So in all our parenting years we have yet to come up with a method for chores and keeping things in order that has worked for us. I've tried checklists. I've tried reward systems. I've tried yelling (not my finer moments). I've tried being totally on top of the kids to keep them focussed and on task for each and every chore or task they have. Nothing has worked. Now, this failure is due, in part, to my general lack of desire to follow through until it becomes habit for the kids. The other part is we have four kids of varying ages and abilities. It becomes really easy to just have the big kids do their parts and do the jobs of the little girls for them because it is faster. My oldest girl is quick to get her tasks done. She is thorough and does her jobs without complaining. My oldest child, on the other hand, is the biggest bear when it comes to taking care of things. I'm not sure this chore system will help with that but I'm hopeful it will help motivate. I read a blog called Under the Sycamore. She has five kids of varying ages and she posted this chore board she made. I thought it was worth a try. I started with the clothes pins. Two packs of 18 cost me around $4 at our local grocery store. You can probably find them cheaper elsewhere. I have a ton of paint and spray paint on hand, so I taped off the pins (I have five for each kid for daily responsibilities) and I spray painted them while holding them. It was fast and easy but I ended up with a hand that was quite speckled and colorful for a few days.
These daily pins are:
Read 30 Minutes
Pick up/Wash Clothes (Laundry responsibilities for the big kids will start this summer. I'm teaching them so they can do their own laundry and it will be their own responsibility. Hopefully, within the next two years each kid will be doing their own laundry. In the meantime, the little girls will be responsible for picking up dirty clothes and putting away clean laundry.)
Pick up personal items/toys (This is for the entire house. We have so much square footage, it is super easy for everything from each kid to get dragged across the house and left out without so much as a second glance.)
I also made up 10 pins that have chores or responsibilities that will rotate through the kids throughout the week. These pins are:
Help make dinner
Pick up toy closet
Pick up coat closet
Pick up trash in Big room
Clean Bathroom Sinks
Pick Up Stage
Straighten Book Shelf
These will rotate through the kids. Obviously, I or Daniel will have to help the little girls get some of these done but the goal will be for them to do the tasks along side us until they are big enough to tackle them on their own. I have a feeling we'll be changing or adding to these pins as the time goes on.
I had Daniel cut me a piece of scrap wood we had to 6"x25". I painted it with two coats of chalkboard paint and let it cure. Then I seasoned it, drilled two holes and threaded a bit of rope though to hang it. Each kid has their own section. When they finish a task, they move it to the top. If it is a weekly/daily task that rotates, they move it to the ends when they finish it.
I am slowly working on getting a hub organized in the kitchen for all the things we as a family need to keep track of stuff. This is what I have, so far. My household to-do list. This is not to be confused with paperwork or shopping or menu making or any other to-do items. This to-do list is only for household tasks I need to complete. I have my paper calendar. Everything is on my phone calendar, as well, but it is good for the family to be able to see what is scheduled. I will probably get myself back into the habit of keeping a paper planner as soon as school starts again for me and the kids because I will not be able to keep track of it all.
I love the option of chalk boards for this sort of stuff. It's fun and easy to use and can be used over and over and over again. We'll see if this chore/responsibility board works out for us. I'm hopeful that since we'll be starting it at the beginning of summer and we'll all have plenty of time to get accustomed to it, it will be a success. Pray for us, ok?
I'm also working on some little projects around the house to check some items off the list. We've been at a bit of a standstill with projects because of a lack of time, money and energy. Everything is in a completely functional place but now I'm trying to get some things ticked off that make spaces more useful or happier or prettier. I'm doing as much of this as I can with material we have on hand in an effort to save money and use up construction materials. Stay tuned for some of those updates.