Teaching parents about how to inspire homeschooled kids to do chores was one of those hotly debated topics always in my workshops.
Answers varied on motivating kids from stars on a sticker chart to a treasure trunk of surprises to pick from at the end of the day to more device time.
Though this can be a delicate subject because topics of this nature head straight toward parenting skills or the lack thereof, sharing a few things that worked for me may make your path a bit smoother.
I too was counted among those that tried all of the “solutions” mentioned above and a whole host of others.
See, I wanted my kids motivated, but what I hadn’t realized yet was that what is appropriate at one age is not the same at another.
On top of that, something else much more significant was being developed than worrying about an age appropriate reward system. More on that in a minute.
Looking back now, I can say it is perfectly acceptable to reward children for work well done.
I think about when my husband was in sales and he got bonuses for staying on task and completing his work. Rewards are a natural part of life.
However, what I have really come to appreciate more is that type of reward is momentary.
A reward only lasts a short time and doesn’t really build in our children, as they grow older, a sacrificing spirit of love.
If we don’t teach our sons and daughters from an early age to have a spirit of serving others, no amount of academics can make up for it. Who cares what you know then?
Have you ever heard nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care? It’s true.
So how do we motivate our children?
3 Ways to Inspire Our Homeschooled Kids to Do Chores
The same way we are.
- It comes from the intrinsic value we receive from seeing our family members cared for and knowing they are loved.
Thanking kids for their support after they cleaned their rooms or did some other chore may seem like a little thing, but it is not.
This is the way I instilled compassion into my sons because they too want to be part of something greater and feel that they matter. As a side point, independence and confidence is built when they independently handle chores.
So not only do they get that good feeling that comes from helping others, but chores foster self-reliance.
- If our children receive loving, not harsh words from us when tending to their chores and see how the rest of the family benefits, then they are happy and satisfied.
This is not idealistic, but realistic. This is not an attitude that exists in the world today where the me first attitude exists.
- In addition, it is much better to give them simple chores each day than to take one or two days sporadically where there is nothing but drastic top to bottom to cleaning.
I am not talking about those times we have to do that to the house, but I am talking about on a regular basis to keep chores simple and regular.
When I look at chores now I don’t see chores, but I see more character building.
I am grateful that on days when I cried because I was outnumbered by little ones and the house looked the same way in the late evening like it did early morning, that I took time to make my sons do chores. Progress was barely visible, but the positive impact it made on them as they reached adulthood are beyond what I can hardly put into words.
Not only are they hard working, but enjoy chores and know that chores are a valuable part of each day.
Cleaning is about seizing timeless moments to build and mold the “gems” of the kind of persons I wanted my sons to be.
I really have come to appreciate that chores are about more than just cleaning house, taking out the garbage, feeding the pets, washing clothes and cooking.
They are ways that character is built and no amount of curriculum can make up for the time we spend with our children teaching them chores each day.
I encourage you to NOT just focus on your curriculum, but on teaching your children.
In the long run you get a clean house, but realize it’s not just about the chores, but the person you are raising.
Are you tired today? I promise, stay after it because it’s so worth it in the end.
Hugs and you know I care and love ya,
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