Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chore Charts

Seems like there are as many methods for chore charts as there are chores to accomplish. They usually fail because of my lack of consistency or because I make it too complicated. After reading A Mother's Rule of Life again, and talking with the kids about how they would prefer to track their chores, I have decided to simplify (I am beginning to see a pattern here too, I think I am going to claim "simplify" as my buzzword for 2009). I tried the Manager's of their Chores method with little cards in a name tag that the wore around their neck - which the younger ones liked a lot. But, it was a lot of work for me, and we kept losing the cards, and my oldest found it too bothersome. I will probably use that method for big cleaning days, where I can give them a lot of jobs and not constantly be delegating, but for now, I think we are going to go back to simple lists. To help the kids with their morning routine, I have typed up each child's list and printed them off on cardstock. I am putting them into simple 5x7 frames and placing the morning routine in their bathrooms, and the evening routine in their bedrooms. I got a little fancy with the fonts, using a fun, curly font for the girls and a very masculine army font for my son, and the frames match the decor of their rooms and bathrooms. Now they have a list to remind them each morning. For meal time chores I just typed up a chart and am posting it in the kitchen.

Here is what the 7yo's morning list contains:
prayer
Wash face and hands (hang up cloth)
Brush hair (put away brush)
Get dressed and put pajamas away
Quick room tidy – books, toys, clothing, garbage
Make bed
Take dirty laundry downstairs – sort
Brush teeth after breakfast (put cap on paste)

And here is a look at the crocodile hunters list (9)
prayer
Wash face and hands (hang up cloth)
Brush hair (put away brush)
Get dressed and put pajamas away
Quick room tidy–books, toys, clothing
Make bed
Feed dogs
Put compost out (return bucket)
Take dirty clothes to laundry – sort
Brush teeth after breakfast (put cap on paste)

Everything except brushing teeth is to be accomplished before coming to breakfast. Then they each have a responsibility for the meal - setting the table, clearing, loading the dishwasher etc. They have a similar before bed routine. If anyone else has any great ideas for improving upon this procedure, let me know - this is the simplest method we have tried, and I am hoping that it will make for better enforcement and consistency on my part.

7 comments:

Monica said...

Sounds great!

Erin said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Maybe I need to set up our charts like that - with nice frames. We have weekly charts for both boys on the fridge. I made them in Word using tables and I print about 4-8 at a time, so I only have to print new ones every other month. We check off all the chores each night and then at the end of the week there is a "bonus" on their allowance IF they have a perfect chart. So we aren't paying them for chores, but we're giving a bonus prize if they perform perfectly. Frankly, perfect is pretty hard around here. The problem is, we often forget to mark them and so we have weeks when we aren't marking and we all lose momentum. They still know what their chores are and use the lists to remember what to do, but I think the reward system doesn't work well when we aren't consistent. I'm actually having great results with chores with the 3-year-old, who is responsible not only for his own chores (making bed, laying out clothes, brushing teeth) but also for setting and clearing the table. Of course, his willingness could change next week . . . Maybe a fun frame in their room and bathroom would be a good change.

Neil & Darla Sautter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil & Darla Sautter said...

I came here tonight to thank you for having A Mother's Rule on your sidebar! I ordered it through interlibrary loan and got it today. I tried MOTH before (as she describes in the book) and hated it. Yet my life is SO unorganized (and my home, homeschool, meal prep, etc.) and I need to make some changes. SO I'm going to work on a schedule again after finishing the book. THANK YOU.

Hey, I would like to send you a small vinyl wall word that says SIMPLIFY as a small thanks for your blog which really encourages me ... can I do that? I sell through Uppercase Living (see http://darla.uppercaseliving.net) and when I saw you say that about the word Simplify I thought "I want to send her one!" It's 3/4 inch high and probably four inches wide, so not huge. But if I could, I'd like to send it. Please email me at words (at) darlasautter (dot) com, okay? (If you want one).

Pres. Kathy said...

Thanks for the link - I am going to look into this matter.

Susan Sophia said...

Thank you for your post. Chores with my children are huge struggle for me and just like you say, I think it's because I'm so inconsistent. I really want and need them to take on some greater responsibility but my struggle actually is just continuing AND bigger yet, what to do when they don't do their chores the way they should or they refuse. Consequences are so difficult for me to discern. On my MROL post Mka. Kelleylynn talked about how she doesn't clean anymore her kids do. I want to know her secret. We have morning chores, that are pretty consistent and 4pm chores to clean before dad gets home. But it's like pulling teeth to get it all done properly.
Any advice?

tarab said...

This must be an issue for more moms than just me - thanks! I thought I was just a big, fat failure and that everyone else had all their ducks in a perverbial row. I have an immensely creative friend at 2cleverblog.com to whom I cried out for help. I envisioned a beautifully scripted, colorful, personalized dry-erase board with magnets that had the kids' pictures on them and also pictures of certain chores (like the vacuum cleaner or the dishwasher) for simplicity - and cuteness. A few yrs ago when we just had 1 we were trying to get to help - I had a check-off type list. I didn't like that the checking off didn't get done each day nor the amount of paper it used. I just keep trying to explain that if everyone takes care of their own items (no shoes in the living room, dishes into dishwasher, etc.) then the chores list is much more manageable. I've been blessed to have had domestic help for several yrs, but when the 10yo looked at me like I had 3 heads and said that was Miss ***'s job the day I asked her to vacuum, that was the last straw. so now unfortunately, there is one more unemployed person in the world. I keep explaining that there will be no princes or princesses in this family. I too am all ears for responsibility chart suggestions!