Busy little hands

On the Homeschool Blogger Front Porch, Nancy Carter asks how chores work in other homes.

“As homeschool families, we spend the majority of our time at home (well at least in theory).  Therefore in some ways, it becomes even more important to have smooth running systems to keep our homes in order and enjoyable. And since none of us are superwomen, we need our children's help.  Besides it's important for them to develop the life skills needed to take care of themselves and others!

 

Sometimes. it's hard to figure out what chores are age appropriate though or how to be a good manager of our hard working blessings!”

We flex the chores around, but at present, Kaira, Kendra and Keianna help to set the table before meals, and clear it afterward. Kaira (age 6) rinses the dishes, stacking them on the left side of the sink for me to load into the dishwasher. In the mornings, Kendra (age 4) unloads the dishwasher after breakfast.

 

Two year old Keianna helps feed Bryn (our Welsh Corgi), and is ready to learn to sort the laundry from the dryer into the baskets. (Kendra usually does the dryer sorting, but ‘Anna is ready and eager, so I’ll be training her on this soon!)

 

I often ask a child to do a job that isn’t part of her routine. This helps me make sure they do their work with a spirit of eager helpfulness, and insures against the dreaded “that’s not my job” attitude.

 

Cleaning up their own toys is just an expectation, not a specific chore. They aren’t allowed to move onto anything else unless the previous activity is cleaned up.

 

The two oldest are great prep chefs. Together they scrub potatoes, shred chicken, roll cookies into balls, and help measure ingredients.

 

How does Keegan contribute? Well, in Saturdays entry you can see he’s chomping at the bit to take over dishwasher duties. He also cheers us on with smiles and clapping!

 

My theory is that small children delight in helping, but as busy mommies we often don’t take the time to slow down and let them “help.” This conditions them into thinking that work just “isn’t their thing” and by the time we DO want them to help, they’ve gotten in the habit of preferring their own interests, and consider chores an infringement on “their” time. From an early age I want them to find joy in working together as a family.

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One thought on “Busy little hands

  1. It never ceases to amaze me how many people think training littles to help is some monumental task that only supermoms are capable of doing. Personally, I think it’s far easier to train them when they are little then to re-train them when they are big. Sounds like lots of fun at your house as you work together!

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