I realize that by putting this out here before I see how it’s going to work out, I’m opening myself up for a potential public failure, but here goes anyway: we started our new “chore charts” this week. I finally achieved my goal of developing a weekly system for doing housework and coming up with ways the two older girls can help me. I made a chart for each week, and they have the different tasks for each day listed on them. They put a check in the box for each task they complete, and if they get all their boxes checked they get a sticker at the end. The tasks start from the moment they wake up (the first one is “potty”) and go until the work part of the day is over. Some days, they just have to do the normal wake up and get ready stuff, checking off each one. Every day but Sunday has picking up toys added to the getting ready routine. Monday and Friday have them cleaning their room. Tuesday is playgroup and gymnastics so there are no extra chores that day, besides just picking up the toys they’ve played with. Wednesday and Thursday are going to be our big working days, and Abigail’s chore is to dust while Catherine’s is to help sort and fold and put away laundry, which she absolutely loves to do anyway. I split the dusting up into two days, but she got done really fast today so I might put dusting all on Wednesday and give her something else to do on Thursdays. Anyway today was the first day, and they did decently well. We were done before lunch, which was a relief because we don’t really have any other working time after lunch on Wednesdays because of school, nap, and church. They worked well without too much complaining, and they really loved putting their check marks in the boxes and the stickers on the chart. We haven’t attached any kind of reward to it yet, and I don’t know if we will or not. They do get extra stickers when I catch them being kind or obeying right away with a happy heart or being unselfish, but unfortunately none of that happened today.
I have high hopes and am trying to have realistic expectations. I didn’t realize how long it would take to teach a 6 year old how to dust; she just was excited to have the spray bottle and was spraying right and left without ever moving anything, then she would move on and never put anything back in place when she was done. And a 3 year old doesn’t move the laundry quite quickly enough to save it from Elisabeth’s clutches and several piles had to be folded more than once. (Frankly, I even have trouble moving the laundry quickly enough to be safe from Elisabeth!) But we’ll get there.
So now it’s out there, and feel free to ask me how it’s going. Or just stop by and see for yourself–give it the white glove test or something. 🙂 Hopefully this is the start of a beautiful new relationship with a housework schedule.