mem oirs (mem'warz) 1. an autobiography 2. a record of events based on the writer's personal observation and knowledge

Monday, August 29, 2011

Chore Charts

This is not my first chore chart.

I feel like I've tried a thousand "plans" and none have exactly worked.

But this chore chart is different: it's pretty likely to work (for us... but not necessarily for you).

Here's why. We've already been doing the chores for at least a year. They just haven't been charted until now. Mom just did lots of reminding, and my hopes are that my kids who can read (well, 2 of the 3) will read their reminders now that they're all prettied up and hanging on the wall!

 I think there's two reasons y'all are here looking at this post.

1. You are motivated to make a pretty chore chart. I'm all for papercrafting pretty, but even a pretty plan may not work. (Trust me, I've been making "plans" for at least 7 years now... and I'm just now feeling good about the current plan!)

2. You are motivated to find a plan that works for your family. I'll share mine and hope you can take something from it. But if it doesn't work for you, don't give up. Tweak it and try again!

First, the PRETTY details.

I used a dollar store poster board and cut it into three pieces for my three kids. (In hindsight, I'd pick a colored one instead of white next time). I used this as a great chance to use up some of my jinormous chipboard letters that were mismatched and big fat ribbon remnants that weren't suitable for scrapping. 
The clothespins were decorated by my girls w/ fabric, sequins, wooden hearts, and glass flat sided marbles (what are those things really called???).  They loved to participate in the project!
I printed the actual chore sections on colored paper and plan to make tweaks to the plan and re-print as necessary.
The purpose of the clothespins is simply to hold the stack of 7 days pages to the chart. But my original idea was to place them all on one side of the chart and as the kids completed tasks they could move them to the opposite side of the chart. Maybe that would work for you!
 And now, the actual PLAN and CHORES I have set up for my kids.

(Not sure if it's big enough for you to read, but I'll give you a general overview.)
Some tasks we've been doing for many years (i.e. brush teeth, pick out clothes, homework, backpack ready). This is just a reminder.

I have three sections: 1. Before School, 2. After School, and 3. Ready for school tomorrow? (i.e. just before bedtime).

Before school tasks are: breakfast, get dressed, shoes and backpack on, and brush teeth.

After school tasks are: homework, AWANA verses, 20 minutes of reading, piano practice (for Sadie) and 10 minute cleanup.

10 Minute Cleanup has been the most successful chore plan I've had over the years. Before the 10 minute clean up plan when I'd set specific chores, I felt like the things that really needed to get done were being neglected (i.e. the chore was dusting, yet the family room was two feet deep in toys, books and stuffed animals.) Now the kids just know that after dinner mom will assign a 10 minute cleanup to each child of stuff that NEEDS TO BE DONE. It has been glorious, people!!! (I have had to let go of how well a job gets done and just be pleased that they tried and are learning the discipline of helping out around the house.)

The big change for my charts here is that I've now assigned specific tasks back to the 10 minute cleanups (vacuum, sweep, tidy a room, wipe down bathroom, laundry, wash windows/mirrors, dust, trash and recycling). We'll test this plan for awhile to see how it works, but I may head back to an unspecific 10 minute cleanup each night if this doesn't truly help me in my housecleaning duties.

So, why do I have 7 pages versus the same plan for each day? I have also added in the "extras" of "pack your piano bag, gymnastics outfit, AWANA vest, etc" on the appropriate days based on our regular activities. I also give them a day off of chores on Wednesdays (see, I'm not a total slave driver! :)

There are also a few chores we rotate each day: 1. Feed Zeke (the guinea pig), get the mail, lead the dinner prayer, 2. Set the table, 3. Clear the table. This started w/ them fighting over who got to get the mail, so they each got two turns a week. Now they complain over who HAS to get the mail... but it still gets done because they're used to the task by now! :) Three kids x 2 days a week= 6 days. Mom gets day 7. For all three chores.

The Ready for School Tomorrow? section: Homework done, backpack ready, lunches prepared and outfit picked out.

What a long post! I didn't realize I had so much to say about it, and I also didn't realize so many of my friends were interested in how I make it work. I sincerely hope that SOMEHOW this inspires you and that you can make it work for your family. Come back and let me know!

So, what looks most appealing to you? Which element of this would work best for your family? Is there something new that you haven't considered as you've made your chore plans? I'd love to know!

1 comment:

cheryl said...

I love this idea. I'm going to try some of them out for my kids. Thanks for the post!