As I sit in a quiet classroom, the Extended Day students off to their special classes of Art, Music and Athletics, one of the tasks before me is to update the afternoon job chart. At the end of each day the older children share in the reponsibility of maintaining the classroom and preparing it for the return of their classmates the following day. If I fall behind on this task they are quick to remind me and they are eager to know what their job will be for the week.
By including the children in the work of the room, they become contributing members of our classroom community. They have a job to do and they know that the work of the other children will be affected by how well they have done that job. Being a responsible, contributing member of a group is an important part of learning how to function in society beyond the walls of Room 100.
Even the youngest children are responsible for returning lessons to their proper place on the shelf, tidying their space at the snack table and hanging up their own jacket and shoes. Allowing a very young child to do these things for himself may not be the most efficient use of time, and at times it can be downright frustrating. These are the times when as parents, and even as teachers, we may be tempted to swoop in and get the job done ourselves. When you feel that urge coming on, that is precisely the time to step back and offer assistance but be willing to have that offer declined if that is what the child needs.
This is a wonderful article that discusses the importance of meaningful participation in the work of a family http://www.family-institute.org/about-us/family-tip-of-the-month/271-dont-call-it-chores
It takes effort, I know; I have been in your shoes, albeit many years ago. Every moment can be a learning moment for your child, it is simply a matter of time.