As lifeschoolers, we understand that there is more to a child’s education than reading, writing, and arithmetic. A child’s secular education is an important thing, but at least in our family, even more important than secular learning is the learning of life skills.
Okay, spiritual education is the number one priority, but after that, life skills all the way.
When speaking of life skills, what first comes to your mind?
So many different skills and lessons can fall into this category. From cooking, to gardening, to learning how to fix a car, the topics are quite literally endless. But for today’s purposes, we are going to talk about life skills in regards to helping Mom stay on top of the cleaning and organizing of the house.
Enlisting Kids’ Help In Household Chores
I am a mom of seven kids so in my family, it is vitally important that my kids learn to help me clean and organize the house. If they didn’t help me, I daresay this house would get so out of control I might wonder what’s living under the piles of laundry or dishes.
Okay, it’s not that bad, but really, a household of nine can get really messy really fast, no matter how tidy everybody attempts to be.
So how do I manage both my kids’ life lessons in home cleaning and organization while staying on top of my own sanity and mental health? Let me tell you.
We’ve actually used a number of systems throughout the years. As my children have grown, my cleaning and organizing systems have also evolved.
For example, when my children were younger (we’re talking preschool-aged through early elementary) I used a chore point system that actually worked really well. In this chore point system, the kids would do chores in exchange for points or little foam hearts and then later, they would turn these points or foam hearts in for things like screen time or treats.
Now that my kids are older, we have evolved into a paycheck system in which I pay my kids a pre-determined amount for extra household chores.
Teaching and Reinforcing Life Skills
Now, this is not the same as an allowance because they do not get paid just for being a part of the family, but rather they get paid like an employee would based on how long they ‘showed up to work’ for. I made a kids’ paycheck template and we charge them taxes and everything. It’s been really great! We really feel like this system has done a lot for the kids in the sense of teaching and reinforcing many many life skills above and beyond just cleaning.
But when it all comes down too it, it doesn’t really matter what system you use, just so long as you’re doing something. It’s good for you to have some help, and it’s good for your kids to do some helping.
From a very young age, my kids are expected to be in helping. Even the littlest of kids can learn how to put toys in the toybox or garbage in the garbage can.
As they grow, their responsibilities can also change. My 5 and 6-year-olds are quite good at toilet scrubbing and table washing. My 7-year-old does some mean dishes, and my 9-year-old is even better at sorting and folding laundry than me!
But now for the ever-pressing question – how do I keep on top of all these kids’ schooling while still making sure they have time to help me with their chores? Well, this is actually something I talk a little bit about in this article, large family homeschool tips. One of my top tips for a successful large family homeschool is a checklist in the place of a schedule.
The Homeschooling Family Checklist
Pick a time that works for your family where you can go over your upcoming goals. In our family, this happens on Sunday evenings. We decide on what needs to happen that week, both in school and around the house. Each kid is assigned chores, lessons, and projects for the upcoming week, and we write down a general idea of what day these things need to happen on, in order of priority.
Each morning, the kids look at their lists for the day and determine what needs to get done. They are welcome to jump around their lists to some degree, but for the most part, they understand the priority levels of each item.
Some days their lessons take priority and others cleaning does. But each kid goes through their list and checks off items as they are completed. If the kids finish their list before the day is done, they are allowed free playtime. At the end of the day, if there are any items still on the checklist, we bump them to the next day’s list. And some days, free play is actually an item on their list and they get to be creative all day.
At the end of the week, the whole proceeding list is scrapped and we make a completely new list for the upcoming week.
This process has done wonders for teaching our kids many life skills, included but not limited to:
- Time Management
- Serving Those Around Them
- Completing Assignments
- Home Management
- And So Much More
If you are struggling to stay on top of your household responsibilities, I would encourage you to enlist your kids’ help! They are capable of so much more than most people believe they are. And it’s good for them, too.