I have tried a variety of chore systems through the years. I even bought a really cool personalized chore chart system for each of my boys with laminated velcro chore buttons I could organize each day of the week.
In spite of how cool it was, it didn’t work.
It did, however, open my eyes to this truth:
If it’s not simple, it’s not for me.
So, last summer, I grabbed a few items I already had on hand: colored popsicle sticks, a couple little buckets from Target’s Dollar Spot and some empty Frappuccino bottles – and developed a new chore system.
It’s simple and I love it.
So I’m implementing it again this summer. Here’s how it works:
I labeled one side of the popsicle sticks with a room or area of the house:
(We focus on one area per day, and it ends up being about 4 days per week.)
Then I labeled the other side of each popsicle stick with a chore specific to that area:
-Pick up Toys
-Organize TV area
Each day at chore time, I determine which area we will focus on and each of my two older boys randomly selects two of the chore sticks designated for that location.
When the chore is done, they place their chore sticks in their own jar. At the end of the week, they count up how many sticks they’ve collected and I pay them $0.50 per chore. (You may opt to pay more or less per chore based on your circumstances.)
I’ve also learned the importance of a Chore $$ bucket. I try to keep a stash of ones and quarters in the jar so that when it comes time to pay, I actually can. (Much easier than going to the bank every week – which usually just results in a long list of I.O.U.’s!)
I like this system for a number of reasons:
-It’s flexible. I like the fact that I can choose which area needs to be focused on each day – rather than being locked into a set schedule. I guess that’s partly due to my free spirit and partly because you just never know what kinds of dirt these boys might track in from day to day!
-It helps eliminate the “How come he gets the easier chores?” complaint since they receive their chores randomly each day.
-Kind of a no-brainer, but it helps keeps my house clean! The boys are responsible to help with a few other tasks throughout the week like laundry and setting the table and such. But it’s worth it to me to pay for these chores that go above and beyond to keep the house cleaner. I love seeing them learn about the value of money in the process as well.
How about? What kind of chore system works for you?