Thursday, August 18, 2011

Le Chore Chart, Incarnation One

So, we've struggled with chores/jobs/children helping around the house for, ummm . . . . . forever.  Finally, I made it a matter of prayer, and some interesting things began to happen.  First, I realized I had been trying to do too much, too fast, with chores.  I couldn't keep up with it, and it was a huge hassle to get the kids to do what they were asked to do every day.

So, I sat down and thought about the household tasks that seemed to swallow my whole day.

Uber easy, that one.

KITCHEN STUFF!

The days that I have done the meal prep, table stuff, cleanup and floors, I've left the kitchen only for bathroom breaks and bedtime.  (Okay, maybe I had a couple of short blogging breaks, but honestly, I felt  imprisoned.)

So, I came up with a list of five jobs.  Which matched up perfectly with the five children we have who are old enough to help meaningfully.  Witness:


Here's how I made the lovely and astonishingly effective chart above:

  1. Grab some 1" x 4" craft magnets from the craft stash.
  2. Choose ten scrapbook papers I liked looking at.
  3. Remove the backing from the adhesive side of the magnets, and place them on the back of the scrapbook paper.
  4. Cut along the edges of the magnet that weren't along an edge of the paper.
  5. Write children's names on half of the magnets (I let them choose their favorite papers for their names . . . in the future, I'm just going to do it my way, since this is decor in my house, and I have to look at it all the time. ;o)
  6. Write the five household jobs on the other scrapbook paper-covered magnets.
  7. Embellish as the whim moves you.
  8. Stick them on a magnet-friendly surface.
  9. Rotate jobs as you see fit.
Here, the "chart" is on top of an as-yet-unused magnet sheet on the fridge.  It helped to set the chart apart from the clutter other things on the fridge.  (The fridge has since been cleared, cleaned & shined . . . the clear simplicity of an empty fridge front is a lovely thing.)  I've since moved it to a magnetic plaque on the wall.  I'll post a pic sometime . . . but if I stop to do it now, this post isn't gonna happen. lol  Suffice it to say my magnet plaque says "Family" in large lettering, with "Live * Laugh * Love" in smaller lettering over the top of it.  {Cue Monte Python's French Soldier voice} It's verrry nice-uh.

Here's why I think these chores seem to be working:

Some tasks are done more than once a day, but they're short, so it's not a big deal.  Rinsing & loading dishes, and sweeping & spot mopping happen after every meal, as does clearing the table.  For now, the Bear's permanent job is clearing & wiping the table, with help.  The other four jobs drop down one slot each day, with Lil'MissL's job going up to Mr C's slot.  This week has been art camp, which has thrown a wrench in the rhythm of things around here, but the kids have still been pretty happy to do what's next to their name.  Ah, the magic of the written word . . . . especially when it records tasks!

I'm about to add to this some; there are a couple of jobs that each child is supposed to do each day no matter what (make their beds, brush their teeth, that kind of thing), and I'm thinking those are going to go on different magnets below the rotating chart, with cute pictures so even the less-stellar readers can check their progress for the day.  Or, maybe I'll use that magnet sheet to make an actual spreadsheet-style chart so the kids can put fun magnets in their row of the chart as they finish each task.  Hmmmmm . . . 

Hope this helps!

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