Category Archives: Chore Charts

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Summer Chore Charts

From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.  Proverbs 12:14

By: Gretchen Speer

In my Summer Schedule post a couple weeks ago, I mentioned that I see summer as an opportunity for teaching my kids new chores.  During the school year we are really busy, so I don’t usually add much to what they are already familiar with.  However, when long summer day days are stretched before us it seems only fitting to use some of that time to teach my kids a new skill or two.  What I’ve been doing this year is keeping a lot of the same chores, but having them do more with it. Continue reading

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Simple Chores Chart/Task Board

By: Jennifer Mullen

My sister-in-law found this great project on Pinterest for a simple way for her children to keep on task as they are getting ready for school.  I overhead her talking about it so I offered to make them for her.  I also made one for my daughter, but modified it to help her with keeping track of homeschooling tasks.

I started with plain wooden door hangers that can be found at any hobby supply store. I painted them with acrylic paint.

Continue reading

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Chore Charts/Menu Planning Take Two

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Gretchen's Menu Planning

Entrust your efforts to the LORD, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 (GW)

By: Gretchen Speer

Is it just me or is time FLYING by these days!  We moved into a new house last fall.  (For a funny little story about settling in click here🙂 )  While I have had time to get us unpacked and somewhat settled, we are still a little out of whack where our routines are concerned.  After months of chasing my tail trying to keep our house clean it finally dawned on me that I had not done new chore charts for the kids since the summer.  I knew I wanted to try something a little different that I had done before, and after looking through my office this is what I came up with:

182Frames I found on clearance at hobby lobby for $2.99 a piece, card stock, stickers from the dollar isle at target, dry erase markers, and of course, a sharpie.

These came together in just a few minutes since I knew what chores I wanted each kid to have.  For some ideas on what chores work best for what aged, and how to implement them here is my chore charts post from last year.

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Since I had four of these frames I decided to make a menu board too.(Eventually my littlest will need one, but not yet!)  My kids, and my husband,  are always asking me what’s for supper.  It drives me a little bit crazy, so I was hoping this would remedy that.  For the most part they refer to the menu board now, and if they ask me I just point to it:)  I still like to plan my menus two weeks to a month at a time, but I do like having this weekly one up to remind me daily what I’m fixing.

180For some more detailed help on menu planning and grocery shopping, click here.  For a more in-depth menu planner click here.

If you are wanting a quick easy chore chart and menu board these are definitely worth a try.  My kids have done really well with them.  Actually, they have done better with these than they did with the ones I was making before.  I think simple is better for now. 🙂

 

Summertime Schedule

Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard planted by the water; it was fruitful and full of branches because of abundant water.  Ezekiel 19:10

By: Gretchen Speer

A few weeks ago we got a letter from our kids’ school.  It was informing us that because there was only one snow day this year our kids would be getting out three weeks earlier than they had originally planned.  In the interest in keeping it real here, I will tell you that when I read that letter I did not experience a flood of joy.  I believe my exact reaction was, “WHAT???”  That is a long summer!

I do my best to do things outside of our house during the summer, but there are plenty days where we stay home.  Last year, in anticipation of the usual boredom complaint I made out a schedule to follow.  It was a way to work in everything that needed to be done in the day while still making sure to have plenty of fun and relaxation.  It also helped me keep a handle on the amount of time my kids were spending in front of the TV.  On the days that we were out and about we didn’t worry about the schedule.  Once we were home and settled from swimming or the library we just jumped right back into it.

Outside time:  This could mean playing in the back yard, taking a walk, going to the park, playing in the sprinklers or doing sidewalk chalk on the driveway.  I schedule it first thing in the morning so that it’s never to hot to go out.  It’s nice to start the day this way.

TV time:  This is one show or one short video.

Room Play Time:  I always tell my kids they have to play with actual toys during this time-no electronics!  During this time I ask them to play in their rooms.  This is usually when I am able to clean, read or check email for the most part in peace.

Snack/TV time: A light snack and then part of a tv show if they have time once they are finished.

Chore Time:  Remember those chore charts?  We have new ones for the summer:)  If you missed that post you can see it here.

Homework Time:  Homework in the summer?  Absolutely!  During this time we do grade level math and reading worksheets.  My kids also like www.brainpop.com and www.funbrain.com.  My DS worked a lot on his typing last summer too.

