Saturday, February 27, 2016

Our new Chore Chart!

Good morning!

So... this last week was a long one.  It's been just a tad bit exhausting.

But first, let me start by saying how much I LOVE my 4 year old Cole.  (He will be 5 in April.)  He is so smart, so funny, so loving, so energetic, SO wonderful.



Cole is in pre-k 3 days a week from 9-2.  He LOVES it.  On Wednesdays & Fridays, he is home.  Recently I've started to notice that when he's home, he is at a whole new level of challenging.  I mean this in the most loving way.  He is the smartest little 4 year old I've ever known, & I am so proud of him.  But lately, he gets bored really easy.  I don't want him to watch TV all day long, & when his brother naps 2-3 hours out of the day, he won't just sit quietly & play with toys by himself like I wish he would.  He is an exact replica of me, a social butterfly with a busy mind, & he needs constant brain stimulation or socialization at all times.  If he doesn't have these things, he either A. drives me crazy whining & complaining, or B. watches TV for hours on end (unless I step in & find something to keep him busy).  (He's currently obsessed with Henry Danger on Nickelodeon & we are super sick of hearing the same episodes on repeat.)

On Tuesday after Cole came home from school, I noticed he was especially bratty.  I caught him talking back to me, & mumbling snotty things under his breath, & rolling his eyes.  All of these things are not okay in our home, we don't tolerate disrespect.  So, he was disciplined, & before bed I had a talk with him.  I asked him what was going on with him, why he was acting the way he is.  He didn't have an answer that made any sense, so I tucked him in & prayed over him & went to bed.  I started expressing my concerns to my husband.  We both agreed that it's time to get super pro-active with making SURE there is a plan put into place to make sure Cole is kept busy in the most healthy way possible.  If he is allowed to watch TV too much, or not given specific things to do, he starts acting out.

Our plan was to come up with a chore chart so that he has a certain amount of things he needs to accomplish during the day to keep him busy.  The following morning I decided to dedicate the majority of my day to coming up with a chart that was personalized to our family.  I went to Walmart first thing that morning to get the items I needed to make the chart, & also stocked up on a bunch of craft supplies.  (Googly eyes, pipe cleaners, stickers, fuzzy balls, etc.)

Here is the chore chart:




Not everything on the chart is housework.  We put teeth brushing & study time on there as well.  Since I completely winged it & made it up as I went along, it's not very pretty.  I will explain how you can make your own, but have it looking a lot cuter than ours.

It looks overwhelming but it's really not.  We wanted to add Brody (our 2 1/2 year old) to the chart as well, with not quite as many chores to do.

We got the poster board & the colorful foam letter stickers at Walmart.  (They have the best, most affordable craft supplies section!) So the letters obviously represent the days of the week, & we left out Sunday.  In our home, Sunday is usually church followed by a day of rest, so they won't need to complete all of their chores that day.  Each day has a C (Cole's column) & a B (Brody's column).  Cole has 8 items to accomplish every day, & Brody has 4.  At the bottom of each column is a spot for the 2 stars.  I had my husband draw cute little pictures to symbolize what each chore is, because I am NOT an artist.  I colored them pretty so the kids would like it, used packing tape to laminate them, & cut them out.  Then, I got some velcro out of my sewing supplies.  (You can get velcro at any store with sewing supplies!)  I cut out little squares of the velcro backing for each chore, in each row.  I then super glued the other side of the velcro pieces to the back of each item.  NOTE: Regular super glue did NOT work.  I needed something stronger, especially with all of us taking these off of the chart every day, they needed to not fall off.  So I used a quickset epoxy that my husband had in his tool chest.  You can get this at Home Depot.  I'm sure there are other options out there, but regular super glue & hot glue gun are definitely not strong enough.

Cole's chores:
1.  Brush teeth
2.  Make bed
3.  Study time (Practicing letters, doing his pre-school homework, pre-school work books, etc.)
4.  Dishes (He helps with unloading the kids water bottles, plastic dishes, & unloading silverware.)
5.  Bonus chore (helping me with laundry, throwing away a dirty diaper/grabbing a new one, etc.)
6.  Pick up time (Towards the end of the evening, he picks up all toys & shoes/dirty clothes in living room area.)
7.  Dust buster (I have him use the handheld vacuum to suck up crumbs & crap off the floor.)
8.  Brush teeth

Brody's chores:
1.  Brush teeth
2.  Pick up toys
3.  Pick up clothes
4.  Brush teeth

How it works:

All of the chores start on Monday, with the stars at the bottom.  On Monday after they accomplish chore #1 (brush teeth), we move their brush teeth "icons" to the right, into Tuesday.  That's how we know they've completed for the day, when the pictures move to the right.  At the end of the day when they've completed everything, we move each star to the next day as well.  When the stars get moved, they've earned a quarter for their piggy bank.  If they don't complete all of their chores for that day, they don't earn their quarter for that day.

We have a cool change jar that keeps track of how much money they have in there.  They LOVE putting change in it, & asking how much it's added up to.  Eventually we will start letting them buy their own toys or treats with their hard earned allowance.

If you'd like to make one of these chore charts at home, here are my tips I learned from doing it myself:

Use a pencil & a ruler to draw the lines straight before going over them with a sharpie.  The amount of rows & columns you'll have will obviously depend on how many chores you're doing, how many kids you have, & what days of the week you want to have on it.  Sketch it out on a piece of paper first before you start measuring & drawing on the lines.  Also, cut the velcro pieces the SAME size... I didn't think of that until I started sticking them on the paper & realized how they're all different sizes.  It would look a lot more uniform & neat if they were cut all the same.  Also like I mentioned above, make sure you use that epoxy glue stuff to make sure those velcro pieces are REALLY stuck to the pictures or else they'll fall apart right away.

So far, this is system is working out nicely for our family.  I love structure, I love planning ahead, I love organization.  Apparently, so does Cole.  After the first day of completing his chores, he was proud of himself & had a much better attitude.  He earned his small amount of TV time, & went to bed asking if we could do it again the next day. :)


By the way, if you don't own a dust buster... you need one.  I can't live without ours.  We have a 15.6 volt Black & Decker.  The voltage DOES matter.  And it's the perfect chore for kids!

Hoping this post helps out some other families who may need the same type of system put into place in their homes!

Thanks for reading,





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