Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Question of the Week...

For those of you with children, do your kids have "chores", and what are some things you have them do?

My kids beg me every summer to make them a chore chart. We started this five or six years ago, and they still LOVE it. They have a chore chart during the school year too, but it expands a bit in the summer. Here are some of the chores I assign:
make beds, straighten rooms, dust, windex, take out trash, gather dirty laundry and take to the laundry room, help fold and put away laundry, feed the dog, wipe down their bathroom sink and countertop, take out/sort recycling, lunch duty, and before/after dinner duty. Seriously, they argue over who gets to help me do certain things! And, yes, I realize that is slightly weird for them to want to do chores, but for some strange reason they do!

In addition to helping me keep the house in order, I also give them "personal chores", things like get dressed, brush teeth (you'd be surprised how ofen they "forget" if it's not written down!), brush hair, shower, etc. And even though they don't think it's a chore, I list "Read for 1 hour" on their chart. (Abbey only has to read for 15 minutes!)

This summer I added one more personal chore..."Write or draw for 15 minutes". I gave them a pad of paper and told them they could write one long story all summer, or a series of short ones and illustrate them. Really, anything goes as long as they're doing something creative. And...so far, so good. The girls especially love to write and draw, and Sarah showed me her stuff last night--she's writing a series of letters from two best friends living in pioneer times. So clever!

I suppose I could create/print their chore charts on the computer, but I give them each a piece of computer paper and let them make their own. They think that's half the fun. Works for me!

The reward for completing their chores is usually something pretty simple--a trip to Sonic for a slush, or ice cream, or an upexpected playdate.

Anyway, I'd love to hear what works for you!


Stephanie Kay said...

I'm working on getting a chart set up and a routine for my guys. The boys (3 & 5) already have to put away their toys and make their beds. I'm hoping to build this in as a habit so I can quit nagging and fighting them on it (specifically the 5 yr. old who wails and whines every day and claims he doesn't know how). I'm hoping a chart will help.

Leigh Ann said...

I'm amazed! Can my Evan come hang out with your kids for a while? Maybe all the cooperativeness will rub off! Ha! I love that they "argue" over who can help you. You are so creative getting them to do reading/writing exercises! It sounds like they will be easy to keep busy all summer. I'm definitely keeping you in mind when I need a tip or idea!

Kim Heinecke said...

Great post! Yes, we have our kids do chores as well...very similar to yours. In the summer we are logging reading time. After the first 200 minutes you get a sleepover wiht one friend. After that, there is something "fun" for all chores done and 500 minutes of reading...and so on...

Gina said...

Our kids do chores. They hate them- but they like that i'm not too busy or grouchy to play. I pay them $5 per week for the basics and then we have "extra jobs for extra money" that can only be done if you have done your regular chores on any given day. When they get paid, the kids set aside 10% for tithe. With the $4.50 that remains, they put $2.25 into thier savings accounts and the other $2.25 is thiers to do with as they wish. I'm hoping that by doing this, I engrain some good habits in them, and that by the time they can drive, they can also afford a car.
Our chart is a poster board with columns for each kid with contact laminated chores- each with a velcro dot on it. We have a 4 week cycle where the jobs stay the same each week but get tranfered to a new kid. At the end of 4 weeks- when each kid has had each set of jobs- we mix 'em up and start again. I'm loving it!

Julie said...

Due to the size of our family we have had to have chores in place for some time.

Each child does their own laundry. They have their own laundry day except for the boys who share a day. I started them around 10 except for Lydia who asked at 8 to do her own. That's a load off of me... lol

The 3 youngest unload the dishwasher when it has finished. One does the top shelf, the other does the bottom shelf and the youngest does the silverware.

Each child clears their plate and washes their own dishes after each meal. Alot of times they also wash one of the pots.

On Friday we do our weekly cleaning. They have to clean and vacuum their room. Each child has a chore. My youngest daughter does their bathroom.
The oldest son vacuums the living room. The youngest son vacuums the dining room. The 2nd oldest daughter vacuums the downstairs room and cleans the bathroom that she uses, her private one.
When my oldest comes home she pitches in where she can.

It's harder once they start working.

Of course they have to pick up their things daily, but as for chores that's how it goes around here.

Sounds like your kids are doing great!

Jennifer said...

We have chores in place too. It's a little more relaxed during the school year but once school is out (three days and counting!) then it'll expand.

Kellie DeLange said...

I made a chore chart for my 6 year old daughter not too long ago. I post it right on the wall where she sees it everyday. She has to make her bed, take care of dirty/clean clothes, clean up bathroom, and brush her teeth. If she does everything without being told, she gets to put a sticker on the calender and when the month is over, we count the stickers and that's how much she can spend on whatever she wants. There are also a few chores that are not on the chart that she must do when I ask-like clean up the kitchen after dinner, fold clothes, etc.
She loves her chart and her bed has been made everyday before school since we started it!!!

Gretchen said...

We do school year chores and summer chores, as well. Though I'm not the uber-organized super woman that you are (and i mean that with true genuflection and love), and I don't always follow through, I believe it works fairly well.

Generally, they get off easily during the school year: pets, self care, homework, and several weekly "5 minute room rescues".

During the summer, they have those plus opportunities for earning money, such as picking up pine cones, weeding, poop scooping, and cleaning things I abhor cleaning (e.g. baseboards, doing dusting).

I'm more in training mode right now, e.g. training my kids to make simple meals (and c.l.e.a.n. u.p. afterwards), training on how to organize and how to keep a room tidy. It's painful for me because it's not second nature, but we're all growing from the experience. :)

#1 chore: put away what you take out.

I swear, I should write that 100 times on notebook paper to remind myself. LOL.


Unknown said...

Well, my kids are 3 & 1 and so far the thing that works is for me to work along side them..."ok, now you put this here. Now this needs to be taken there..." My older one could maybe do a picture chart... Great ideas.