Chores and children: I have a lot to say on this subject. In a nutshell, I think it is important for children to have chores around the house. It helps them learn responsibility, fosters independence, and creates family unity. And, our children all need to learn how to do the tasks that keep a home and yard tidy and functioning. Someday I want my children to be a good roommate, employee, spouse.
We have weekly and daily chore charts at our home that vary according to age and season. Saturdays, however, are a different animal. I like to change up how Saturdays are done and we also need flexibility because some Saturdays are busier than others with extra-curricular activities. This is how we are currently dividing up Saturday chores:
I make a list of all the tasks that need to be done on Saturday. I use a notebook and work on the list all week as things occur to me or I notice something that needs to be done. When Saturday hits, my boys first do their standard chores of cleaning and vacuuming their rooms, tidying up common spaces, and each cleaning a bathroom sink. Then the LIST comes out. I give them a set number of items from the list that they each need to complete. Then we take turns picking (sign your name by a task on the list). I take a turn picking as well; I find working as a family helps things go smoothly. Some bigger items could be selected by two people working together. At the end of choosing time, all the tasks for the day have someone responsible for them and we all set to work. If someone has an activity to attend (like a basketball game, etc.), they can complete their assignments on their own time. However, chores must be completed before friend time, video games, or other leisure activities.
Tasks on the list can range from small to big. I never have to drag my kids out of bed. They don’t want to miss choosing time and have to take the leftover chores! Here is a sample of what was on my list last Saturday:
sweep back patio
clean-up after dog
walk the dog
take out the kitchen compost
vacuum the stairs and hallway
wipe down entry door and clean kickplate
sweep the garage
empty bathroom trash cans
dust ceiling fans
rake soggy winter grass in the backyard
pick up branches from tree pruning
A big list for one person, but a family working together can complete it in an hour or two. Even small children can help with household chores like these. Once they are done, Saturday play time can begin!