In an effort to motivate our kids to do their daily chores, I have tried many charts and organizational ideas throughout my parenting years: sticker charts, expensive pre-made charts, written daily lists, picture charts, rocks in a jar, etc. Often these tools will work well for a short time, but then either the kids lose interest, or I fail to hold up my end and the system falls apart.
We have finally hit on a solution that’s easy to maintain, simple to use and doesn’t require much time from me. (Hooray!)
The Clothespin Job Chart.
I painted clothespins in 3 different colors:
Yellow for Morning Jobs
Red for jobs that must be done before Quiet Time
Blue for After Dinner/Evening Jobs.
I then wrote jobs that must be completed during each of those time periods on the clothespins.
Each morning I clip that day’s jobs to the outside of the mason jar and as the children complete their jobs they unclip the clothespins and place them back in the jar. We operate under a “When-Then” system. When the kids’ jobs are done, then they can have their alloted screen time, play with friends, etc.
Every family has different requirements but here is an idea of what our kids are responsible to do:
Morning Jobs (Yellow):
Dressed and Ready
Prayers and Scriptures
Zone (each child has one room in the house they are required to tidy every day)
Before Quiet Time (Red):
Together Job (we all work on one job together for about 15 minutes)
Other “Red” jobs include: tidy car, take out garbages, take out recycling, fold laundry, match socks, tidy bathroom, vacuum stairs, tidy playroom, etc. These jobs are not required every day, but I add them to the jar as needed.
Before Bed (Blue):
(after dinner and before bed, we all work to clean up the kitchen and main living area of the house. Ethan clears the table and does a quick tidy, Ellie sweeps and does a quick tidy and Jason and I bounce around between jobs).
This has not solved all of our problems, but it is a very visual reminder of responsibilities and it has been working really well for us for the past few weeks.