Play Time:  This play time is when play dough, finger or water paints, or other crafts are an option.  Sometimes my kids would rather just play than do any of these.

Reading Time:  Reading time is right before rest time for a reason-and it works:)  This summer I am going to use this time to read through the Narnia books with the kids.  If your kids are reading you can let them take turns reading during this time.

Rest Time:  Depending on how old your kids are this may or may not work for you.  My olders actually do really well playing quietly if they don’t feel the need to actually rest.  My youngers are still napping in the afternoon.  During this time my olders play on their DS, listen to Adventures in Odssey, color, and play with their toys in their room.

Snack Time:  Far enough away from supper to not spoil any tiny appetites.  Their TV time allows me to do some dinner prep.

Chore Time:  This is just to pick up the house, and do any chores we didn’t have time to do earlier.  They usually get things done pretty quickly so they can do brain pop:)

Room Play Time:  I put this on the schedule so I could get dinner in the oven without lots of company in the kitchen.  To be honest, this is the one thing that just didn’t work.  We’ll see if it will this summer:)

I know I am always looking for ideas to pass the time in the summer, I hope this was helpful to you!  What things do you do with your kids to pass the long hot summer days at home?

Also see: Summer Schedule: Take Two

 

 

 

 

Chore Charts 1

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”  Ephesians 6:4

By: Gretchen Speer

For me a chore chart is not just about teaching kids how to help around the house, it’s also an opportunity to reward responsibility and iniative.  I have been using chore charts for almost 5 years now and have never made the exact same one.  The kids seem to really like the change up of different responsibilities and different kinds of rewards.  You can make it in excel if you want it to be extra neat, but I like to make them using cardstock paper and sharpies.(I take any opportunity to use my sharpies!)  Today I am going to give you 5 tips for getting started, then I’ll give you 5 sample chores for kids ages 4-8.  I start my kids at age 4 so that’s why I’m starting there.

1) Consider age and personality.  The most important thing to do before making a chart is to consider your childs age, ability, and personality.  What are they really ready to take on?  Will the responsibility of cleaning their whole room send them into melt down mode?  For my kids it’s been interesting to see how their personality really comes into play.  My older dd is naturally good at cleaning up and organizing.  Since she was 4 she could make a twin size bed perfectly, you would think an adult did it.  So, I knew she would be ready for more than my older ds was at 4.

2) Think outside the “chore” box.  Like I said before I don’t see chore charts as something that should just be used for learning household chores, although mine certainly include those too.  Consider using these charts to help your kids develope good habits.  I have always put saying memory verses every day on my kids chore charts, and they are worth the most points too.  For one of of the charts I did, I gave them a point for every verse they could say every day.  I was shocked by how quickly they were able to memorize verses, and there were a few that I learned myself in the process!

3) Keep it Real.  Real realistic that is.  For the first few weeks this chore chart will most likely add work to your day rather than ease your load.  If this is the first time you are doing something like this there will need to be some quality time of instruction and plenty of overseeing to make sure that your kids understand how to do their chores.  I take the time to do this b/c they need to learn how to do it right.  Toys, clothes, and who knows what else shoved under the bed doesn’t qualify as a clean room for us, and my kids know that because we have spent a lot of time going over how to clean their room.

Quick Tip:  Post a list for them (and you) to refer to.  Example for clean room: Make bed, put shoes in the closet, put dirty clothes in the hamper, put toys in the toy box.  Even for kids that aren’t reading this can be helpful for you to at glance.

4) Encourage!  Your kid may or may not be gifted in the neat and tidy department, either way be sure to praise their efforts often.  I like to keep their chart where they can look at it and see how many checks or stickers they have gotten.

5) Decide on a reward system and stick to it.  The best layed plans are a waste of our time if we don’t follow through with them.  You will be shocked by how quickly your responsible, motivated child becomes discouraged and resistant if you consistantly forget to reward them.  How frustrating would it be if our bosses forgot to pay us for our hard earned money!  (I only say this because I, myself, am a little forgetful.)

Here are some ideas for chores.  I usually pick 5-7 chores to put on my kids charts.  We talk about which ones they need to do every day and which ones can be every couple days.  I usually do a point system so that they earn a certain amount of points for each chore completed.  That is usually a motivator!

