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.