Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Little Chores

So, even with a total of five kids, I was wondering when I should start making my 4-year old do chores. Thinking back, I remembered that I had started teaching my boys (who are now 21 and 22) how to do their own laundry at age 8. This was when they were old enough to reach the knobs on the washer and dryer without using a stool. <<>>

I didn't want to overburden A (the 4-year old) with too many chores to start out with. I could always overburden later, right? (just kidding!) I remembered seeing a tv show about a homeschool family with more kids the me (not the Duggars) and how the mom used charts to organize everything they did, including the chores for each child. <<>>

With A, I knew I couldn't just give her a chart to follow. She needed to feel like she was doing something important. So, I went to our local teacher supply store and bought a laminated chort chart.

I listed three things that she has to do everyday: Make her bed, brush her teeth, and pick up her toys. I chose these three things because 1) I want her to have a sense of ownership with her own room - hence the bed making, 2) sometimes she forgets to brush her teeth and with everything else going on around here I forget to tell her to do it, and 3) she ALWAYS has toys scattered around the house and her room tends to look like a tornado hit it!
I also added one more chore to three days of the week: Shake out bathroom rugs (I figured this was something fairly easy she could do), bring her laundry basket to the laundry room on her day for laundry (I don't make her actually do it yet!), and straighten the movies on the shelf. I think this will get her used to doing "house" chores like her sisters do.
So far, for her first three days it's working out great. After she does her chore she comes and puts a check mark next to that chore. And she's EXCITED about doing it!

She even asked me yesterday why there were no chores listed on Sunday! Of course, I told her that Sunday was God's day and we would just concentrate on Him alone that day.

If I'd known she would be so amenable to doing chores I'd have started at age 2!



  1. We've always gone by the "if you can walk, you can work" guideline, and it seems that the kids have always enjoyed knowing their contributions were a blessing to the family. Our youngest is 13 months old and started walking well last week, so on Saturday he got his first job. Our older son (age 10) used a spray bottle of warm water with a drop of lavender oil and a squirt of dish soap to lightly spray the fronts of the lower cabinets and appliances in the kitchen, then he and the new toddler wiped them down with clean cloths. Both boys had a great time!

    I agree with you that our kids are more willing to work when they see that there's a point to it. Way to go!!

  2. I just got our kids started in chores recently. They really enjoy it! I had no idea my kids would enjoy switching the laundry and cleaning bathroom counters so much! They also seem to like making their bed.

    Isn't it great to get some help around the house? I love it when the kids help!