Reader Tracy has shared this idea with us and we wanted to pass this along to you as it is a great idea!
We are a family of 10 with 2 living at college full time. Yes, you read that right. We have 8 children and no, we aren’t crazy. The children who still live at home range in age from 7 to 18. We home educate our children, so we LIVE in our house 24/7. We do have a lot of manpower but making the most of it has always been a challenge. Most people who know me would describe me as an organized woman who keeps a clean house. I guess that I would agree, but it seems to come at too great a price in aggravation.
My best friend has always had a well oiled rotating chore chart for her large family (she has 10 kids, crazy!). Chore charts have just never worked out well for me. I like my method of just doling out chores to whoever was nearby and available at the time when I decided that they needed to be done. As you might guess, my children didn’t always agree with my choices and while they were usually compliant, they would secretly keep a tally and rate me on the “fairness scale”. The reason they would do this in secret is because the statement “That’s not fair!” is always met with a “speech” from Mom or Dad. Life just isn’t fair. I set out to make the “chore chart” work for 2014.
I sat down and made a list of things that HAD to be done every day and a list of things that needed to be done occasionally. The list of every day things was turned into a chore chart that remotely resembles “fairness” but don’t tell me kids. You can see by the picture that I have color coded this.
The real charts are laminated and hanging in several areas of our home. Next I took the “occasional” jobs and sorted them into two groups. One group is the jobs that can be done by kids 10 years old and up. The other group is jobs that can be done by the (newly) 9 and 7 year olds. As you can see by the picture below, the younger kids jobs are printed in red. I made these in a WORD table and saved them so I can reprint them when they begin to get shabby. Its also very easy to make changes. Just cut them apart and you are ready to roll. Note that I added job descriptions to my slips. This avoids my kids claiming confusion on a poorly done job. I included one “freebie” slip and one “everyone” job. Next time I do a re-print, I think that I will add another freebie.
This is one picture of 3 pages of tasks. See all and download here.
We keep all of our slips in this fun bucket. It’s a recycled parrot seed bucket, but you could use an ice cream pail or coffee can. I printed the labels in a card/poster/banner type program just to make it more “fun”.
You can see that we keep the little kids red chores in a small baggie within the bucket. There is also a baggie for “done” chores. Attached to the outside of the bucket is “The Big Prize” which is earned when the bucket is emptied and jobs completed.
At the beginning of each day we all get together in the living room. We use this time to talk about our day, among other things. This is when they choose their bucket chore. We keep our bucket in the living room armoire on a shelf. On the inside of the door is a long strip of “poster tack” that we rolled like a snake. The kids stick their jobs on that blue strip until the next morning at which time I inspect the job (if I haven’t already done so) and stick the slip into the “done” baggie.
Chores have a whole new image in our house for 2014! The kids are enjoying this and I enjoy that it’s not a pain to maintain. Our bucket contains about 90 chores and is designed to be completed in 2 weeks. Prizes include a bagels and library trip, candy bar of your choice, and other low cost but fun things that we don’t ordinarily do often. A rare and major one would be lunch out after church (at a kids eat free place of course!) One thing that I really love is that the jobs they get are random and I don’t hear “that’s not fair” much anymore!
Download the chore slips for the bucket chores HERE
Tracy is a homeschooling mom to 8 kids with 3 graduates off to college. Her and her family spend a lot of time volunteering for www.sgtheatre.com as one of many activities. Thank you to Tracy for sharing this great idea for kids and chores!
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