I have been playing with the idea of a chore chart in my mind for quite a few months. There were four goals I had for the chore chart that I would hope to implement. I wanted it to be (a) sustainable, (b) inexpensive (c) motivating and (d) fun. I knew that the boys were of an age where having family responsibilities was important, but I wasn't sure how to encourage them to help while making it fun at the same time.
I finally came up with the following chart after talking to many of my friends and trying to combine or eliminate their successes and/or failures:
Here's a picture of Sidge showing off his chart. Isaac's chart is on the left and Sidge's chart is on the right. I opted for drawing them on the freezer with a dry eraser marker. This was completely free. And then, instead of coloring in the squares which would require me to redraw the grid each week, we chose to use magnets (which we have an abundance of and no real use for). On Saturday evening, when we clear the board and start again, I might have to redraw a few lines, but overall, it stays pretty well from week to week.
Here is a close-up of our chart. JB helped me with the pictures at the top of each column. (I don't think he was impressed with my initial artwork attempt. The idea was that the kids would know what each column was for since they can't read. But my artwork really didn't help them know anything.)
The boys have five ways they can earn their magnets each week.
- The first column is feeding or watering Scrubby for breakfast. (Isaac does food in the morning and water in the evening and Sidge goes opposite.)
- The second column with a picture of Mader is for helping clean up their toys before afternoon naps.
- The third column is for feeding or watering Scrubby for dinner.
- The fourth column is for cleaning up their toys before bedtime.
- The fifth column is for saying their memory verses before bed.
At the end of the week, they get one mini marshmallow for every square that they have a magnet in. At this point, they are very motivated and want to earn their magnets. So I haven't really had to deal with what I would do if they refused to help. In addition, I will often say, "Okay, I'm going to give you two more minutes to pick up your toys. If you don't pick them up within two minutes, you'll still have to help me, but you won't get a magnet." Overall, we've been doing this for about four weeks now, and it is going really well.
I'd love to hear from other people what worked or didn't work for you.