Summer Chore Charts

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Hello there! Well, are you parents ready for summer?? I don't know about you, but I feel like there is a fine line between balancing a summer bucket list of fun and overbooking ourselves. Sometimes I am so worried about the arguing and bickering that I am tempted to plan, plan, plan, leaving very little time for some spontaneous fun. And that's what summer vacation is for, right? Impromptu family gatherings, late night barbecues, last minute mini vacations.

I approach each summer a little differently I suppose. I try to remember what has worked in years past and throw out what didn't work quite as well. This year I have decided to put together a plan for summer chores. When my children know what is expected of them, they do a pretty good job of delivering. I think that can be true for most children. Consistency is key here.

At the beginning of this past school year I had put together new chore charts to help with the morning madness. On the charts I separated their Morning Chores from their Afternoon and Evening Chores. This I found worked out really well. When the boys woke up for school they knew exactly what was expected of them, and most days they completed their Morning Chores no problem. There was still the occasional whining, crying, and dilly dallying from the boys, but in general and as the year went on, they became accustomed to what was expected of them and completed their chores in a timely manner.

The Morning Chores for my two oldest were the following:

Get Dressed
Eat Breakfast
Brush Teeth
Brush Hair
Make Bed
Put Away Laundry (Bode's Chore)
Put Away Toys in Room (William's Chore)

As you can see the majority of their morning "chores" is just what is needed to get up and ready for school with the addition of beds made and the room picked up. When asked, "Can we watch tv?" My response has been, "Did you finish all of your morning chores?" This has been incentive enough that my oldest son would wake up a little early in order to complete all of his chores so that he could watch a show before heading off to school. When focused, the boys could finish all of their morning chores in 20 minutes.

Separating their chores into Morning, Afternoon, and Evening was the shining star of our chore charts. The boys knew what was expected of them and when, and I believe they found it a little comforting to know they didn't have to complete all the chores at once. So when I created their summer chore charts I kept the format the same, except I got rid of the "evening" chores. During the school year, "afternoon chores" were completed after a snack and some down time. Our plan for the summer is to do "afternoon chores" after lunch.

After a conversation with a friend of mine I decided to try the Job System with the boys. They will no longer be offered an allowance for completing their chore charts. Their chore charts will be a expectation for being a helpful member of the family and learning to take on responsibility as a contributing family member. However, if they would like to earn money we have come up with a list a jobs that can be completed for a predetermined amount of money. Many of these jobs can be completed in a matter of minutes.

I like that by doing this they learn that money will not just be handed to them, but earned. Once they have completed their chore charts they will be allowed to complete as many of the paid jobs as they'd like throughout the week. The job cards I made were inspired by another blogger's job cards I found here. I loved the style of her job cards, but decided the jobs were not quite what I was looking for, so I decided to make my own.

When the boys came home from school the other day, I explained the new chore/job system to them. I was surprised at how motivated my son, Bode, was by seeing the "money" hanging with the job cards. He immediately finished his chore chart so that he could get started earning money. In one afternoon he earned $14 doing jobs like clean and vacuum the van, pick up doggy poop, disinfect the door knobs, etc.

Then, the following morning he woke up early to complete his Morning Chores so he could pick a job to do. Before he left for school he had gotten himself ready, fed, made his bed, picked up the laundry, then swept and mopped both bathroom floors and he was so excited as we moved the fake money into his envelope to be exchanged for real money at the end of the week.


 Our chore chart center includes the chore charts, envelopes for each child's earnings, the job cards, monthly calendars, a notes page, and a year-at-a-glance calendar. The notes page can be found here, and the year-at-a-glance calendar can be found here. I picked up these two from one of my all time favorite organizing bloggers, her printables are the best. The monthly calendar printables I found here, I like these ones because there are no dates and can be used over and over again.

I bought the cork board tiles and colorful binder clips from Wal-Mart. I think the binder clips are my favorite part of the whole system! Underneath the year-at-a-glance calendar I put two envelops. One envelop holds the extra job cards and the other holds the extra "money." I use the "notes" page all the time! I love the colors, and the lined paper is great for list making. I have another one printed and laminated hanging on my refrigerator. I use it for keeping track of random groceries or items I need to pick up from the store. The envelope under the "notes" page is for our elusive dry erase you can's missing. Again. 

I did a chart for each of the three older boys, They are ages 9, almost 6, and 3. I blocked out the circles on the days that they do not have to do those chores. Typically our weekends are pretty busy with this and that, so realistically I know chores wouldn't get done on most Saturdays, and we just don't push the chores on Sundays.

I just give William a Swiffer duster for his "dust the hallway" chore, and he runs it over all of the wood work in the hallway. Does it do a perfect job? Not even close. But it's just a stepping stone for helping out. 

As you can see,  Benjamin has very few chores. The few that he does have he can do with ease. Right now we are more focused on Benjamin helping out and less focused on Benjamin completing the chart. 

Right now, the boys are capable of completing their morning chores in about 20 minutes and their afternoon chores in 45 to an hour, depending on how focused they are. My boys are typically up by 7am and in the summer they are in bed near 9pm. Which means their chores only take, at most, an hour and half of their 14hr day. This leaves the boys with plenty of time for all kinds summer fun, activities, and outings! They are being helpful members of the household, learning focus and responsibility, and typically when doing their chores they are too busy to be getting into trouble or bickering with each other. And now that they are earning money they will slowly begin to learn financial responsibility as well.

For the job cards, I tried to come up items that both Michael and William could do. I also tried to come up with jobs that required very little of my help. Now with the boy's chores and jobs out of the way, the boys and I are going to come up with a summer bucket list of fun stuff to do together!!! I am looking forward to a some of the ideas the boys have thrown out there. 

Thank you for reading and have a great summer!!! 

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