This Chore Chart is Functional and Fabulous
Over the last ten years or more, I have used many chore systems. I have purchased a peg board chore chart. We have used multi-colored chore charts that the kids marked with dry erase markers. The kids earned marbles for a marble jar to obtain rewards and one summer they earned plastic bugs for their “bug jars.” They could trade in their marbles or bugs for rewards. None of them were “just right” for our family.
I knew that I wanted to accomplish several things with the chore system we would use.
- Easy to use
- Clear expectations
- Less nagging from mom for tasks that are simple and should be done daily
- More responsibility from the kids
- Help with the day to day duties of running our household and keeping the house clean and tidy.
- Incorporate allowance with accountability
I scoured pinterest for inspiration and put together a system that we have now had in place for about three years. It is the best system that we have used to date and other than tweaking the chores, I don’t want to change it.
There are three parts to our chore system.
- The Team Leahy board
- The Pick a Task
- The Task of the Day
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The Team Leahy Board
The largest part of our system is compiled on a large magnetic dry erase board. I used washi tape and my Silhouette Cameo cutting machine to create our layout. You could purchase and use letter stickers for the same effect. Each child has a To Do side and a Done side. As they do their chores, they move their magnets from To Do to Done.
The wooden magnets for individual chores were created by using wooden circles and magnets that have adhesive on one side. I then used the same magnets and cute scrapbook paper to make the magnets to mark weekly progress. You may want to consider drawing pictures or finding clip art to show chores in picture form in order to equip your non-readers for more independence.
When the kids have completed all their chores for a day, they place a colorful magnet on the progress chart for that day of the week. This is my tracking system to see who has done their chores and who hasn’t. This colorful magnet determines how much allowance they each earn for the week and when their screens can turn on for the day. They aren’t allowed screen time if they have not done their chores.
Our allowance system is tied to chores as a source of motivation. If they do all their chores they earn allowance. If they do not do all their chores, they do not earn their allowance for the day. It is like the real world that we are preparing them for. If they work, they get a paycheck. If the kids don’t work, they will not get paid. We pay allowance weekly with earnings based on age and the number of days that their chores are completed.
Example allowance calculations follow. Ethan is 6 years old. He can earn $0.60 a day for completing all of his chores. I will count how many colorful magnets he has on his progress chart. Remember, he only gets credit for days that he completed every chore on his board. So if he completed four days of all of his chores, he would earn $2.40 for his weekly allowance. Our eight year old can earn $0.80 a day. Our ten year old can earn $1 a day, etc. Set the possible earnings as your budget allows. This is meant to be an example.
The Pick a Task
Each of my oldest kids have a magnet that says “Pick a Task”. My Pick a Task Board is a Dollar Store Cookie Sheet. My husband thought it was kind of tacky when I brought it home, but I happen to love it in my kitchen. (These cookie sheets can also function like a very inexpensive dry erase board.) Ignore the monetary values on our magnets. Those were for something that we tried before the success of this system.
Pick a Task magnets have household chores that don’t need done daily. These are weekly tasks that help to keep our house neat and clean. Examples include, “Wipe down the washer and dryer.” “Vacuum rugs.” “Stock toilet paper in each bathroom” Take hand towels to the laundry room and replace with clean.” You can google weekly cleaning tasks if you are lacking ideas. Add age appropriate chores to your Pick a Task Board as you desire. Each child helping with weekly tasks makes regular cleaning much more efficient.
The Task of the Day
The Task of the Day is one of my favorite elements of this chart. With so many kids, I cannot keep track of who’s turn it is to do anything! This chart is laminated. I change the tasks from time to time using a dry erase marker. My rotating tasks are unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming the kitchen, cleaning the toilets, emptying the kitchen trash cans, and vacuuming the hallways. Yours may look different. These are the five tasks, that if done well, keep my house from feeling like a disaster.
Keep in mind that no matter how great a system is, it will still take some effort on your part to monitor progress. Make sure to spend time talking with your kids about your expectations and then plan on a time of adjustment. And, what works for my family in the way of privileges and consequences may not be the right fit for your family, so, tweak it and make it your own. May there be less frustration and more teamwork for you all!