Sunday, October 31, 2010

Homeschool Chore List


Now that my kids are old enough to be a big help around the house we have begun experimenting with different responsibility charts and chore lists. We have tried several different ways from individual chores with allowances, to you name it. We have finally settled on what we call "area" chores. Now, instead of individual chores, the girls are responsible for specific areas of the house.

We generally have several 15 min tidy breaks and then one big clean at the end of the day before daddy gets home. Brianna is responsible for the upstairs family room and bathroom (except for the toilet) and Keira is responsible for the downstairs family room and the powder bath. They both have to clean their room and are responsible for the play room as well as putting away their laundry (I fold). For each chore they can earn $.10 which they get at the end of the month for a total of up to $15. They must however, complete the chore entirely without complaining and immediately when they are told to. Also, this does not mean that they do not have to put away their things just because they are in someone else's area. They are still required to put away anything that they personally took out.


Switching to an area responsibility instead of individual chores has really eliminated the "but that's not my job" complaints as no matter what it is in the room they are responsible for putting it away.

My 2 year old also gets in on it. Though he isn't old enough to be responsible for an area all by himself he does know that when I turn on the clean up song that it's time to clean up whatever he was playing with.

It is easy to just do it ourselves because it's faster and usually neater, but teaching your children from an early age that they have a responsibility to help keep the house clean is a very important life skill. Your child will learn a lot faster that taking one toy out at a time is the smarter thing to do when they are the ones cleaning up the mess!

27 comments:

dushamoya said...

This is an idea I've thought about a lot, and I wonder what you think.

In some households I have heard of the rule where, if the entirety of the chore list is not complete, the child gets no payment for them. Basically, the child is rewarded for the completion of the chore list, and not each chore individually.

In others (more commonly), a child is rewarded per chore. So even if the child didn't complete the list, maybe they skipped the ones they hated the most, they would still be rewarded for the ones they did.

I can't put this into practice yet because my son is just 9 months old, but I've wondered which might be more effective. I personally rather like the first one, but it seems like it would be much more difficult to get compliance without resentment, and I don't want resentment. The latter method seems successful, but I worry that it might condone skipping some chores.

Does that make sense?

Bria

Anna said...

It does.

The most important thing you have to remember is that each child is going to respond differently. So you may have a child that works better knowing that it is an all or nothing thing.

With our set up the kids do not have a choice on whether they clean. The choice lies in whether they earn their money. If they complain or don't do a good job then they still have to complete the chore, they just don't earn the money for it. They must make a concious effort to joyfully complete the tasks properly.

Hope that helps!

Regina said...

When my kids were young, I had sticker charts, but that doesn't work well as they get older. They want a more substantial reward for their efforts. In comes the allowance.

Cleaning their bedrooms was not an option but a requirement, and if that job was not done, there was no pay for any job. After that, attitude determined a lot.

By the time they were Jr. High age, they rotated helping in the kitchen - whoever helped cook dinner did not have to help clean the dishes afterwards. And they had to learn how the washer and dryer worked, as well as fold and hang up their own laundry.

No regular allowance system was ever really set up because school activities took a lot of "house" time, and maybe everything didn't get done, but I don't think any of my kids ever wanted for spending cash or extra treats, and I know they have left home with the skills they need to feed, clothe, and take care of themselves.

Experiment to find what works best for you and your kids.

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