Tuesday, April 24, 2012

teaching my kids life skills and my kids job chart in our home

I am a big believer in teaching your kids to work and to help out around the home. I believe a family should work together as a team to help make a home function and work. I also believe that as a mother of a large family that my children should not be doing all the work and that I should still be doing a lot of the housework around the home. So Matt and I have set out to find a system that works well for us.

In the morning my kids mainly focus on getting ready for school. They do the normal jobs like: get dressed, make beds, brush teeth, clean bedroom, pack school bag etc. I do not have an assigned list that they follow for the morning but do sometimes give them extra jobs to do. So, if I do need help with something I ask one or several of my children to help me out and they generally do. 

After school and after dinner time is when my kids do most of their jobs. We have a job chart in our home that we use to rotate jobs. We change the job chart at the start of each week so the kids focus on their assigned jobs for one week at a time. We have tried doing it for 2 weeks or even 1 month but have found that keeping assigned jobs for one week works well for us. 

The older four kids rotate certain jobs and the younger three kids rotate certain jobs. For the older kids they rotate: Sweeping the floor, Loading the dishwasher, Unloading the dishwasher, Cleaning the rumpus room and Cleaning the toilet. For the younger kids they rotate: Setting the dinner table, Clearing the dinner table, Emptying the wash baskets and Cleaning the loungeroom. Matt and I work on helping the kids learn to to do these jobs properly and the rest of the housework around the house Matt and I take care of. 

Along with the assigned jobs that they have every day we also work on training them life skills. We teach them how to cook, how to answer the phone, how to make an appointment, how to type, how to shop etc. We have a chart up in our home with age appropriate skills we want our children to learn. It looks very much like this chart below I found on Pinterest with thanks to Freja. I have to also add that I do not follow this list exactly and I use wisdom in how we teach our children. 

For example: I do not get my three year old to wash walls but if they have drawn all over a wall with crayon you can bet I get them to help me scrub it off. I also don't get my kids to make their lunch box every day but if I am ever sick they do know how to do it themselves. So in creating a list for your family it is important to plan what you feel comfortable with getting them to do.

By taking care of a lot of the housework myself it gives my children more time to develop talents and to play. They have time for music practise, sport, to play games together and to learn new skills from the list we have created similar to the one above. I really want my kids to be prepared to be independent and to survive in the real world when they leave home so we have starting training them young. We teach them how to do certain jobs, how to learn life skills and also role play on how to respond to certain situations they might be in, such as what to do if someone asks them to take drugs.  

Teaching life skills and jobs to kids does not need to be complicated. Keeping it simple and working out a plan that works well for your family is the key to success. If your kids see you working around the home I believe that is the best example to give them and understanding that they are not going to do a job like an adult will save you a lot of frustration.


  1. Wonderful, Naomi.I'm a big believer in it too. I wish I had been taught how to manage money as a kid/teenager. I don't blame my parents (they did a lot right!), but its made me conscious of doing it with my own kids.

  2. Hi Naomi,
    Thanks for your great blog. I always enjoy having a look at it and just the other day I read the blog you wrote about people reading and not commenting. Feedback is so important isn't it? So from now on I'll comment when I read :-)
    I think it's fantastic that your kids help out such a lot. My sister-in-law and dear friend is from a family of 5 girls and whenever we are all congregated at my parents-in-law's place she is always the first to jump up and help out. Do you think it's a big family thing? I'm not as good at it as her so I take my cue and jump up when she does.
    Do you have any top tips on pocket money? And do you think pocket money should be linked to chores around the house? I can't decide whether to do it that way or to make it that helping out is an expectation that's not linked to payment but equally pocket money is a right as it offers some independence and autonomy that's hard for kids to achieve otherwise and teaches them a lot about saving up for things they want. Comments gratefully received!
    Warmest wishes, Rachel

  3. this is a terrific post! Thanks so much and you helped me be more aware of the things I need to be teaching my own children! I posted this on Pinterest because I felt it was such a terrific list and that it should be shared with the world! Thanks for all your amazing input on motherhood.

  4. I couldn't agree more. We're focusing on giving our children some responsibilities eg. empty dishwasher, take out recycling but not turning them into our slaves because as you said they need time to play and do their other activities. I guess as parents it's just finding that balance between giving them their childhood and teaching them to be independent and responsible. Great post xo

  5. oooops! I think mine are still at aged 3! lol! Must be changing that. Did think this list was good though.X

  6. I'm a big believer in this too. But that chart makes me wonder. Sam isn't anywhere near some of the things in his age group. And Alexander isn't in some of his. He is further ahead in some things, but in others, we've not really begun.

    I've introduced concepts as I've felt that they are ready. Maybe I should be pushing harder?

  7. I really like this Naomi. Being the youngest of 5 we were always encouraged to help around the home. I remember my sister and I on dishes duty each night and Mum would fold our laundry but we had to pack it away and make our beds.
    I will definitely be instilling these practices into Sophie's routine!

  8. my eldest is a 14yo boy so i scanned the list - i had to laugh at "firearms handling" !!!! we live in Sydney - there has been a huge increase in driveby shootings in some suburbs. I imagine this list was made for country families. It did give me a giggle !!!!

  9. That list is great. We actively try to make sure that our kids are learning life skills but there are several things I just hadn't thought about before reading that list. The craziest thing is that I realised my kids (9 and 6) don't know how to answer phones! We have moved around a lot and my husband and I only use our mobile phones, no landline. I think we will be having a FHE on how to call people from our mobiles if they need to ASAP. Thanks Naomi.

  10. There are some really simple things on this list but so so important! They are called life skills for a reason and I love how u are making this a common learning in your home. Xx

  11. I love Merrilee Boyack.She has led quite the life, and I feel inspired every time I hear her. Thanks for posting this! I am now going to see how my own 6 cherubs are progressing!

  12. Oh my gosh I can think of adults who can't do many of those things!

  13. WOW- much more all -encompassing list! Love it! thanks!!!!


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