Saturday, November 21, 2009

Our Chore "System"

I thought I’d share the most effective chore system we’ve ever had as this topic has come up on several lists lately. I wrote down every chore I could think of on individual cards. At about 4:30 in the afternoon I sit down and flip through the cards to see what needs done that day. I pull these out divide the harder ones into two piles and put what seems appropriate for a 4 and 6 year in two other piles. I then call the kids in and hand them their pile. They go do all of the chores, bring the cards back when done and I check them and have them redo anything needed.
When the younger ones finish their chores they are free to help the older ones, but the older ones are not allowed to use any coercion methods to get their help. The older ones know that as soon as the younger children are trained they will take on more chores and make less work for them, so they very readily encourage the help and teach them to work. Also, if any of the children are done with their chores they are also free to come and help me with mine. This is most often done when I am baking anything. Kamron gets the most help from the little ones, because he offers time on his bed/fort for those who help him. Aubrey usually just pleads with them, which sometimes works, but we are also working on helping her to get cooperation through other means.
I also no longer pay for extra chores. If there are extra or unusual jobs that need done I write it on a card and hand it to them, during chore time. The kids do get an unconnected allowance for being a hard working member of the family.

A sample stack of chores for the day might be:
Kamron (11yos)
Wash tables and chairs completely
Vacuum all floors
Clean toilet
Clean out old food in fridge, wipe down shelves
Tidy frontroom, look around edges and under things
Change kitty litter

Aubrey (9yos)
Vacuum edges of all rooms with hose
Sweep and mop kitchen floor
Clean entry hall
Take everything, except maps out of car and put or throw away
Take out garbage

Brennen (6yos)
Tidy hall
Pick up room and make bed

Logan (4yos)
Make bed
Use wipe and clean all doorknobs and light switches

During this time I am typically tidying/reorganizing a certain area of the house, folding clothes and making dinner, while supervising or reteaching how to do a chore. That is our simplest, yet most effective method to date.

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