Saturday, March 27, 2010


We have tried oh so many ways of getting chores completed around here without a chorus of whines and complaints. We've had accounts with online chore charts like Handipoints (which has features you can use without paying for a membership). This was great for Kaity who really enjoyed getting on the computer to track her progress. Sometimes she was distracted by the wish list features of this site. We've used chore charts that were printed by me every week and this approach mixed up who did which chore. That worked for a while, but this mommy kept forgetting to print the charts! Charles really enjoys having a paper to look at that tells him how much work is left. He likes checking things off his lists. We have used student planners which have a set chart in them for each child. These have specific things each child is responsible for on a given day of the week. I laminated the charts and then they could be used with a dry erase marker- instant wipeable chore chart. This was very inexpensive to make and the kids liked the format. I customized a chart and printed it from Donna Young. The only thing lacking from this system was detail (ie expectations for each task; when it is considered done).
The last few weeks have been chaotic because we've begun the preparations around the house for our upcoming move and our student planners with laminated chore charts have not gotten much use. We've instead used index cards (also laminated) that are put together with individual binder rings. Before laminating I wrote step-by-step instructions for each task in a room. For example for the card set for a bedroom some of the instructions are

  • dirty clothes put in hamper
  • toys put away
  • trash can emptied
  • floor vacuumed
This keeps the kids (especially Kaity) from asking me every few minutes "what do I do next, mommy?" I think it helps when kids can understand on their individual levels what is expected of them.  Along with our ongoing discussions and training on Christian character, giving the kids a good idea of what is expected of them is so helpful around here. With younger kids the cards could have pictures of each task. One idea I'll use when Miah is bigger will be taking a picture of the shelf with the toys arranged on it the correct way so that the he will have a visual clue of what is expected. (The binder rings I mentioned are found with office supplies. I used the roll of clear "contact paper" and put it on both sides.)
No matter what system the most important truth we've learned is that consistency equals success. I'm learning how to be more consistent but some days I have such a long way to go!
How do you keep track of chores at your house? What are ways you nip whining in the bud?

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