"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Monday, June 13, 2011

FHE: Summer Chores

Now that the kids are older, it's time they earned their keep. No more free rides for these kiddos! I'm putting them to work.

Chores charts aren't exactly my strong suit. I talk a big game, have all these plans and determination. But the end result? Nada. Never makes it past the dream phase. To make things different this time around, I enlisted Boo and Boy in drawing up the system.

Opening Prayer: Baby (so dang cute that it's hard to keep from giggling)

Opening Song: Popcorn Popping

* I've read a lot of articles and blog posts lately that talk about instituting a different chore program for kids during the summer, complete with a reward system. Using different ideas, I came up with my own program. I presented my plan to the kids and let them give input.

Instead of giving them an allowance, they'd earn points redeemable for their favorite things. We discussed daily chores that I would expect them to finish six days a week. This is easy stuff like making their bed, keeping their clothes off the floor, and completing their dinner time assignments (Boy gets drinks ready and Boo puts plates on the table). This would give them six points every week. Then I added one little caveat: if they missed their chores on one of those days, then they would not receive any of those points. Gone. Poof.

Along with daily chores, they had weekly options. Four tasks that they needed to complete at least once a week. Each one is worth a point and includes vacuuming, smudge patrol, and tending the garden.

Just when I had them worried that their summer would be spent as my personal slaves, I showed them the last section on the chart. I left a space for Bonuses. These are for special projects or instances where they help me with Baby. Since they're spontaneous, the point values will be random. More points!

With images of points dancing in their heads, I pulled out the reward list. They could easily earn 10 points per week without any special bonuses so I started with 10 point prizes, like having a friend over to play. More intense rewards got higher prices, like a movie date with a parent is 50. I even set the bar pretty high with a tantalizing carrot: a new Wii game for 100 points. Boo has already decided which one she wants. And knowing her, she'll earn it, too. There were a couple prizes they wanted to add to the list but for the most part, they agreed with my suggestions. And I avoided rewarding them with sugar or cheap toys, going more for the experiences and activities.

BUT -- and I think this is where I went wrong all those times before -- they would also lose points for misbehavior, specifically one for every three time outs. Jaws dropped when I brought in this piece of fine print. I wanted them to take responsibility for their actions? What? I am really looking forward to this one.

Closing Song: Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam

Closing Prayer: the Boy

Treats: Milkshakes. The Man makes really, really good milkshakes.

Are you implementing chore charts for the summer?

* Image from PaintedGold.com, where there's some pretty good information on instituting chore charts.


Odie Langley said...

I never really used charts although I see the benefit. Mine are all grown now. Hope you had a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah... with my first, I was a "charter" but when my daughter came along and started with the chores, we went another route.
I should do a post on that. We have a popsicle stick method now. HA!

Popcorn House said...

YES! We use a chore chart all year long. It is a magnetic board with different magnets (pictures for the none readers), so I can choose which chores need to be done. This summer though we added, practice instruments, "homework" and reading time. It is working well so far. Good luck with yours this summer!!!

Lady of Perpetual Chaos said...

My girls are only 4 & 6 so I'm taking the chores slowly. They have the same chores during the summer as the rest of the year...making beds, cleaning up their rooms, cleaning up toys, unloading part of the dishwasher. I recently started an extra chore chart for each of them. Every time they do an extra chore (usually my choosing, no complaining from them) then they get a sticker on their chart. Each sticker equals $1 that they can spend how they want. But once it's gone, it's gone till they earn more. It's worked well so far. I like the idea of teaching them that we work to earn the things we want and not just have it handed to us. And I'm totally amused by how shocked they are that I don't get any stickers or money for all my chores. ;o)

Queen of Chaos said...

Good for you!!

We had to change the chore chart around to adapt to the new house. I've done tickets that are redeemable. My kids like that and respond well, it's just a matter of keeping up with it...which can be a pain, sometimes.

Right now... I'm in the mode of "do your jobs, or else you'll get beat! And no fun for you!" LOL

The kids have asked to go back to the ticket system, and I may entertain that. I guess they're tired of getting beat? {I'm joking, I don't beat my kids. The threat of it can be nice, though!}

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