They Race to Complete Chores!
Large Family Savings
Any Advice on Chore Charts?
I am looking for some ideas on chore charts. I would like to organize the kids to improve their productivity at completing or even starting chores. Dave
My Family's Chore Chart
My parents invented a chore chart that kept each of us four children happy and delighted to do household chores. We used a marker board and each of us kids got to pick out our color of marker. We then divided the chart into seven days and placed our initial in different squares. We had our daily categories: Take out trash, sweep, dishes.
Two people paired up on the dishes for each night. So each person had a different chore to do every day.
For the weekly chores, we each drew our chore out of a hat for the week.There were:
dust living room, dining room, etc.
mop kitchen, bathroom, etc.
We each ended up having one or two major items that needed to be done. This made us feel like we were in charge of our chores, and it was never unfair. We were also rewarded with allowance that we were allowed to spend however we deemed fit. Our parents taught us to put some into savings, some for church and some for spending. We didn't have to do it, but all four of us did.
Our parents also spent an hour with each of us getting fries and coke each week. It was the highlight of my week even through highschool. When I went away to college, I still looked forward to coming home for our "days" together. I am older now, and whenever I visit home, we still spend alone time together and call it our "days".
A Premade Chore Chart
A really good source for a chore chart is a tiny company in Oregon called Doorposts. They are a home schooling family that has started a cottage industry selling the resources they developed for schooling their children. The chart for chores is called "Service Opportunities Chart" and runs $6.50.
I hope this helps.
Try 'Totally Organized'
Get the book Totally Organized: the Bonnie McCullough Way. Sounds a little pompous but she is wonderful and has great suggestions for working with kids, and keeping things to their developmental capabilities so they can succeed and learn to really do things on their own. Except the part where she does her teenagers' laundry...but she has her reasons, I guess. She has another one called Home Organizing, or something like that, which is also good.
Her style is a little "June Cleaver" but she knows her stuff. She's patient and to the point. I've learned a lot from her.
As a mother of four boys all 2 years apart and all grown up now, I improvised a system. But first no matter what system one uses be prepared to be consistent and persevere for a month until all the whining and sneviling is out of their system and it becomes a habit for them.
System Titled "Patrols"
Depending on the number of children, divide the 7 days of the week up between them so that they all have something to do each day. Our patrols were Living Room Patrol, Basement (Playroom or Family Room) Patrol, Kitchen Patrol and Bathroom Patrol. Assign each child a patrol per day and rotate them throughout the week. Write it down and post it so they will know that every Monday it is my day for Kitchen Patrol. etc. (see sample schedule at end of letter)
- Everyone is responsible for their own bedroom, everyone is responsible for their own laundry (folding and ironing and putting away) Each son had a laundry basket....I would put all the clean laundry on our king sized bed and kids would have a ball tossing and sorting laundry into each other's basket to be folded and put away by each child.
- When it is your patrol you have to pick it up whether you made the mess or not.....ex. leggos in the living room and your sibling was the one building the fort. You pick it up and put it away. Remember your sibling will be picking up your mess in the family room or kitchen.....it all evens out over time. This way there is no fighting over who had the leggos out in the first place. They are being responsible for an area....not particular stuff. You will need to explain that to them.
- You have to spend quality time teaching them what the patrol of an area consists. Sit them down and tell them this is the system we are going to use and explain it in detail. Then you will have to teach each child separately how to clean each patrol area. Don't try to teach them as a group take the time to do it individually as their turn comes up. Be specific and list and tell it all. don't assume that they will know. And young children can do a good job.......vacuuming is fun for them.
- Sample chart
|sam||sue||sally||seth||Day of Week|
Of course you can call the areas to be patroled whatever and designate them. You can rotate according to the child's age and ability. Perhaps give the older child more times cleaning the bathroom and the kitchen......etc.
The beauty of this is that there is no fighting over who made the mess, and if you are consistent and train them well, you can call "Patrol time" and have the entire house looking great in a half hour. Make it fun and be willing to pitch in at different areas.
Give them the fun stuff too. Remember peeling potatoes is not fun, but mixing and and getting things out of the fridge and cupboard are. Be willing to do some of the drudge jobs and give them what they perceive as fun.
Be consistent. Don't give an inch for one month and it will be a habit and your life will be heaven. Been there and done it for 25 years.
Computer Makes Chore Chart Simple
I used a word processing program with the "table" feature. I made up a table that worked for the amount of chores, and length of time (weekly, monthly). Chores I listed at the top, and days on the left side; this worked well as I have only one child, but you could put chores on the left hand side, and the child's name at the top. I printed it out, and placed it where everyone could see it, especially the chore-doer.
When a task was completed, my daughter would get a sticker or a stamp. This was creative motivation for her to complete chores in the future. When the calendar filled up, I just printed another, making amendments where necessary.
Of course, you can always draw a chart on a sheet of poster board, and achieve the same results. You can decorate it with stickers or drawings (let the kids dress it up) or leave it undecorated. I like doing it on the computer, as it teaches my daughter how to use the computer, and I can also print more calendars when I need to.
Keep Chore Chart Organized
I utilize charts in my house, because if I had things for the kids to do, they NEVER got done, unless it was written down. That is kind of the same way for myself - I also have a "To Do" list, and I mark off what has been completed, or add things that need to get accomplished. So, I figured, if I had a list, then why not the kids? After all, it's a team effort in our house!
With two children, I made a chart and had an X for one, and an O for the other. Then, I made a computerized chart with the seven days on it, and then listed down the chores that needed to be completed during that week. At the beginning of the week, I would print one out, and sit down and give them the chores accordingly (everything being fair) and so as to spread them out over the week. It helps me out around the house, as well as makes sure things are done.
An example of some of the chores I give out (my children are ages 11 and 12) dishes (after supper), feed animals, mowing, helping weed garden, vacuuming, dusting, trash detail, poo-poo patrol in the dog pen. As they perform the chores, they check them off in the box with their X or O in it, and I can see at a glance what they have done (or not done). They get a small allowance for following the chart, as long as their attitudes are in conjunction and they don't get into trouble! It teaches them responsibility, organization and the value of work and family.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor