Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Chore Chart

Rophone and I have been meaning to get a chore chart organized for, like, forever. We used chore sticks in the past, and those were good, but now that the kids are older I felt like we needed a more consistent system. One where the everyday expectations of the kids were clear. I wasn't getting the support or consistent help I needed as a Mom trying to run a household of seven. Quite frankly, I was traveling pedal to the metal toward Crazytown and the car had plenty of gas.

Things kind of reached a head right before Mother's Day (due to many reasons) and a MOMumental breakdown occurred. Thankfully, Rophone experienced an epiphany and got me the perfect gift to celebrate. I know most women would have been angry or disappointed to receive the makings of a new chore chart system, but I was overjoyed. Not only because of the chart, but because of the support that he gave along with it. He took the lead and let the kids know that they'd better get ready for a new normal and explained to them how it was all going to work. Priceless. 

It took a few weeks for me to blog about it, because I kinda wanted to see how well it would work. Can I just say I think it's the best gift ever? We're going to tweak the system a little as we go along, but so far the chore chart has been life changing. I"m not going to say that the kids don't complain when it comes to helping out, but they complain less. I think having exactly what they're supposed to do to help each day outlined on the board keeps them from feeling like they're being blindsided by requests. 

Each room has been assigned to a kid (or two) to be cleaned at the end of each day (along with bedrooms). Each day has a Kitchen Captain and a Kitchen Helper. Laundry and changing of sheets is assigned. Even shower nights are assigned. We have more extensive chores listed for Fridays and every Saturday morning is spent doing a little yard work. 

I am naturally a very organized person, but unfortunately the kids can't see the little chart I have in my head of what needs to get done. I always know what needs to be done and when (and why it needs to happen when it does to facilitate other things getting done), but I think the kids just felt like I was throwing things at them. Even if I gave them fair warning and let them know verbally what I needed from them for that day, it still felt like an annoying request that was vague in timeframe, pulling them away from more desired activities.

Now we just check the chart. Not that we don't need to remind them, and there are glitches, but it's right there in black and white blue. We don't pay them for the work they do (I kind of feel like if they live here and eat our food, they should do their part), but Ginger had the grand idea to put a "Bonus Chore" in the empty upper left hand corner. This is a chore that is in addition to their regular chores and is worth a little compensation. As soon as someone claims a bonus chore another is added in its place. Oh, and each kid is only allowed to claim one bonus chore per week. Great idea, Ginger!

Anyway, the chore chart isn't perfect but it's pretty darn great to have. Here's a photo:

I really can't believe how perfectly the whiteboard Rophone picked out fits in that space. It was clearly meant to be. After we got the chore chart installed, I decided that I needed another one to be able to write inspirational quotes on. Maybe to try to ensure the kids do their very best as they work.

I'm pretty sure the next quote I put up will say "Your mother is a person." Ha! Thanks for the chore chart, Rophone!


patti's place said...

Good work! It was fun to read about and I like your new blog color format.

janeannechovy said...

Very impressive. I tried having a white board on the basement door for a while that would tell the kids what they were expected to do each day (they could see it as they were leaving in the morning and know what they were coming home to), color-coded by kid, *and* what they could eat for a snack and what would be for dinner (maybe you could write the menu along the bottom underneath the inspirational quote). However, it seemed like there were so many things that carried over, it didn't change enough often enough, and then if you leave things written on a white board more than a day or two, they get to be very hard to erase. Sigh. So I took it down. Maybe I just need to send them to you for chore boot camp?

jww said...

That is really awesome. I especially liked that he gave them an expectation about "the new normal." I've had various charts over the years, and it seems like I have to change it constantly because kids' needs/expectations change, we start guitar lessons, or whatever. I find summer is always a good time to start a new one since they have NADA going on. So that's what I need to do. I may pull mine out from last summer and give it another go. I love that yours is working so well!!! That is fantastic! Happy Mothers Day!!! :)