Tuesday, August 4, 2009

our chore chart

This week we are practicing with our "new" chore chart. We've been using this system for quite some time, but I re-assigned chores and switched some of our focus days around so we need some time to adjust before we start back into school.
This is the system I've been using for a few years with changes as needed here and there. Last year the big change was putting it on a white board using permanent marker (and erasable ones to mark what has been done, or things that change frequently). This has worked out so well because it is right out in the open where every one has to look at it and see what they still need to do, and I can tell at a glance who has not done their jobs (including me, its so easy to get sidetracked by a little one wanting to read or cuddle and forget what I was doing!). Each child is assigned a color and I use colored erasable markers to put a dot next to their jobs. Even the non-readers can look to see that they have a job that has not been marked off and ask a passing "reader" what that job is!

The biggest change this year was changing around our "focus" days. Mostly our errand and cleaning days needed to be switched around. We were running errands on Thursdays the day after AWANAS, and it just was not working to run around all morning with kids that had been up late the night before. Also our cleaning day had been Fridays, but we like to use that day for field trips and sometimes Rob is off on Fridays, on those days it was hard to get the cleaning done.

Mr. S is doing more chores this year. He has been the slowest to learn to do chores, but he will often rise to a challenge, in the last few weeks he has been talking to us about what a big boy he is. We figured it was time to give him more responsibility. Right now he is mostly just shadowing Mr. R and Mr. M on jobs that I know he is ready for. I'm guessing that by after Christmas he may be able to take on a couple of the jobs on his own at least one day a week. For the bigger kids their biggest changes are not in the jobs themselves but that they will either have less supervision from me, or that they will be training a younger sibling to do the job (which is adding work for them).

I also schedule "nap time" on this board. My three oldest don't need naps at all, but this is quiet time so they need to be assigned things to do that are quiet. Mostly that is school work, reading or on cleaning day that is cleaning the bathrooms. Also I use that time to have one on one time with them. Each child has a "special helper day" on that day they come down early to help with breakfast, they get to walk to the mail box, and spend time with me during nap time.

We're working out the kinks this week and I've found a few things that need moving around, I'm glad we have one more week before we will start school. Over all it seems to be going well though.

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