Before I start, I wanted to take a minute to say THANK YOU to everyone who's messaged or emailed me about this or this post. I cannot even begin to put into words how much this experience has blessed me and Mike. Your thoughts, your shared experiences, your prayers.....all of that is so overwhelming and humbling to me. For a couple of posts that I didn't even think were that well-written, the response has been incredible. I am so grateful to all of you who shared it with a friend, or took the time to tell me how my words touched you. In the midst of my grief, God has blessed me abundantly. I am so grateful.
I'm still processing everything that has happened over the past few weeks, and right at this moment, we're dealing with the clean up from Hurricane Sandy. We were blessed to not have a direct hit up here in Maine, and are praying fervently for those who were in her direct path, but we do still have a lot of clean up in our neck of the woods. We're going on day 3 with no power, and our yard is a mess. Thankfully, our only damage is some denting to one of our cars (hit by a falling tree limb), so the majority of what we are dealing with is minor annoyances. No electricity during a blizzard is a bit more dangerous than what we have right now: 60º temps, so we are just camping out and counting our blessings, while continuing to pray for those who are truly struggling with storm damage and clean up.
I was asked recently to share our "chore chart" system, so today's post is going to be just that. It's light and fun (especially for Mommy and Daddy), and I think it's a good time to share. A bit of a breather from the "heavy" stuff, if you will.
Anywho, a couple of years ago, I realized that I was frantically trying to do too much around the house, and had a few able bodies who were at the right age for "life skills training." Our chore chart system was born, and with a few modifications, it's the same one that we use today. We started when our oldest was 6 (and the youngers were 5 and 2). Now, the boys are 8, 6, and 3, and it works like a charm!
Here's the basic concept: I have a list of chores that I "draw" from. They range in difficulty and frequency, and I try to make sure the majority of them are ones that everyone can do (I do have some that only the big boys can handle, but the bulk of them are ones that everyone can do). These are chores that I don't *mind* if they're not done exactly to my liking - I learned quickly that if I gave a child a chore to accomplish but would be really upset if it wasn't done to my standards.....it would backfire. I'd end up being annoyed that it wasn't done "well" and the boys would quickly lose their confidence in their ability because I'd find myself correcting them constantly.
Each day, I draw 3 chores for each child and place it on their chart, in the "to-do" column. Some are chores that happen every day (like making their beds and feeding the dogs), and some are ones that happen on a less frequent basis. Whatever the chores are, each boy is responsible for 3 of them each day.
I do not nag with these chores. They have a day to complete their 3, and if they don't, they do not get rewarded. I will sometimes give them a block of time after dinner as "chore" time, if I'm feeling nice. ;)
When the chore is completed, the boys move the magnet with that chore's name on it into the "done" column. At the end of the day, I check to see if they've finished their chores, and if so, I add a tally mark in their "bank" (also on the chore chart). At the end of the week, I count up the tally marks and pay allowances accordingly. 7 tally marks is equal to one dollar, and if there are less than 7 marks, I prorate the dollar based on their work completed.
It works for us! Live runs more smoothly than it did before, and the boys LOVE having a way to earn their own spending money.
So, I present to you, our chore chart.....in pictures:
|A close up of a sampling of daily chores - these are just piece of cardstock with clip art printed onto them, and magnets glued to the back|
|My stash of chores to pull from - I keep it on the fridge, out of reach of little hands|
|our system in use|