Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mysteries Revealed, Part 4

My new friend, Angela, asked how I divide up chores and other household duties now. Angela has 2 sweet little ones at home now, but I see a houseful of munchkins from all over the world in her future... near future.

Answer: Well, our basic theory on chores is that we are a family, we share a home, therefore we all need to work together to make this home run smoothly, while remaining at least slightly on this side of chaos.  We want our kids to learn responsibility, and helpfulness.... but I don't want to be a dictator, and have little soldiers for kids.  I'm finding that it is pretty easy to fall into mean military Mom mode.  I'm working very hard to find the balance between having routines and expectations, while still having a happy, relaxing, safe harbor home.  I think that the key to this is for the kids to all know what is expected of them, and when it is expected of them.  In come our chore charts.  On our refrigerator are 6 chore charts, 1 for each child in school.  They are laminated.  When they complete a task they mark it off with an Expo marker (conveniently located in a magnetic pen holder on the side of the fridge).  I wipe off the charts each night.  Right now, we are all getting used to the charts, so no consequences for missing jobs, they just get a reminder for now.  

Here is our fridge: 

Here is Nathan's chart up close (click on it to make it bigger):
Everybody pitches in after each meal to get the kitchen and table cleaned off.  Even the littlest ones help by wiping off the chairs.  Everybody pitches in cleaning on the weekends as well.  I just take a look at what needs to be done and divvy up the chores.  In the past, I've tried to chart specific chores for each child.  That just doesn't work for me very well, because one person's job is always the toilet.  That's not fair.  Then we tried alternating weekends.  That didn't work, either.  Either we forgot what weekend it was, or someone wasn't home to do there's, or we were too busy one weekend.  'Clean Sweep' is making a loop through the house, picking up anything that belongs to you, or you got out.  It's not all that detailed or all inclusive, but for us, Keep It Simple Stupid works out really well.

So, I think that's it in a nutshell.  It's been working pretty well.  So far, so good!  Thanks, Angela, for the question!


Laurel said...

Every year our chore charts change with the changing of the children. However, for many years it looked like this ...

7 children old enough to do all household chores
7 days of the week
7 different jobs (kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc...)

Every day the children rotated ... every day every job was to be done. If a child was gone for a day, it wasn't that big of a deal, because the job would get done the next day.

Now ... we have 3 big kids (ages 12, 15, 18) who rotate on meal preps, 5 little kids who work together on most of the daily clean up. Then, once a week we assign the bigger jobs that need doing.

Keep up the good work.

mama of 13

Heather A. said...

Girl, I don't know what to do with all of your posting lately!!!

Chores: you are now my organization role model. I can't seem to keep the follow through with chores though. Do you go through the house with the kids to check off what they have done or are you on the honor system?

April said...

If only I could be disciplined enough to do my chores maybe the kiddos would follow suit. I did however have all three dusting everything they could reach yesterday, that was fun.

BookMama said...

Hmmm, I think that Adam may be finding one of those chore charts on our fridge soon! (OK, we'd tell him about it first.)

Julie said...

That is so funny we recently incorporated the same thing, except ours isn't as pretty and I LOVE it. Did you make up or get the template from somewhere. I just did it in Excel. No more nagging! Katelynn seems to like it too she gets excited when she gets to check it off. I love to read other ideas to help the process. Thanks

shelly said...

Hey heather its shelly, I know that at the beginning of your blog you wrote individual explinations of each kid and and told us about them.. are you going to do that with elias, beatrice, stealla, and ishmel..i know I probally screwed those name spellings up!! sorry..

Kelly said...

LOVE these charts! We have 5 children now and will be adding #6 from Ethiopia (a 5yr old) soon, and we are at a point in our family that we really need help in this area. The work has become way too much at this point for one person (ahem, me) and it isn't getting done. Can you tell me what program you used for these charts? They look so nice and easy for the children to follow.