This week’s To Do List Task is to reveal…
Our New Chore System!
I am extremely excited to debut this! I have been working on this project for a few months now. A few months back I knew I wanted to try a new approach to household chores with my girls and so I started looking for other ideas…..you see, what I find, at least with my kids is that what works with them for a season or so doesn’t always continue working so every now and then things need to be shaken up. This theory applies to many areas when it comes to raising kids in my experience, not just chores. We have done a few variations of Chore Systems in the past, maybe I will share some of those in a future blog. We have not typically paid them for chores in the past, this system will be the first time that I will experiment with payment, but I do think this varies depending on the age of the children and your family’s opinions on the matter.
My girls range in age from 15 to 2 years old and so their skill level and ability vary as much as their ages. Therefore our new chore system has to be easy to understand, fun and appealing to encourage participation out of my youngest three but still mature enough to encourage my oldest daughter to be “motivated” to be the ringleader when it comes to keeping my other girls motivated. This new chore system has 4 components that I have combined to make a system that I feel will work for our family. If you like my new system, here is how you can replicate it for your family!
The cork board squares were the beginning of our new chore system right away before I even had a clear vision for my new system. I had 4 sets of cork squares taking up space from a previous project and I immediately knew I wanted to use those for each of my girls to help them track whatever would become their new chore system! Now I purchased my cork squares years ago and I don’t remember where but I am sure you could find a similar solution at your local craft store. I used Command Strips once they were completely assembled, to hang them on the wall near our cubbies (that I discussed last week in my introductory post for Thirty-One Thursdays).
The half folders were my next piece. In my effort to find a method that would work well across all ages, I stumbled into this mom’s solution she calls Instant Gratification Chore Folders. I tweaked the concept a little so ours aren’t quite an instant gratification in the same way because I want to train them up to be prepared for budgeting, tithing, saving & having to wait to “get paid”. I decided to take 4 two-pocket folders (again in each of their family colors) and cut the folders down a little less than halfway so that the top of the folder was just 3-4 inches above the pockets inside.
Next, I labeled each folder and used spray adhesive to attach them to the cork square. Once the folders were each affixed to the cork squares I took 4 green envelopes (I had a multi-colored envelope package & I specifically chose green for this step) and again used spray adhesive to attach them to the front of each folder, labeling the envelope’s with each of my girl’s names & the $ symbol………. this is where they will place their “money” until payday. On the inside of each pocket, I labeled six of the 7 days of the week, Mon. – Sat. I consciously decided on not including Sunday because after all, Sunday’s are supposed to be a day of rest.
After the folders were ready, I decided that for each day I would put a single dollar in the pocket, except for Saturday because being a member of the family requires some contribution to our home just because you are a member of our family. I mean no one pays me for all the ways I contribute to our home daily and they need to learn this first hand. They will not be paid for every contribution that they are expected to make, only the contributions they choose to complete that go above and beyond the basic expectations. Back to the single dollar bills, I thought about the payment process quite a bit and decided that since I planned to do “paydays” instead of the instant gratification concept, I didn’t need real dollar bills. One of my girls had some awesome play dollar bills, so I took four of them and after careful placement & a few practice photocopies I had two templates to reuse over to create 4 double side dollar bills. I copied & cut enough to place $5 worth in each of my daughters’ folders (technically $10 for my oldest daughter as she is responsible for the most detailed & difficult versions of our chores).
Now I began looking for ideas and thinking about a way to assign the chores themselves. As I said previously, I have tried a few methods in the past so I wanted to think of a new approach, not just a recycled one. The hunt was on…….
……..and then I found……..
These ADORABLE Daily Chore Calendars!
So first, I DID NOT design these and openly I take zero credit for the adorable creations themselves, but when I stumbled into them I knew I had found the right component for this important step to creating our new chore system!
The resource that I found these AMAZING calendars through is this blogger’s virtual classroom over at Bloggerific! It’s an awesome blog that looks to be a place I will stop back to regularly for future resources! She is an online teacher/mentor for K12 and after browsing through her blog a bit I discovered she has a multitude of resources for students Kindergarten through the 12th grade. She provided the four Daily Chore Charts that I linked to below on her blog about them that she wrote back in September of 2012 and it just so happened that the dates line up with the June 2017 Calendar (with the exception of the 31st of course but we’ll just call that July 1st for our purpose!) so I decided that we would kick off our new chore system starting June 1st!
There are 4 templates provided, two with pet chores and two without. I only used three of the templates for my personal execution, both pet calendars and one of the non-pet calendars. Even though I have four daughters, I want to encourage my 7 yr. old to be a buddy with my 2 yr. old for chore’s so they were both given one of the calendars with some pet responsibilities. My 7 yr. old greatly thrives from the opportunity to be in charge of something with clear direction and the ability to be a helper so pairing her with my 2 yr. old was a natural decision. My oldest has a fair amount already on her plate outside of the home with friends graduation parties (Uuuugh! How is that so close for me as a mom?!?), Marching Band & local parade obligations, a few church/youth group related outings, in addition to her hope of working for my cousin’s cleaning company part-time this summer as well. Keeping her household obligations separate is certainly best in this case, though naturally, she is my most experienced and enthusiastic helper, giving my 7 yr. old this opportunity will encourage her to remember she is a big sister too (because she often feels stuck in the little sister role as her two older sisters mature at their older pace). You may notice that on these Daily Chore Calendars there are days that say “Free Day”, in an effort to encourage they work towards one paid chore Mon.-Fri. these will not be implemented as actual “Free Day”s, rather they will be Free Choice Chore Day. I plan to get some tongue depressors to label with additional chore ideas that I will store in a decorative jar or cup on hand and on those days they will get to choose a chore of their choice from those ideas. These chores will also be available for additional chores, you know, just in case my girls wind up so motivated they blow me away!
