There seems to be a a silly notion in the world today that kids shouldn't have chores or responsibilities. Why? I do not know! My children come home talking about how unlucky they are to have to do chores and how their friends get to play on their Xbox, Playstation 3 or other gaming devices for as long as they want to after school. At first I would like to shake the parents a little and knock some sense into them, but then I become rational again and I remind my boys that these are the rules in our home and I can't control the rules in other's homes. Sometimes they argue and bit more, but they soon swat the thought away and move on.
I have learned that EVERYONE needs to learn the value of work. Every child NEEDS to learn this skill. It's essential for them to learn that when doing a job or chore they should make sure to do it completely, thoroughly, and efficiently. This requires that they learn the proper way to do a chore and how to do it in a timely manner. Learning to use time wisely is a wonderful skill! Where else can they learn these skills better than in the home? No where. Teaching at home becomes the best school in the world!
It can be very overwhelming, frustrating and confusing to know where to begin. Our family has created many a chore chart, but the one we are currently using has worked the very very best for us. This is what I did:
*Depending on the size of your family, get a medium to large sized white board that is magnetic or make one of your own.
*On printable magnet sheets (I've used the Avery brand from stores like Staples and Amazon like these: Magnet Sheets)
*Make a list of chores that need to be done around the house.
Examples: get the mail and put it on the table
sweep the kitchen floor
unload the dishwasher
put away clean dishes
clean the bathroom
vacuum living room
feed and water pets
take out the trash
*Type your list into a Word document and make space enough in between each one so you can cut the strips apart. Print them on magnet sheets. Cut them out.
*Print out names of each person in the home or print pictures. Cut them out.
*Make sure to give the adults chores as well.
*Have the family members take turns picking chores. You could spread them out "memory game" style and have them pick randomly or they could choose which chores they want to do.
* I made 3 categories: Daily Chores, Weekly Chores (only need to be done once a week), and Meal time chores. I printed each category onto the magnet sheet as well. Cut them out.
*Place the names or pictures along the top of the board or along the side...you choose!
*Under or next to the names/pictures place the chores they chose to do.
*when they complete a chore they could flip the chore upside down so you can see that it is complete.
*Inspect their work and take the time to point out to them the things that look good, that they did well, and teach them how to do the things they missed. Be patient with them while they learn.
It's okay if you have to adjust the chart a few times. That's the great thing about this chart...it is easily adjusted to fit into any family's busy life. Do what works for your family. You may find that you forgot some chores OR you might find that there isn't enough time every day to complete all the chores you thought you would. That's okay. You can always print out more chores. ;) Or take away chores that are too much for a person.
My sister-in-law has her kids choose new chores each week. Her chore list is different than mine. Many of her chores she broke into steps, for instance cleaning the bathroom was broken into smaller chores like clean the toilet, wash the mirror, wipe the counter, and clean the tub. That works great for them and has given me good ideas for different chores. Sometimes kids get bored doing the same chores over and over, so switch it up.
Above is a picture of ours. It might look a bit crazy, but we understand what it all means. I have circled in red where I placed the category strips. You can see that the adults are over to the side along with the baby. We all have chores assigned to us....except for the baby. ;) Below you'll see how I rearranged the chore chart. The categories are along the top. The pictures run along the sides and their chores are in the row beside them.
If you try it one way and it doesn't work, try again. You'll eventually find what works for you! Be consistent. Set your rules and stick to them. Our rules are that there is no TV and no video games until the chores are complete and up to my specifications.
Happy Chore Chart making!