Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A chore chart

The other day, 0ne of my closest friends and I were talking about chores and helping our kids be responsible for their own chores. I mentioned that right now we have a system that seems to help keep the boys on task at least for their set morning responsibilities (brushing teeth, making bed, unloading the dishwasher, etc.). So I thought I would post it here in case it is beneficial for anyone else. (To give credit where credit is due, it was actually my husband's idea, and I carried it out).

The basic premise is 'to do' and 'done' columns with magnets that the boys move across when they have completed their chore. I did little drawings and the words of the chore on each magnet (which is just simply drawn on paper, laminated and then a magnet stuck on the back with double sided tape - I'd tried hot glue too, but the double-sided tape worked better).
We've used our fridge as the chart. I made the lines out of black duct tape, and wrote the headings with permanent marker. And if others might not want to deface their fridge in such a way, any metal surface would work: a white board on the bedroom door or other communal area might be an option. I like the chart in the kitchen because it is central and I don't have to go far to keep track.

In our home, the boys know that they are not free to play until all their morning chores are finished. Some chores are personal (brush teeth, make bed, get dressed, feed dog, check goats) and some are rotated weekly (set table, unload dishwasher, laundry helper). The boys also check with me after all their chores are done with "Anything else to do, Mum?" This keeps them accountable to do their morning responsibilities with minimal nagging from me. It also lets me know when they've finished. And then if there are any other things to be done we can get them done, then the boys know they are free to play. I think I started that as well to begin to instill a habit of serving and offering to help.

I still have to remind them at times about being diligent, but this way I don't hear myself saying "Have you brushed your teeth? Have you made your bed?, etc." quite so often. I simply check their chart and if everything is not in the 'Done' column, then I remind them "Work before play." And 'check your chart'.

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