Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Chore Charts?

Recently I was asked, "Do you have a summer chore chart for your kids?" I don't really have a separate chart for summer. I'll share what we do around here and maybe you'll be able to grab something helpful...

Our house is divided into zones. (don't judge me:) The kids each rotate responsibilities each week. I welcome all people who have completed zones to dine at my table at mealtime.

Just like WalMart - which is where I heard this phrase and thought "if it works to keep this place neat and tidy, maybe it will work on Southfield." - just like WalMart we do zone defense 4 times a day. Before each meal and bedtime.

Our Zones each week are....

Oscar/Laundry: This person is responsible for keeping O-dog's water & food maintained, keeping the laundry room straight and overseeing the "family" loads like towels/sheets/dad's work clothes throughout the process. (All kids 5 and older do their own laundry)

Kitchen/Dining: This person is my go-to kid for help around mealtime. I usually have everything under control until a few minutes before a meal...they can set table or whatever I need...usually there are many hungry folks offering to help speed things up. Then after the meal that kid and I work together to get everything back to normal. This is a pretty big zone since meals happen SO often, but they know they only have it once a month.

Living/Bath/Hall: This person is in charge of keeping our main living spaces tidy. They don't HAVE to put everything away themselves...but they need to persuade their fam to put stuff away. This cuts down on my nagging. Landen would like the girls to please put away their coloring books, not me. It also verifies -as he runs through and checks for a fresh hand towel and toilet paper - that a visitor would feel comfortable using our facilities at any time.

Car/Garage/Patio/Nook: This person is in charge of maintaining these high traffic places. Again, they CAN just go deliver stuff to people's room, or encourage folks to do it, or at times I've heard a public service announcement that goes like this, "Hey guys! There is a ton of junk form the ballgame in the car. Whatever is still there in 5 minutes is goin in the trash." lol

With fewer kids, you could combine a couple of these zones...Kitchen/Dining/Laundry and then Living/Bath/Car/Garage. Or Do Kitchen/Dining by the Day and then Divide the others evenly into two weekly zones. You could even have your kids help you divide the duties....mine are MUCH more enthusiastic when they have a part in organizing it. It's fun to hear their perspective too.

Our allowance is not tied to these zones. Johnsons have zone responsibilities. Johnsons who have done so are welcome to attend Johnson meals.

The boys mow the yard - no money. Philip doesn't get paid to mow. They don't. The boys babysit my girls - no money. I don't get paid for caring for them, they don't either. The girls are responsible for helping around the house while others mow, and submitting to their brother's authority while we're away. "Everybody working as a team!"

We give allowance for the purpose of learning money management. It is for snacks/ birthday gifts etc. They get 40 cents for each year of their age...which puts teenagers above $5 a week. They can save it or blow it, but I'm not responsible for their snacks. If they earn money outside the home, that week's allowance is cancelled. (They have provided their own money to learn to manage:)

During the summer I would think electronic time would be easy to get out of control. This summer we have WAY more electronic choices around our house than ever I'm probably going to have to come up with something. They could earn minutes of electronics by reading. Or perhaps we'll have certain hours of the day that are electronic free-for-alls, and then besides those time slots, we're low-tech old-school:)

What works great at your house?? Leave a response, pretty please:)