>>Since, I am a self-taught homemaker, I am not sure the best time and chore to start with for my children. At what age do you begin to assign chores? Is there a typical first chore you give them?<<
Basically I look for things they can do from the time they are a young toddler (about 15 months) – usually this is a small piece of something someone older is doing. They can put dirty clothes in a hamper, and carry one item to the laundry room. They can pick up items from the floor and put them where I tell them. They can put their cup or plate in the sink (if you lift them up or take it from them when they get there). When they are very little, this means me walking with them to where it should go, but they learn quickly and know that their dirty clothes go in the clothes hamper, so soon they start doing it with minimal prompting.
None of this practically speaking makes your life any easier. In fact, it will take more effort than not involving them- and that’s why most parents don’t have kids who help out in the house! Be that as may, this is how I help my kids develop an understanding and a positive feeling about participating in the home tasks that need to be done. I’m not so official around here that I assign very little children with chores. What I try to do is make helping out an integral part of their lives. When I see something they can do – and this is usually something very small – I give it to them with a big smile and an attitude of “oh, lucky you, you get to help!” (And since I know some of you are wondering, if they refuse, I give them another big smile and say, “Yes, Mommy!” This gives them a model of the response I want to see.)
Kids will copy you, so sometimes they end up doing jobs that I wouldn’t have thought of giving them, and doing it well. Recently, for example, ds2 was watching me clean the walls. He ran to get a rag from the rag drawer, went to the bathroom to wet it, and started vigorously wiping the area that I was cleaning. So I let him do it by himself, and he did a great job.
I don’t expect much until they are much older in terms of the final result. What is important to me is them feeling good about helping out and getting the message that their help matters and is appreciated.