Thursday, June 9, 2011

An 8 year old's chores

While trying to revamp my kids' chore charts, I looked over the Internet for some ideas. Why on earth I thought this would be a good idea, I don't know. I very seldom can find stuff on the Internet for ideas that I trust or agree with. One site even said that since your child is now 8, he is ready for chores! (ready, just now??!) Here are some recommended chores for an eight to ten year old:

  • put laundry in hamper
  • help wash the dishes
  • clean room with direction
  • make his own lunch
  • fold towels
  • water plants
These are just to name a few. I guess that, yes, these things are all good for an 8 year old to do. However, these are all things that my 8 year old has been doing since he was four! I mean, water plants? Put clothes in a hamper? How difficult is that?!

After finding no help on the Internet, again (except for some stuff on, I resolved to just brainstorm up my own stuff.

Josiah-21 months
Everything is done wish supervision and many reminders. Put dirty clothes in hamper (I make my boy do 8 year old age appropriate chores...such a bad mommy I am), clean up your own messes/toys, throw away diapers, pick up bathtub toys.

Lydia-4 year old girl
Daily chores:
breakfast-get dressed, put away pajamas, brush teeth and hair, make bed, stack dishes in dishwasher on SATURDAY only.

lunch-brush teeth, tidy up bedroom, clean up hallway

once weekly-
Tuesday: wipe bathroom counter
Wednesday: wipe switch plates
Thursday: shake out doormats
Friday: wipe bottom of refrigerator, tidy up bookshelves
Saturday: help John clean out the van

Ethan-6 year old boy
breakfast-get dressed, put away pajamas, make bed, brush teeth and hair, clear and wipe table, tidy up school room, feed rabbits on Tue, Thur, and Sat

lunch-tidy up bedroom, stack dishes in dishwasher, tidy up bathroom

once weekly-
Tuesday: change bedsheets
Wednesday: tidy up front and back porches
Thursday: clean off and dust dresser
Friday: wipe the front of dishwasher, oven and microwave with glass cleaner, wipe down kitchen table and chairs
Saturday: dust in living room

John-8 year old boy
breakfast-get dressed, put away pajamas, make bed, brush teeth and hair, stack dishes in dishwasher, tidy up bedroom, feed rabbits on Mon, Wed, Fri, and Sun

lunch-clear and wipe table, tidy up living room (including counter, a catch-all that often gets forgotten), sweep living room

once weekly-
Tuesday: change bedsheets
Wednesday: sweep front and back porches
Thursday: clean off and dust dresser
Friday: clean rabbit cage, mop living room, wipe down kitchen table and chairs
Saturday: clean out van

The kids' chore charts are much better organized than what is shown above. This list is not all-inclusive. The kids all understand that anything that is asked of them is "their chore." This is just a list of things that need to be done on a regular basis. There are many things that they do, all but the baby, that are not listed here: picking the garden, folding laundry, putting away their own laundry and "household laundry": (i.e., sheets, towels, dishrags.), shelling peas, shucking corn and whatever else is needed at the time.

There are things that really stuck me from reading Managers of Their Homes by Steven and Terri Maxwell forever ago. One was that kids like to be challenged, but not to the point of being overwhelmed. The other thing was not to expect a grownup job from a kid. Yes, Lydia really can make her adult, twin bed. Sometimes I have to go behind her when she gets the bedspread crooked. John may miss a spot or two when mopping the floor, but I can praise him for what he did and give him helpful pointers.

I really did think it was almost funny that one site listed chore suggestions for a 13 year old. And then to see a separate category for 13-14 year olds and 15 and up. I couldn't see anything listed on the 15 and up list that a 12 year old couldn't do.

5 edifying expressions:

Kimberly said...

Chores, chores!!! They happen everyday, day in, day out... Now days with older children they are second nature, sure I have to issue reminders every now and again and I do have to check their work for completeness, that's just part of the job!

When they guys all pulled in from their trip the other day, the boys on their own pulled out the lawn mower and got the job done, while Hubby and I were unloading, it was wonderful! And they do an awesome job at it too!

Sarah said...

An 8 year old is JUST ready for chores! I laughed so much at that!

Actually, we know some people who don't discipline (AT ALL) their 3 1/2 year old daughter because they don't think she'll understand??! Needless to say other children don't like to play with her, due to her tendency to snatch toys and not share.

I'm impressed that Lydia stacks the dishwasher! I am now wondering whether my son would be able...he is not yet four. I had not even considered it, due to visions of lots of broken crockery!

Elizabeth said...

I cannot wait until the chores are "second nature." It seems we're still in the training stage! Some days the kids do them right off, but usually they have to be reminded. :-)

The reason that I picked Saturday only for her is because Saturday is one of two "cereal days." The kids usually eat their cereal out of plastic bowls. There aren't many dishes that could get broken.

I stand right over her, supervising her. She has actually never dropped a dish that I remember. There have been 2 broken dish incidences that I remember: Josiah grabbed one bowl and dropped it. One time, Ethan picked up the door to the dishwasher before pushing in the bottom rack. When he lifted the door, the dishes in the bottom rack slammed into the back of the dishwasher. He broke a small plate and a canning jar (I think).

I am thoroughly enjoying the book you gave me! There is so much I can learn from Michelle Duggar!!!!

mummynat said...

Hehee, i am a push over mum. My kids just have to keep their mess tidied. They don't have any other chores yet, not even the 11 year old. I love love homemaking and cleaning and tidying. They just wouldn't do it right. But they do like to help me while i do things, and i am very aware they can do things, like a load of washing if needed. I just don't make them do anything.

Oh and congrats :D I mentioned you was expecting again and Diana (leannah) Laura (ladyLou) and Maarten (Joapuck) said congrats :)

Kimberly said...

All of the chores you listed for an 8 year old are very age appropriate.

My seven year old has had the chore of gathering and sorting dirty laundry since he was four. I bought a 3bin white laundry storage thingy and a pack of multil colored sharpies from Lowes, wrote the names of the colors (with the color) that went in the different bins and viola! My four year old was an instant laundry sorter/color reader!

Multi-tasker! HA!

Oh, I tried to let my eight year old fix her own lunch...maybe I'll try it again when she turns nine! HA!