Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chores: Our Helper Chart

For a while now I have been working with the kiddos on responsibilities around the house.  We practice cleaning up after ourselves, helping with the pets, preparing for bedtime, and other daily skills.  But we have never had an organized chart to keep everyone on track.  We once tried a sticker/reward chart for Old Crow...that worked about 4 days and then was forgotten about.  So I read a little more and thought A LOT more (my brain has been in overdrive this past month, but that is a post for another day) and finally came up with something that I think works perfectly for our family.  

We call it our Helper Chart.

I wanted all the kids to be on one chart together and NO STICKERS.  I want them to just know this is a responsibility and find joy in their completed work...not in earning a prize.  So this layout works great!  The "chores" stay the same and the kids are rotated every 2 weeks (or until they master their skill).  Their faces with names are attached by Velcro and can easily be rotated.  Once everyone is doing great and has had a turn practicing all of the skills, a new chart can be made with added chores.

It is important to note that I have to schedule the time for chores.  That chart can hang their all week but unless I set aside a time for us all to do our chores they will not get done.  So Mom and Dad are key to it working.  I have to remind myself of this...I am training them and cannot just expect them (at this age) to complete their chart daily without any reminders.

If you are wondering about the "Getting Ready for Bed Checklist" mentioned on the Helper Chart:  this is a checklist I created for the kids to hang in their bathroom.  It goes step-by-step and helps them personally prepare for the day or for bedtime.

And as for the "Stations" mentioned in the Helper Chart:  I read a blog post (and for the life of me cannot remember where) about a mother who suggested using "stations" to help clean up every night.  I divided our house into 4 stations (the 4 most commonly used areas)...keeping room, living room, playroom, and kitchen.  Each night before bed we are all in charge of one area or station.  I will always do the kitchen and the kids will rotate stations as seen on the helper chart.  It was so fun explaining all of this to them.  We went room to room and discussed how to clean up and prepare it for picked up, pillows on the couch, chairs arranged properly.  Each night before bed, we want the room to look fresh, clean, and ready for a new we have company coming over.  :)  We turn the praise music up high and for 10 minutes we clean up our area.  Then afterwards we go to the stations and clap and cheer for how well everything looks.  It is too funny to hear Memphis Belle talk about her "station".  :)

All in all, I think this system we have going will be a keeper.  Some things fade out or just don't work, but for us this is working and working well.  I'm fascinated by how much they can do and help if we just let them.  Tonight I just stood back and watched them for a minute...and then got out my camera of course.

Crazy Horse helping to feed and water the dog.

Crazy Horse helping with the trash.  He surprised me by doing this one day all on his own, and then I knew this was something he was capable of.

He also helps with the bird cage.

Little Miss Memphis Belle gets out the vacuum cleaner, plugs it in, and goes to town.

 She also loves to help with the dishwasher!

 Way to go, little helpers!

Hopefully, this will be of some help to someone...someone looking to bring a little order into the home, someone wanting to teach their kids responsibility, and someone who just needs a little help keeping things straight.  I know I sure did!  ;)

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