Friday, February 4, 2011

Hunter's Chores (at almost 6 years old)

Hunter, 5 years 10 months old, taking care
of his personal belongings

I have heard that the amish have a saying that children before seven are (chore wise) a burden, between seven and fourteen they can carry their own weight, and from fourteen on upwards they bring in a profit to the household.

So in other words, a house full of amish seven-year-olds would be able to run self-sufficiently.

Not exactly within the realm of our current cultural expectations. But I think it can serve as a reminder that children, when given the chance, can and do rise to the occasion of responsibility.

Hunter, at 13 months old, "helping" with the dishes
Hunter has "helped" out with anything and everything possible from the time he could sit up by himself. He grew up believing that work was part of life and that he was part of life too, so work has always been second nature to him.

I think that this parenting and educational philosophy has really helped him in developing a strong work ethic, and, at almost six years old, being able to be almost completely self-sufficient as well as a genuinely contributing member of the family.

Hunter at 4 years, 7 months old, vacuuming his room

Since I've found it helpful to see other people's kids' chore lists, I thought I would share what Hunter does around the house at this point in his life:

General Chores 
Checklist type stuff Hunter does on a regular basis
  • Clean bedroom weekly
    • vacuum floor and closet, 
    • dust shelves and windows, 
    • organize and straighten bookshelf, closet, drawers
    • empty trash can
  • Clean own bathroom weekly
    • clean and sanitize sink, toilet, mirrors, shower
    • sweep and mop floor
    • empty trash, clean trash can
  • Deep clean bedroom periodically
    • declutter
    • clean windows, walls, TV, toys, etc.
  • Laundry
    • sort dirty laundry into dark and light
    • often, put family laundry in washer or switch to dryer (he knows how to run the washer and dryer and can do this by himself, but I usually do this with him as he's still learning what can and can't go in the dryer and how to load the washer evenly)
    • fold or hang up all of own laundry and put away 
    • help fold family laundry, towels, blankets, etc.
    • help gather and transport clean or dirty laundry
    • change own sheets and bedding
  • Empty kitchen trash as needed
  • Take trash and recycling to street weekly
  • Sweep sidewalks, patio, driveway weekly 
  • Check mailbox daily
  • Bring in newspaper

Helping prepare dinner, age 4 years 5 months old

Being Part of a Family
Besides his "chores", Hunter helps out around the house whenever and with whatever needed (these are usually some of his favorite things to do)
  • Kitchen
    • set and clear table
    • load and unload dishwasher
    • wash dishes for fun
    • help prepare food (all the time)
    • put leftovers away
    • make own meals and snacks
  • Carry in and put away groceries, other purchased items
  • Help bag items while at the store
  • Rake yard
  • Help out with desk work 
    • cutting, sorting papers, shredding
  • Help wash the car
  • Help out when mom does deep cleaning
    • dusting, washing windows, mopping, vacuuming, etc.
  • Help with all projects
    • use tools, assemble things, run errands
  • Organizing projects
  • Basically, anything that we're doing, he's doing too!

Hunter, after a shower, at 4 years 5 months old
Self Care
Personally, I think this stuff goes without saying and isn't necessarily a "chore", but since it's generally on other people's chore lists for younger kids I thought I would include it:
  • Hygiene
    • shower, brush and floss teeth, comb hair, trim nails, etc.
  • Routines
    • Make bed, lay out clothes and other items for next day
  • Pick up after self
  • Keep self organized
    • manage calendar, day planner (with help)
  • Independent school work
    • all school work that he can do independently, such as math practice sheets, reading, penmanship, much more

Hunter, at age 3 years 0 months,
carrying in groceries
His "Employed" Chores
I don't believe in paying kids to contribute to the family, and am not really comfortable with an "allowance", but Hunter has jobs he does to contribute to my home business (part time child care) that he gets paid a small sum for each week.

  • Clean up after the kids' meals 
    • clear table, put away food, clean entire kitchen
  • Clean kids play area daily
    • straightening and organizing all toys
    • vacuuming carpet
  • Clean bathroom used by kids daily
    • sanitize sink, toilet, walls, trash can, sweep floor
  • Empty diaper pail, take dirty diapers outside as needed
  • Help with kids whenever needed
    • read stories during circle time
    • help with whatever I need assistance with
  • Also included on his list is setting a good example, being gentle, focusing on assigned task, etc.

So, there you have it, life in our house right now!

What kind of things do your kids do to help out around the house?

"It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth." 
Lamentations 3:27
Hunter is 5 years, 10 months old


  1. Wow, what you and hunter do is amazing! My older siblings and I were required to work and participate, but my younger siblings are LAZY! They are 15-2 years of age!

    I hope that I'm as good and as devoted a mom to my children as you are to Hunter. I believe its important to recognize children as capable human beings from early on.

    Reading about you and Hunter is so inspirational and motivating to me. Thank you so much for making and maintaining this blog!

  2. I don't really believe in an allowance for chores either, but we have to come up with some way to encourage money management. It is a good thing that is a way down the road, because right now, I have no idea what we're gonna do.

    And Thank you so much for following my blog. I got all giddy when I saw my new follower was you. (I am SUCH a nerd!) You were truly my first inspiration for early education. Thank you.


Thank you for your comments!