Jul. 13, 2011 at 11:59 PM
Replies (11-18):
by on Jul. 14, 2011 at 2:18 PM

 Yes, they have responsibilities.  (I don't like to call them chores--just seems like a negative word.)  My children are older than most of yours; my daughter is 12 and my son is 9.

They are both responsible for cleaning their own rooms--not to their own standards but to mine.  Beds must be made every morning and anything out of place must be put up before bed time.  Dirty clothing must be brought to the laundry room after baths in the evenings and after getting dressed in the mornings and put in the proper bin (whites, colored, etc.).

My daughter loads and unloads the dishwasher. She also cleans counter tops and table top after each meal.  My son feeds all the animals (2 dogs, 2 turtles, 4 chickens, 5 goldfish, parakeet) and empties all the trash cans in the house and takes the trash to the trash bin.

My son vacuums his bedroom and Dad's office.  My daughter vacuums her bedroom and my office.  My son sweeps their bathroom and hallway.  My daughter sweeps the living room and school room.  (I do the kitchen and my bedroom and bathroom.  I also do the mopping.)  They both help with cooking on occasion, not a responsibility but a "cooking lesson."  They generally get their own breakfast and lunch during the week.  Dad often fixes breakfast on the weekend, and we're often not home during the days.  We traditionally have lunch out on Sunday after church.

I do the washing and drying and folding of laundry.  They put up the clothing after I fold them.  They also hang their own clothing in their closets after I have neatly stacked them on their beds. 

They also help with special projects.  They pick up the pinecones and small limbs and bring them to the burn pile before I mow the grass.  They keep the swimming pool clean (free from grass and bugs). 

They are also responsible for keeping their bathroom area clean--no toothpaste globs in the sink and no spots on the mirrors, etc.  They also must keep their school area clean--all books returned to the book shelf and supplies put away at the end of the day.

They do get an allowance for their "extras."  We provide for all of their needs and many of their wants (can't help it).

This is fulfilling my purpose as a mom of training them up in the way they should go which includes the ability to be independent and responsible adults.  It also helps me from being overwhelmed and losing my mind (what's left of it -- haha!)

I love my children.  We have our head-butting moments, especially with my daughter at this "hormonal stage" and my son being 100% stubborn boy.  When I get to feeling like they aren't the well-disciplined children they should be, I watch an episode of SuperNanny.  I then repent and praise God for the wonderful children they are!! 


busy mom

by on Jul. 14, 2011 at 2:43 PM
My newly 5 yo has a chart which includes brushing her teeth 2xs a day, clearing her place after meals, picking up her toys and putting her dirty laundry away. If she completes all her tasks for the day, she gets a sticker. After 10 stickers she gets some type of prize (special pens and stationary, an ice cream, a new nail polish and flavored chapstick, etc). She has an EFLD which is why she needs the chart. My 2 1/2 year old's favorite thing to do is to be my shadow- she helps empty the dish washer, clean up toys, dust, vacuum, wash windows, wipe tables, sweep floors etc.

It was really important to me to get them involved and contributing because I grew up in a very lax household where chores were not required and rarely carried out at all. It was a HUGE adjustment as an adult- it probably took a good 5 years of being on my own before I found all the skills and motivation to keep an at least somewhat tidy house.
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by on Jul. 14, 2011 at 3:19 PM

My oldest is just over 2.5 years old and she is asked to pick up after herself and helps me clean the table after dinner

by on Jul. 15, 2011 at 12:44 PM

My boys are 4 &  7. They have to help clean up after themselves.

They pick up their bedroom and their playroom. They pick up all of their things throughout the house.

They clean thier bathroom. (clorox wipes) I clean it with comet cleaner once a week.

They help prepare dinner. They always help clean the kitchen. (though they aren't detail oriented enough to wash dishes yet) they wipe counters, wipe the table, sweep and mop the kitchen. Unload dishwasher, etc

I don't let them vacuum because I have such an expensive vacuum cleaner.

They bring dirty laundry to laundry room, put it in to the washer (7 year old can start it, 4 year old can't) switch laundry to dryer. Remove from dryer. Fold their own clothes (though I usually do all the folding) and they put aways their own clothes and often help put away mine and hubby's too.

4 year old wipes the outside of the fridge for me.

They help daddy feed and `care for the chickens and other animals when we have them.

I'm sure there is more they can do but these are the ones they do regularly.


by on Jul. 15, 2011 at 5:32 PM

My kids clean and vacuum their rooms daily, help feed and walk animals, take out the trash, check mail, unload dishwasher, put their laundry away, and any other little things I ask of them while I'm cleaning up.  :)  They have gotten pretty good at knowing how things need to be done.  The tv must be off though, as they get sidetracked easily. 

by on Jul. 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM

Quoting cedailey:

Goodness, yes.  My 3 year old can vaccuum and wipe the table with a wet cloth, my six year old can wash laundry (we line dry, and Momma is the only one tall enough to hang) and sweep, and my seven year old can wash (sturdy) dishes.  They can clean their own rooms with varying levels of oversight (okay, with the three year old it's constant oversight with frequent verbal prompting).  They also help with dusting sorting and scrubbing.  Since all of our cleaners are homemade (baking soda, borax, vinegar, salt)  they can do almost anything safely.  They don't clean the ceiling fans or the toilets.

Awesome!!! I'm seriously interested in learning what homemade cleaners you use. I aspire to switch to safe all natural-homemade cleaners. I currently use distilled white vinegar and baking soda for various things, but I haven't taken the time to educate myself about what to use and when/where to use it.....for now, clorox, odoban, & windex are my saviors. I know some people also make their own laundry detergent. I wouldn't know where to begin finding the best recipes and instructions on how to use such cleaners (GOOGLE!!!). Any advice is welcome.

by on Jul. 17, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Quoting MedicMommy:

Makes perfect sense! And you DONT sound like a bad doesn't seem like a lot at all :)

Agreed :)

by on Jul. 17, 2011 at 11:20 PM

I so much enjoy getting an idea of how you other hommies (homeschooling mommies...k I"m feeling really cool since I just came up with that, haha!) get your kids involved in your daily chore routines and why. I refer to it as resposibilities in stead of chores. I got some great new ideas and am feeling more confident about my kids involvment in this area. I recently started letting my kids vaccum with the hand held. They love it!!! Thanks ladies. 

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