Sunday, August 3, 2014


My camera isn't cooperating, so you get pictures of Brenna at the beach instead of the kids doing chores.
I've posted BEFORE about why I make my kids do chores, but I've never really gotten around to how we do chores. For many years now we've had a chore system that worked wonderfully. It was easy to remember, stayed the same long enough for the kids to become proficient, and changed enough that no one got too bored. We divided up the main things that needed done on a daily basis and had each child over 7 or 8 be in charge of one area (dishes, laundry, floors, bathrooms) for a month. Anything else that needed done was done by me or by all of us on the weekends. We used this system with a few minor changes for about 10 years.
This year, it stopped working. I had one child who wasn't quite old enough to do an area on her own, but old enough to need a job, one child with a completely irregular schedule, and very little time to do things on my own due to the demands of Owen's new diet. We hobbled through this year making a few small changes and trying to think of something easy and enforceable that would work as well as our previous system. I finally decided that we needed to break things up more and just keep a very detailed chart so I could remember who was in charge of what and when. So, I made lists of all the things that need done and approximately how often and assigned each child age appropriate chores which rotated by days of the week.
Now, the most important part of any chore system is accountability. If the chores aren't done it doesn't matter how great the system is. I have problems keeping track of things without visual aids, so I made laminated charts with a magnetic back and have them on the refrigerator with a dry erase marker to mark when I've inspected each chore. We started the new system in August so that we'd have a month before school starts to get the hang of it and make any necessary changes.
Once I can get my camera cooperating again I'll post pictures of the actual charts. So far, it's going pretty well. We had a few kids gone at various times this weekend and had to fill in for them, but that worked out well. I have one child who has extreme difficulties with change who is having a few problems with not having the same chore every day and with having to follow someone else who may not do things the same way he does, but I think that will settle down. I've purposely given Devon chores that don't need to be done on a specific day and time so she can make them work around her school/work schedule. I'm hoping that we can have most of the bugs worked out and some things that haven't gotten done around the house under control by September. that way we can start school fresh and organized.

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