Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Introducing Our Chore Chart...

Check "make a chore chart" off of my list of things to do...

I don't know about you other parents, but I have grown weary of hearing myself remind my children to do their chores. And then I look like the "parent who exasperates her children" because it appears as though I'm nagging when, in reality, they are just not doing what they're supposed to be doing without being told to do it.

I'm currently reading, Life Skills for Kids: Equipping Your Child for the Real World (affiliate link), and in this book the author talks a little about chore charts. By using a chore chart, the responsibility of remembering to complete their chores is totally shifted to the child. It's a way to keep them accountable. And, hopefully, a way to eliminate parental "nagging."

In the book, she had suggested a similar style of chore chart as I made. I knew that I wanted a pocket system. I believe that she had suggested a quick and easy way of constructing one using envelopes - one row for "to do" and one row below for "done."

But I wanted something a little more durable (and attractive) so I decided to make a fabric rendition of her chart.

I simply cut squares of fabric, stitched hems so they wouldn't fray and then stitched the squares pocket-style (leaving the top unstitched and open) to a placemat I had. If you know how to make basic straight line stitches on a sewing machine, this little project will be extremely simple for you. And if you rather not mess with that, use a heavy duty cardstock or posterboard and buy envelopes to glue on. You could even get fancy and make pockets out of scrapbook paper and mount them to a pretty piece of 12 x 12 scrapbook cardstock.

The top row of pockets are the "to do" pockets. The bottom row are the "done" pockets. The letter between the two rows are the first initial of each child's name (I used adhesive backed foam letters to keep it easy.) The lone pocket way on the left holds random chores and chores that are not necessarily done every day.

Chores are written on popsicle sticks. Or you could write them on paper and laminate, but Brad and I agreed that it would be much easier to make new ones if we just had to mark a popsicle stick rather than borrow the laminator from my friend.

Each child has sticks that are specific to them. For instance, Ian has feed the rabbits, dry dinner dishes, practice piano, etc. Sergei has unload dishwasher, wash dinner dishes, burn garbage. Lily has feed Molly, set table, clear table.

The sticks in the far left pocket include tasks such as dust, clean bathroom, vacuum carpets, sweep kitchen floor, laundry, etc. Those are assigned on an "as needed" basis to whatever child I decide will need to complete the task.

Then I mounted the chore chart to the refrigerator using heavy-duty magnet clips. I wanted the chart in a clearly visible and accessible area, and since the kitchen is the main "work area" of our home, the fridge was the chosen spot.

So, I am expecting that I will have to remind the kids to check the chart for a while until it becomes a habit. The "experts" say it takes about six weeks to make something a habit, but at least I'm not constantly reminding them of individual chores fifty times each day.

Have a blessed day!



Anonymous said...

I have tried so many chore charts but I LOVE this one! I can tell at a glance if their chores have been completed and as a follow up I can tell right off if one is being honest (which occassionally is an issue with our younger son). Thanks for this wonderful idea! I am going to get started right away! New things in the New Year!

Wendi said...

I love this chart. We have gotten away from a chore chart and it shows! I might have to borrow this idea.

Unknown said...

I love this Amber. Do you give an allowance or anything if the chores get done? or is this just part of being in a family and they get rewarded in other ways? Thanks for always having great ideas!

Elisabeth@Lizzy's Nest said...

What a neat way to keep up with the chores. We use index cards in metal boxes on the fridge, but I like to switch things up once in a while. This is such a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing it.

Sherry Sutherby http://russ-stickacres.blogspot.com/ said...

No little ones at our place, but LOVE this! And your Blog is awesome!
(I posted this link on my Facebook page.) Can't wait to have some time to dig deeper into your posts. I love seeing the networking of all the Blogs out there, yours included. Blessings.

Christy said...

We have been using a master chore chart that I created on Word, but there's no accountability unless I go and check to see if every chore was done. I've been looking at other move-able versions, using popsicle sticks and laminated cards, and now I can add yours to my list of choices.

Thanks for sharing it!

Tasha said...

Oh my gosh this is brilliant! One of the things on my to-do list for today is to revise our chore system. I'm so doing this!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I may have to give this a try.

Penny said...

What chores do you have your younger kids doing? I am still trying to figure out what my 2 can handle and not handle.

Heidi said...

Very cute and so functional! I made a menu board that reminds me of this and I really like it. http://dearlylovedmist.blogspot.com/2012/02/menu-planning.html
I'm now looking to find a good chore chart for my 3 older children. Thanks for this idea! :)