Summer is in full swing! I am trying to have a very relaxed and easy summer with the kids. We are keeping our expectations and demands low, and our schedule as flexible as possible (but we do still have a schedule). But even with that, it can't be a total free-for-all, and I'm certainly not going to be doing all the work around here by myself!
Thus: summer chores for the kids.
This is the chore chart we are using, and so far it is working out great! I have tried several versions of more complicated charts in the past, and we couldn't stick with any of them. But this is brilliantly simple.
Each child has 2 chores per day, and they rotate through the chores each day. I think they like this better than doing the same chore every day. We have two 7 year-olds and 2 (just turned!) 5 year-olds, so they are capable of doing plenty. I wanted to keep it simple though, so nobody burned out or fought me too hard on it. I think this amount is very manageable for all of us. I will evolve it as we go along and as I feel like they are ready for more. For now, my goal isn't so much about the amount or quality of work being done, it's really about teaching them the importance of helping around the house, and instilling a good daily habit.
A few specifics on some of the jobs:
- I help the little ones with the dishwasher. They can't reach where most of the dishes actually go, so I have them take it out and hand it to me.
- Vacuuming is done with a lightweight sweeper vacuum. It's kept right in the kitchen, so there's nothing heavy for them to have to get out and put away, and it's a manageable size for them.
- Same as the dishwasher - the little ones get help with setting the table, since they can't reach the dishes. I will usually get out the dishes for them and set everything where they can reach, and then they place on the table.
- For bathroom cleaning, I have a container of nontoxic cleaning wipes that they use. They just grab a wipe and throw it out when they are done, no messing with spray bottles or rags or other cleaning supplies. They wipe all around the sink and toilet, and then anywhere else they think needs to be done. Just this little bit of daily wiping has already made a HUGE difference in the state of our one primary bathroom that is used by 6 people daily.
All of this is done with no expectation of reward. We do not tie allowance to chores. We're just working on starting allowance, and are both in agreement that daily participation in the family work is expected without any expectation of payment or reward. I have been putting stars on the chart each day when they complete it, because my kids are simple like that and they like the visual of the star to show they completed a job, but that's totally optional.