Now that the chore assignment method is handled, I have 31 days to design a calendar of my own to use moving forward, but thanks to her beautiful work I have a jumping off point to begin implementing as soon as possible. My children started their summer break the Friday before Memorial Day this year so by the time we celebrated the start of summer, my youngest’s 2nd birthday & Memorial Day, I knew that Tuesday would be the first day that was really just a normal summer day in our house this year. Knowing that I was kicking off our Mindset Mondays this week as well, (1 hr. daily with brain work each day during the week around a certain theme) I wanted to be sure not to completely overwhelm them so starting the new Chore System on Thursday gave them time to get familiar with the weekly theme summer learning for a few days before I shook up their chores.
The last step was not entirely a necessary component but I found it and thought it was too cute not to use somehow for my daughters. I found this Princess Chore Tracker which I printed a little larger than a business card with the plan to also laminate these so that I can use removable stickers to mark off each day they will be getting paid for so they have a visual reminder to look at on their Chore Boards without pulling the dollar bills out of their envelope a dozen times a week! This is kind of like their time card. they will turn these into me on payday since I will be the one regulating the stickers upon completion of the chores.
I decided to print the calendars, these Royal Duties Chore Trackers & prepare the Chore Boards and hang them Monday evening after they had all gone to bed. This way they would see them on Tuesday and start to get a little curious about them, and if I was lucky maybe they would even get excited (I could hope)! I also printed out our new
Daily Task List’s
I was introducing these as a more organized approach to our Daily Task List in addition to the Chore Boards. Every day there are basic tasks obviously that must be done:
- getting dressed for the day & properly handling their pajamas
- making their bed in a very loose sense, no hospital corners here!
- teeth brushing
- breakfast & breakfast clean-up
- devotions time in their bible
- caring for our pets (1 dog & a tankful of fish)
I struggle daily reminding my children to do these things, I feel like the nag of all nags EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am constantly asking them if these things were done or reminding them to complete them, so I finally realized a list they can visualize & check off may be just the trick to ending the nagging. In addition to these daily tasks to be done, I added a few additional items especially for summer to ensure they eliminate the excess of electronics this summer and find healthier alternatives whenever possible, requiring some reading time & creative play time. I put together a Daily Chart that I call the Checklist for Electronics Summer Template. I printed it up Monday evening as well and had them sitting on our dining room table Tuesday morning at their place with their bible & journal. I did not let them write on them though after they saw them and I had explained to them I took them up to get laminated so they can use dry erase markers to track weekly. (To my glee, the girls were all very receptive to the Chore Boards as well as these New Checklists to earn their electronics use daily when they discovered them Tuesday morning. So excited in fact that I did have to print a new copy for my second oldest daughter because she had starting completing things & checking them off on her paper before I even had time to explain them!)
As one final little EXTRA treat for the moms, I found this helpful Calendar that offers a weekly, monthly & yearly solution to a full coverage clean of your home!
Now don’t get me wrong, I do not follow this to any degree, I have actually had my cousin’s cleaning company out twice in the last month and a half to help me maintain and rebound from our horrific first quarter of the year. I did, however, find this buried in the files on my laptop while I was file sorting & organizing a few weeks back. I found it and thought it was a good resource for those of you gifted in the cleaning department. I can only find true peace & tranquility in a clean space so I prefer a tidy home. This is a direct reflection of how good a housekeeper my mother was when I was a child and still is to this day. I picked up a good portion of her cleanliness habits but with four kids running around there are just not enough hours in the day to keep up with it all. I have many gifts that God has blessed me with, what I am not blessed to be able to do easily is maintain a regular cleaning schedule. It get’s done, but not weekly when it should, not monthly in some cases and all together, never. I can’t get one room cleaned well and thoroughly and move onto another room without progress either being halted or redirected, thus meaning I never manage to get my entire house clean at once to enjoy it at all……………………unless I have
out occasionally to help keep me in line and save me valuable time to make memories with my kiddo’s while! The incredibly reasonable price I pay to have them out to clean is far better than the tortured task of feeling like I never get it all done and honestly when paired with just a little bit of maintenance chore effort through this chore system I am left with time to redirect my energy to another money-saving task, money-raising project or memory making fun! Just once or twice a month and your whole life could be changed! Take it from me, implement a Chore System that works for your kids and give The Cleaning Ladies a call! Let Laurel know you want your house to Dazzle like mine! Now head out to get your kids moving, because a little bit of structure can change your world this summer!!!
As always, thanks for reading!