Saturday, April 28, 2012

Chores, Charts and Rewards... oh my!

As a mom of littles, the constant state of not-so-neatness in my house pretty much crushes my soul. And when something's gotta give, the first thing I let go is the house. Until Brian and I go crazy and clean it on a Saturday morning... and when I say "Brian and I" I mostly mean Brian, cause he lets me sleep in on Saturdays. And then I feel bad becuase he works hard all week and its hard to feel peaceful in relaxed in cluttery chaos.

As parents of littles, Brian and I want to be teaching kids about work, contributing to a family and the importance of saving up for things. Plus our kids are old enough to start helping with chores and I do NOT want to end up with kids who refuse to pitch in becuase they've never been asked or taught to do so. We needed a system...

So, here it is. I found the idea and free printable of the cards on Confessions of a HomeSchooler. I couldn'y find a pocket chart the right size at a price I was willing to pay, so I made my own from felt and vinyl. Each kid has two lines on the chart. Most are everyday jobs (stay in bed until 7 am, get dressed, brush teeth, make bed, put dirty laundry in hamper plus Carter sets the table and Allison helps with dishes after dinner), but a few are sometimes jobs (dust living room, vacuum 1 room, clean the plat room, clean bathrooms). The sometimes jobs are jobs Brian and I help them with during the week and on Saturdays. With the kids having tasks to do, picking up and mild cleaning actually gets done, instead of trying to do it and having it promptly UNdone.

When they kids complete a job, they get a reward card in the slot. Cards are collected and banked at the end of the day, then at the end of the week, the "Mommy-Daddy Store" opens and they can spend their reward tickets on treats and prizes. We're stocked with candy, toys, games & books (yay for clearance hunting!) and experiences (like a trip to our favorite ice cream shop, or the zoo).

We intentionally priced things we KNEW they'd want (the Ariel Barbie and the Imaginext toy) out of one week's reach so that they could also learn to save and work towards earning something. This was our second week working with the system and so far it seems to be a big hit.

They were both pretty thrilled to earn the prizes they were working towards this morning, since they didn't have enough for them last week. So far I think the only tweak we need to make is to raise prices in the "store" a bit. :) And hopefully this is a system that can keep working without huge efforts on my part, except for trolling for great deals on stuff to stock the store with... oh darn!


Alison said...

Cute Idea!

Kate said...

Oh the Winder house needs something like this oh so very badly! I had to laugh when you said the untidiness crushes your soul. I know what you mean.

Christie said...

Yay! That's an awesome idea. Glad it's working out for you!

Marc and Lori Johnson said...

This is such a good idea! I haven't blogged for some time and I am glad that I picked today to look so I could get such a great idea. Thanks Rosie!