Thursday, October 2, 2008

Household Chores

One of the things that seems to bog down new homeschoolers is household chores. There's this falacy out in the popular world that moms have to do it all. We have to work, we have to make gourmet meals for our kids, we have to keep a Martha Steward style home perfectly clean all the time. 

Whether you're homeschooling or not, this just isn't true!

As I writer, if I was concerned for domestic perfection, I'd never get any writing done. But now, as a homeschooler too, there just isn't room for my inner Martha Stewart to have her say.

But whether you're a homeschooler or not, you've got to let go of some misperceptions that might still be bogging down your inner psyche. First of all, household chores, are not only for wives and mothers to perform. Don't you remember Little House in the Prairie? Everyone pitched in with their share of the work. Even the Beav had to do household chores. It seems to be a rather modern day phenomenon that lets children get off scot free.

Sometimes I wish I lived on a farm because then it would be easier to identify chores my children could do. But let me brainstorm a few ideas here of suggestions for things your kids could be doing, day by day, to not only lighten your load, but strengthen their spirits. Some of these chore ideas are ones that my own kids do, others are gleaned from friends and online sources.

  • keep room clean
  • keep bodies clean
  • set table/clear table
  • feed/water pets
  • walk or exercise pets
  • vacuum
  • wipe down bathroom
  • swish and swipe toilet
  • wash walls
  • wipe down light switches and door knobs
  • windex windows and mirrors
  • pick toys and rocks off the grass before it gets mowed
  • mow the lawn
  • weed the garden
  • harvest vegetables
  • wash dishes/load dishwasher
  • help prepare a meal
  • help with grocery shopping
  • unload groceries
  • sort/fold laundry
  • put laundry away
  • wash their own laundry
  • always pick up after themselves
  • dust
  • wash base boards
And many, many more that I'm sure I haven't listed. If I've missed something you think is great for kids to do, please leave it in my comment trail. It would be cool to compile a list of household chores children can help with.

Now that you have an idea of all the myriad ways your children can help, it's time to let go of your inner perfectionist and let them help

It's true things won't be done to perfection. It's true that they may only be able to accomplish one or two things (and imperfectly to boot) in the period of time it would take you to do many things. But think of the benefits:
  • you can begin to let go of resentment you may be feeling about always having to do everything yourself
  • you are training up your children in the way to help in family ... creating men and women who will know how to pull their own weight in a family
  • you're also teaching them basic life skills that will serve your children well in their grown up lives
  • your children will grow to respect and love you all the more because they will have a real understanding of all you do for them
So let go of your Domestic Diva and become a Marvelous Mom. Your children will one day thank you for it, and you'll be grateful for it today.