A chore chart has been one of those things I wanted to do for a long time. But I’m not all that creative on my own (I can take ideas and morph them into something completely different, but coming up with something from scratch hasn’t ever been my strong suit). I also lacked the time when I was working.
A few weeks ago I decided to change all that. Inspired by this blogger, I created a chore chart for both Drew and Alyssa based on their needs.
I used scrapbook materials put it in a 12×12 frame. It can be used over and over because we use a dry erase marker to check when chores are done.
I divided Drew’s and Alyssa’s chores into “Good Morning Chores” and “Good Evening Chores.” Each got three apiece. This chore chart is for Drew during the school year. When he’s home in the summer, he’ll be doing different ones in the morning. You may think that a boy getting dressed and brushing his teeth aren’t chores. Then you clearly don’t have a boy in school. 🙂 After fussing with Drew All Year Long to get ready on time, this was the ONLY thing that has consistently worked.
After Alyssa and I get back from taking Drew to school, we eat breakfast and then she does her chores. She takes hangers from Drew’s, ours, and her closet to the laundry room (we make sure they are put on the lower rod where she can reach them). Next, if I have the laundry for the day folded (many times I leave it there from the day prior), she will put the items in the drawers she can reach. She does her own clothes as well as Drew’s. Before lunch, she picks up any toys that she has gotten out in the morning.
The evening chores are similar to one another. For “Set Table,” Drew puts plates on the table, and Alyssa puts the forks on the table. After dinner, Drew takes all plates and serving dishes from the dining room to the kitchen for me. Alyssa takes our used cloth napkins to the laundry room. Then before bed, they both help pick up toys.
Alyssa does the chores because she doesn’t know any different, and her reward is getting to use the dry erase marker to make a checkmark. 🙂 But Drew gets 15 minutes of video game/computer time for each set of 3 chores he does. For his Good Morning Chores, he has to have them all done by the time we go out the door. He knows if they’re not done, he doesn’t get that 15 minutes of video game/computer time.
Now, this sounds great, but it doesn’t happen perfectly every day. But on the days that it does, here is why it has been a huge benefit for us:
1. It helps me. How many times have I gone to hang clothes up and realized that all my empty hangers are on the other side of the house? Or in Alyssa’s closet and she’s sleeping? Having the hangers all in the laundry room makes laundry easier. In the evening, not having to set the table at the same time as prepare the food is a huge help, as is having the dishes all back in the kitchen when I am cleaning up dinner. Those things add up!
2. It teaches Drew and Alyssa responsibility. I have to admit, when I was working, I didn’t do this partly because it was too much work to implement. It’s easier to just do the chore than to teach the child to do it. But now that I’ve put out that effort up front, Drew and Alyssa are seeing that they are part of this household, too, and with that comes responsibility. Many mornings now Alyssa tells me she’s going to go get the hangers before I even ask her to do her chores. And at night if she goes in the laundry room and she sees clothes, she wants to put them up.
I’m definitely in learning mode now that I’m staying home, and there’s so much more I have to learn. Many days I feel like I’m going to pull my hair out! But I am very thankful I did the chore chart. It has definitely helped keep the peace in our house. 🙂