chores done right

helping kids learn to do choresIn our book, #3 from our Teaching and Learning list is “Break it down.” By this we mean that kids benefit from understanding the specifics of a task.  For example: “put the blocks in the bin” is a lot easier for a toddler to grasp than “tidy up.”

Now that my kids are older, the tasks they are asked – and able – to perform at home have grown beyond blocks-in-the-bin. No surprise, understanding the specifics of a job is just as critical for success at age 10 as it was at age 2.

In an exercise to try and increase the kids’ ability to be independent around a job (and limit the need for me to hover and direct), I created detailed descriptions of each chore. In this case, it was how to clean each room in the house according to the way I’d like it to be done. Did the kids know not to use bleach-based cleaners on wood? Do they know what to use to clean a mirror? Did they realize it makes sense to vacuum and mop last? Now these sets of instructions live in a central place, and are pulled out when it’s All Hands On Deck for a weekend clean up! An example of how we clean our bathroom is here: bathroom example. -t

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