Age Appropriate Chores That Put The “Home” In Homeschool
Although many fantastic resources have been made available to help parents navigate the sudden need to homeschool their children, there is a certain curriculum that is often overlooked: life skills. While touring virtual museums, performing at-home science experiments, and tuning into celebrity story hours are all a great way to engage your child’s brain, don’t underestimate the educational value of putting your kids to work.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you infringe upon child labor laws. Still, there are age-appropriate chores for every maturity and developmental milestone that will instill an excellent worth ethic and a sense of gratitude in your children. Furthermore, it will also help them feel more independent and accomplished in their everyday home life.
Although teaching your kids how to perform simple chores might seem as though it could provide a satisfying break for you, the truth is, when teaching children to do adult tasks, it usually adds a little bit more to your workload, not less. Often times, merely completing the job yourself can be quicker and less frustrating, which is why we often avoid teaching our children how to do chores. However, once your child learns these essential skills, you will both gain a newfound sense of liberation in your home life.
The Huffington Post has a fantastic article about age-appropriate chores with Amy McCready, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions that makes an excellent blueprint in navigating how to incorporate what chores into your child’s life and when. Amy insists that the benefits of assigning chores are well worth the initial challenges and potential pushback. “It’s the way kids are wired. They always want to be learning how to do things,” Amy told the Huffington Post. “The more you teach them how to do grown-up things, it just fosters their sense of importance.”
Ages 3 1/2 to 5
For this age group, Amy recommends focusing on tasks that are unlikely to backfire. Therefore, she suggests choosing chores that won’t lead to a bigger mess if completed improperly, such as loading the laundry, unloading the dishwasher, and wiping down chairs and tables.
Ages 6 to 8
Once your kids are a little older, you can start assigning them more involved tasks such as preparing the salad for dinner by using a plastic knife for chop soft vegetables such as cucumbers. At this age, kids should also be made responsible for their bedrooms and begin stripping their linens to be washed, vacuuming their carpets, and dusting their furniture.
9 to 12
For adolescents, Amy recommends giving them assignments such as washing the family pet, cleaning the car, and even doing slightly technical chores such as changing the lightbulbs. Having kids in this age group help younger siblings with their homework is another excellent way to get them involved in an educational way, because it pushes them to reiterate what they have learned in the past.
13 to 15
By the time your child is a teenager, Amy says that they can do just about anything that you usually would. From doing and folding laundry to occasionally preparing dinner, as long as you provide some proper training prior to assigning them the tasks, they will be able to complete it correctly and enjoy the sense of independence it provides them.