One of the biggest struggles for homeschool families is housekeeping. It can be incredibly difficult to keep a home filled with people 24/7 clean and tidy. The overwhelming stress can make many homeschool mamas want to throw in the towel. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Teaching your children to help with chores around the house can teach them responsibility and life skills to help while helping take some of the stress off of you. And let’s be honest, they live in the house too, so they need to learn how to help with everyday chores.
The important part about giving your children chores is to pick developmentally appropriate chores. If you start with chores you know each child can do because they have already helped you here and there you are less likely to have issues with the transitions. All children that can carry a small basket can put their own clothes away. Even toddlers can pick up toys and dump them into a basket beside the sofa. Young children usually love to help sweep, use a lightweight vacuum, or dust, and older children can help with dishes.
Watch your children and the messes they make before assigning chores. If one child is more likely to leave things on the living room floor assign that child the job of cleaning up the living room floor. This is not only a fair way to assign chores but will help your child break the habit so the floor will need to be picked up less often. A lot of the time it will force change and obedience without having to resort to punishments for the messier child. (From experience though mama, this technique does not always work as intended. This has been known to backfire on me with one of my kiddos. But try it, it might be different at your house!)
Switch up the basic chores so everyone gets a chance to learn. As children are ready for different chores add them to your rotation for each basic chore. This allows them time to learn how to do each chore before adding on more than they are capable of handling.
When assigning a new chore to a child take the time to work with them one on one a few times. Showing and encouraging them as they learn a new chore goes a long way in them learning diligence as well as making sure they are doing it correctly and well. This also allows you to teach them by example and show them exactly how you want things done.
Don’t be afraid to use a chore chart. We all need a bit of organization. Chore charts are a great way to keep everyone on track and ensure everything gets done on your list.
Have older children wash, dry, and fold their own laundry. This will help keep the laundry pile under control without it all being on one person. Younger children can help you sort laundry when you do the rest of the family’s wash. For example, little ones love folding wash cloths because they are “helping” and it isn’t overly difficult for their little hands to manipulate the small squares.
Rotating cooking and kitchen clean up with older children is a great way to teach your children how to manage a kitchen without a lot of stress. The ones that cook can get out of clean up each night helping keep a balance. And you can take a break once in a while too!
Delegate jobs you do not have time for or stress you out. Giving your homeschooler chores helps make life easier on you so you can keep your cool while teaching and parenting. Trying to do it all yourself is a great way to burn yourself out and make life harder for yourself. Children make most of the mess in the house there is no reason they cannot help clean it up.
And yes, you can totally count every single chore as a “life skill” and/or Home Economics class.
Stay strong mama, teaching the children to do chores IS beneficial for them now and in the future. I Promise.
In His Grace,