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Monday, February 7, 2011

One Year to a {More} Organized Life, Week Six

Kids' Chores

This week's assignment may be super duper easy for some of you, if you already have your children doing chores. For others, this may be one of the hardest weeks yet. Those of you who do not have children, you get a break this week.

If you have children and do not already have a chore system set up, now is the time to get that started. Why?

1. You cannot juggle every ball of life by yourself. You need help. God gave you help in your children. No. They are not your slaves. Please don't treat them as such. They are your little helpers.

2. Your family is a team. You all work together to accomplish all the logistics of life.

3. It is your job to train your children to be responsible adults. It starts when they are young. We cannot expect our children to just know how to be responsible on their 18th birthday.

There are so many different ways to set up a chore system, from a very simple check list to an elaborate set up with various cards and rewards. Various resources are listed below that may prove helpful in this process.

What chores do I give my children?

Donna, from Positive Parenting 3.6.5, has a lot to say about chores. Scroll down toward the bottom to find lists of age appropriate chores.

Steph, from Alchemy Junk, has a fabulous Independence List for you to fill out for your children, to help you think through your goals for each one at their current age as they grow toward adults. This may help you figure out which chores are most important to focus on right now.

What kind of chore system works best for us?

Lots to choose from here...

Crystal, from Money Saving Mom, has a very simple chore chart available, that is completely customizable.

DLTK offers customizable chore charts, as well.

Homeschool Curriculum for Life offers premade charts. Just print and use. (Scroll down about halfway, choose your age group. This will take you to another page. Scroll down again, and choose your chart.)

Here is a chore chart you can use either online or print off.

If you wish to go more hands on than just a sheet of paper, you may want to try a chore card system.

This one is for sale from Rise&Shine, but looks very easy to duplicate yourself.

Such Treasures shares how she set up her own chore system using envelopes and notecards.

You could always make a flipbook of chores, as 320 Sycamore did.

Confessions of a Homeschooler offers free printables to create an elaborate chore system. This is actually the closest to the system I created this summer (pictured below), although mine is much simpler with fewer pieces.

An overview of chore systems you can purchase.

Accountable Kids looks like a fabulous program that would span through all ages and stages and changes. It's actually what I somewhat based my chore system off of.

Our Chore System

Our chore system took me four months to create, between all the interruptions and the procrastination. Unfortunately, after all the work I put into it, I use it only a few times a month. I told you I was no good at this consistency thing. I'm going to be working on figuring out when to assign what chores and then work on starting and staying consistent with the kids' chores.

I designed the cards in Photoshop and had them printed on a deck of cards when Artscow had a great deal going. For the pocket station, I used baseball card protector pages glued with a spray on adhesive to white foam board. I then mounted them in very cheap poster frames with the glass removed.

There is a row of three pockets for each part of the day: morning, afternoon, and evening. At the beginning of the day, all the chore cards start in the first pocket of each row. When they complete a card, they move it over to the second pocket.

When all the chores for that time of day are completed, they receive a privilege pass, which they place in the second pocket, in front of the completed chores. This privilege pass is the sign that their chores are done and they can now go play.

The third pocket of each row is for playing "Three in a Row", a game for re-enforcing good character or habits. For example...

Let's say Cherith needs to work on being more joyful, rather than complaining. If she demonstrates cheerful behavior during the morning, she receives an "I am joyful" card.

If she pouts and complains during the afternoon, she does not receive a "joyful" card. However, if she changes her attitude during the evening and is cheerful, she will receive a card for her evening pocket. So, at the end of the day, she has a "joyful" card in her third morning pocket and her third evening pocket. The third afternoon pocket is empty.

The next day, if she is joyful in the morning, she gets to keep her card in place. If she is not joyful, the morning card is taken away. Once she has successfully earned three joyful cards in a row (morning, afternoon, and evening), she will be awarded some sort of prize or privilege.

We do the same thing for other goals, such as keeping pants dry throughout the day. For non-character habits, we use the "I did it" card.

I originally thought I'd hang the cards, so I designed them with space at the top for a hole.

**The chore and character and reward cards are now available to print. If any of you would like better instructions for making the pocket station, email me. I can get them to you.**

The Assignment Nutshell

Decide what chores each of your children should do, and come up with a good chore system. Without some sort of system in place, no matter how simple, it is unlikely that chores will get done.

Next week, we will work on creating our daily and weekly routines to follow.

For those with kids, share with the rest of us about your chore system and link up below.


  1. Eek, this is gonna be a tough one! I know it's time for at least my son to do some stuff, but ugh, something else for me to organize and be on top of. Thanks for listing all the resources, I'm going to need them!

  2. Oh, my goodness! What an awesome post! So many ideas. So many resources.

  3. I will have to visit some of those links. Can someone tell me why my 6 year old can do chores with no problem, but my 12 year old whines and complains??

  4. Unfortunately, I don't think my 7 month old is going to be able to do any chores yet so I'll take a break this week (which is good since I'm just completely sick as a dog!)

  5. I purchased Managers of Their Chores nearly two years ago and still have yet to implement it. I made lists with designated times for the kids to do their chores, but without a schedule in place, we never really got anywhere with them.

  6. Almost caught up! Here is my Week 6 post-