Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Making a chore chart that works

Somedays, I have a hard enough time remembering if I brushed my teeth, let alone chores and educational activities (bad mom, bad). The intentions are always there, to help Fitz contribute to the family in more ways than "pick up your toys", but fleeting in the midst of feedings and crying and "that's dangerous, please don't". We've tried a few different chore charts in the past that were always more work than helpful so they were abandoned quickly.

During a quick trip to Office Depot, I spotted a large 2014 desk calendar for $1.00 I snatched it up and began brainstorming how I could make the calendar do all the work of remembering for me.

What I want my calendar to do for me:

  • Show 2 educational activities and 1 chore for each day
  • Be simple enough for Fitz to understand alone 
  • Allow her choice in her contributions
  • Not be ugly

Before the month began, I went through and wrote down 2 educational activities for each day. (I took most of these from the Kindergarten readiness worksheet sent home from Parents' Night). I left the chores blank intentionally. 

Every Saturday, Fitz will have the chance to choose her chores for the week (Sunday-Saturday). Giving her the decision makes all the difference in the world! She has a list of age appropriate chores to choose from, and each chore must be completed before choosing one again (Ex: she did not chose clean bathroom, put toys away, counters & table, or clean bedroom for the first week of July so they will have to be chosen for the second week, before any other chore)

Each chore is an extra contribution to the everyday responsibilities of the house. Put toys away means go through the house and make sure that things are where they belong, not just shoved into the nearest toy bin or bedroom. Clean bedroom includes dusting, vacuuming, etc. 

When the chore and activities are done for the day, she places a sticker on that day. When Saturday comes, if all of the days have a sticker, she will receive an allowance. 

Allowance is new for us. Before this, she was expected to help around the house and was given praise instead of money.  As she becomes older and her wants become bigger, we decided that having the opportunity to save money and use it for what she would like (without hearing "no" all the time) is an important lesson. 

With the new system in place and working with minimal effort on my part, I'm looking forward to getting Monkey in on it in a few more months. 

How are chores handled at your house? Do you give an allowance for family contributions? 

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