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It has been a couple of years since I shared about chores, so I thought it was time to update you on how I’m handling them now that my children are older.
To begin, I look at chores, or what I like to call home essentials (H.E.), as part of learning life skills, which is paramount in my homeschool. Life skill mastery is up there with reading, writing, and arithmetic for me, so I make sure to plan for it like any other subject.
I continue to use my intuition to assign H.E. tasks that align with what I want my children to master before leaving the nest and the timing of when those tasks become their responsibility. Many schools of thought recommend age-based jobs, which I found wasn’t always a good fit for my children.
With that said, what do my children do these days and why, you may ask? Plenty. Here’s a breakdown.
Here’s how it looks
- My boys, 15 and 11, take turns doing the dishes at night monthly. This means they each have a full month of dish duty, making it easier to track whose responsibility it is for the month.
Side note: Washing the dishes was the bain of my existence growing up. Not because I disliked the task but because my parents couldn’t keep straight whose night it was, which caused complete chaos in a household of three busy kids. I knew I wasn’t having that in my house as a parent! I digress…
- My boys do their laundry, start to finish. I still do my daughter’s, age 8, but I’ve started to have her put it away when I remember. #thestruggleisreal
- Each child is responsible for keeping their room clean and tidy. I still help my daughter, but she’s becoming more adept at doing things herself.
- Daily, the children are primarily responsible for cleaning up after themselves. Outside of the dishes, there aren’t any other assigned tasks from me.
In case you wondered about our bathroom, I wipe down the one bathroom used right now each morning because I’m the first one up.
Once both bathrooms are up and running, my oldest will be responsible for the daily maintenance of the basement bathroom since it’s closest to his bedroom. My other son (& eventually my daughter) will then be responsible for cleaning the upstairs bathroom daily.
I’ll continue to do weekly maintenance because a “mom-cleaning” is still vital continuously. IYKYK.
- For our weekly home cleaning*:
- My oldest vacuums and mops the kitchen and bathroom floor and basement steps.
- My youngest son vacuums the area rugs and hardwood floor on our main level.
* There’s not a lot to do to maintain the cleanliness of our home because, between our daily tasks and my being an essentialist with a minimalist heart, extra $h!t isn’t a thing that we deal with. Yes, and amen.
As for other tasks and more details on the tasks I mentioned earlier, I have a chart I implemented that worked well in the past. I plan to bring it back soon since our days are more predictable. You can see it here.
Overall, I’ve found that keeping tasks simple, aligned with ability rather than age, and being as patient, consistent, and fair as possible has made household task management with kids relatively easy. It took time to find my rhythm and approach to it, but I’ve been able to stick with both for several years now.
What’s your top tip for handling chores with your kids? Share in a comment below.