Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chore Chart for the Moderately Scheduled Household

By moderately scheduled, I mean that we eat supper at about the same time every day and try to have the kids in bed by 8 o'clock.  And that I clean the house on Fridays and pay the bills on Mondays.  But everything else gets shoehorned in. 

The first few chore charts I made did not work.  They were based on days of the week or month and there was not enough parental readiness for another layer of schedule in our days.  We have been feebly attempting to follow various chore charts since January.

Then I saw my friend Sharon's brilliant chore chart:  just a column for each job, with a sticker awarded when the job was done!  Simple to follow, with no shame for missed days, yet a growing body of stickers to feel proud about.  And I can modify it any time I want to, instead of waiting for a month to end.  I told my kids that when they get 10 stars, they can have a piece of candy. ("What kind?" Genevieve wanted to know. Good heavens, is she old enough to start driving a bargain?!)

I started with a chore chart because the children wanted a rag, wanted to vacuum, wanted to help put sheets on the bed, heck, wanted to help with anything I was doing.  I think children are initially attracted to adult work because of the novelty, but then they need to be taught how to actually do the job and then keep on doing it, even if they don't feel like it. 

Genevieve habitually carries her dishes out to the kitchen after a meal without prompting, so I didn't put that on her job chart.  She is working on jobs that challenge her skills a little.  Ben, on the other hand, has a column for "clear place setting."

They have each earned a piece of candy so far.  Sometimes they remind me of the chart, and sometimes we don't talk about "shiny stars" for a few days.  I like how this is working for our children.


life in this 1880 farmhouse said...

Good job.
I am a calendar/job chart person too. Now that most of my kids are older, I just bark out commands, and hope for the best.

life in this 1880 farmhouse said...

I don't seem to be bale to comment on my own blog!!! What I feed men in the woods. Chicken salad sandwiches, strawberries, watermelon is always a hit and lots of lemonade or iced Tea.They are hungry and could care less if it were squirrel!

Polly said...

What a smart, relaxed, sensible approach!

Tracy said...

Brilliant! And I must tell you, Margo, that I love the photos of your children in their natural state: loose pigtails, overall straps slipping, etc. Everyday, ordinary life is the best kind, and I'm glad that you document it!

Sarah Barry said...

what a good system, not too rigid. true what you said about children being drawn to adult work but needing to be taught properly how to complete the task. it's amazing to think that one day my two year old might do something constructive and contribute to the household cleanliness and order. right now he's a little tornado! cute pics of your kiddos.


VeeV said...

the picture of the kids on their "stools" is absolutely perfect!!
"a picture's worth a thousand words" came to mind immediately!!!!

Dani said...

yay for simplicity!