 

Age 4:  Keep it simple!

  • Put dirty clothes in laundry basket
  • Put toys in toy box
  • Memory verse (something short)
  •  Help with laundry (They can pull it out of the dryer for you and scoot it into the living room.  They can also fold small towells and washclothes, and help sort socks.  Some kids are ready to learn how to fold bigger towells too.
  • Sweep up the crumbies after dinner

Age 5:  Add a little more detail.

  • Straiten Bed (They may not be ready to fully make their bed yet.  For this chore you can show them how to pull the blankets and sheets up while they are still in the bed.  They can also straiten their stuffed animals, and clear off anything else that doesn’t belong there.)
  • Memory Verse (Make it a little more challenging.  We usually will try to do 1 every week for a while and then have a time where we just review all the ones they have learned.)
  • Laundry Chore (Have them take their dirty to the laundry room and sort it.  I also give my 5 year old a basket of towells to fold a couple times a week.)
  • Bathroom Chore (Put everything on the counter away, shake out the rugs and put them back where they go.)
  • Homework(If your kids are in school then you will probably have homework for them to do once or twice a week.  If not, this is the time for mommy school!  Give them handwriting to work on or a worksheet out of a kindergarten work book.  The sooner they learn how to do focus on school work at home the better!)

Age 6:  Ready for some responsibility!

  • Bathroom Chore (The same as listed above, but add emptying the trash and wiping down the counter with a wipe-I keep these things everywhere!)
  • Laundry Chore (The same as above, but add puting away their clean clothes too.  I usually leave stacks for them to put away-play clothes, underwear, socks.  I do still hang up their nicer clothes though, since they aren’t quite tall enough to do that yet:)
  • Memory Verse
  • Dust(They can use a swiffer duster or just put a sock on their hand.  I like to set a timer for 15 minutes and give them specific areas to work on.  Walmart has a great little tool for cleaning shutters and shades, and that is usually what I have my kids work on.)
  • Wiping down walls and baseboards (They are shorter so it doesn’t seem to be such a big job for them.  I do the same thing as with the dusting-set the timer and have them work on a specific area.)

Age 7: 

  • Set the table (My son like this because he likes to get the inside school on what we are having for dinner.  Hang a checklist for your kids so they can make sure to put out everything that will be needed)
  • Homework(By this age they probably have homework a few time a week anyway.  On the days they don’t I like to have them read or work something they might be struggling with in school.  I award points for time spent doing homework whether it’s for school or just for home though)
  • Memory Verse (I list this everytime because it’s top priority for my chore charts)
  • Clean out the Car (Send them out with 2 wal-mart sacks.  One for trash, and one for stuff that needs to come inside.  They will most likely have to make several trips.  Make sure to check their trash sack before they throw it away!)
  • Helpfulness (When I put this on the chart I just let my kids know that I will give them points when they go above and beyond their duties.  My kids are really helpful, so that I thought this would be a good way to show them that I appreciate it)

Age 8:

  • Clear the table after dinner(I have my kids put the dishes by the sink, the napkins in the dirty clothes, and then put the dressings and condiments in the refridgerator)
  • Pick sticks and trash up out of the yard (Send them out with a wal-mart sack.  They may end up needing a few!)
  • Reading (It’s just such an important thing, so I put it on our charts a lot.  This is also a chore that I will let them do more that once a day-earning twice the points.  Outloud Reading is also a good thing to do.  Sometimes my son will read to me while I’m cooking dinner.)
  • Wash the dishes(Start out with a few non breakable dishes and go from there.  It seems easier to teach this in steps-wash, rinse, put in drainer.)
  • Quiet Time (I’m excited about this one.  My son asked Jesus into his heart a couple years ago, and we have been doing a lot of memory verses since then.  Now, we are going to start walking him though how to spend time with God though prayer and reading the Word on his own.  It may seem odd for it to be on a chore chart, but I’m trying to help him make it a daily habit.  The chore chart will serve as a reminder,and a positive reinforcement.)

Quick Tip:  I add bonus chores sometimes.  These are usually worth a lot of extra points, but can only be done if all their other chores have been completed.

Like I said before, all kids are different.  These are just examples of what have worked for my kids at these ages.