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kids chores

With all 8 of us in and around home most of the time, housekeeping is a huge issue. That is why I have been searching for a method of organizing chores that really works for my family for a LONG time (this picture is 2 years old).

I’ve tried magnet chore boards on the fridge. Didn’t work because the kids forgot to change their magnets around and I always had to reset them each day. I’ve tried printed lists. Didn’t work because I had to reprint them all the time. I tried the big tag board from www.familytools.com. Didn’t work because the kids were constantly knocking the whole board down. Too many times of picking up a thousand tags and reorganizing them and I was DONE with that. I’ve tried computer programs that give points for chores. Didn’t work because I had 5 kids clamoring to get on one computer to enter their chores at the same time. Actually, what they were doing is salivating over the rewards. I tried www.titus2.com’s Managers of Their Chores. That didn’t work because the oldest felt it was too babyish and the youngest was losing her cards all over the house. That was just one more thing to pick up! They also despised having the same chores for a year. Lots of bickering about fairness. I also tried Chore Olympics that I devised myself. I created sets of chores that were rotated from child to child. Each child was timed for their chores each day and the totals were added per week. The winner got a prize. Besides the fact that it took forever to add up everyone’s times, I kept running into problems when one of the kids wasn’t there for some reason. Then I have a child who will never, ever, ever win. You know the type. LOL

The biggest problem I had with all of these approaches is that I wasn’t checking all the chores to make sure they were done. I was too busy managing the systems, doing my own chores, and helping the youngest. I think I may finally have a solution. It may or may not work for you. Actually, any of the above systems may work for you if you have fewer or more organized kids than I have! But what we do now is foster cooperation rather than competitiveness. The chores are organized into sets and are assigned the same days as they were before using the same list as I used for Chore Olympics. Only now I set the timer for 25 minutes. If you’re done before the timer runs out, you call out, “Who needs help?” Prizes are awarded for everyone based on the number of days a week chores are completed within 25 minutes. Because I am helping everyone, I have the opportunity to see while we’re doing chores if the work is done. It’s music to my ears when I hear, “Who needs help?” The Lord knows I do! LOL For those who are interested, the rewards I give are a number of draws from a privilege jar I got from www.FamilyTools.com. If we get done within 25 minutes 7 days a week, 3 privileges may be drawn from the jar for each person. They only get to keep one, but the choices increase. The number of choices decreases with days chores aren’t done in time. Originally I had thought of adding choose a chore to everyone’s list if only 1-3 days we make it, but choosing a chore just is a chore for me! I have to show every child how to do those tasks. I prefer to save Choose a Chore for those times when I child whines that s/he’s bored.

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