I’ve been looking for a fun, visual way to teach my children tasks around the house. I don’t have “house help,” or in American-speak, a maid–which is another discussion altogether; so I need my children to start helping out around here! Since my children can’t read, I wanted a chore chart with pictures, and found the free printables I was hoping for over at Confessions of a Homeschooler under her Mom Stuff tab.
We don’t have the cool recommended pocket chart, so we had to adjust the system. Seth was going to make a similar hanging with pockets and rows out of wood, but when he went to the little Mom & Pop shop he frequents for wood supplies, he found the almost-perfect wall hanging already made! A business owner ordered a wall chart with slots for time cards for his workers and then never picked it up. It was priced at just under $10 and already stained and completed. The materials alone would have cost at least half that, so even though we had to adjust our plan, we jumped at the chance to have it already made for us. Score!
It has 5 rows, with a space for their names (we put pictures), and 10 slots for the chore cards. The printables come in color or black and white, which is nice for those without a color printer. I printed them in black and white on colored cardstock and laminated them, and they fit almost perfectly. This makes the third “craft” my non-crafty self did in December.
I fill the slots daily (ideally, I would do that weekly, but this is fine!), and when they finish a chore, they remove it from its slot and hang it on their individual hooks that Seth added on the side.
I may simplify to a grid chart when they are older, but this will be useful for the several years while they’re so young and still learning everything. Caleb gets 10 cents per chore (about a penny and a half), and Colin 5 cents per chore (less than a penny). Most of it ends up back in our church offering, as they are both big givers to Jesus! May it continue!
So far this plan is not saving me time yet. But I have hope. I have faith that it WILL save me time in the future. The biggest benefit so far is that it is encouraging me and keeping me accountable to teach them to work, rather than just doing the work myself because I’m faster and better at it.
In the last two weeks, Caleb and Colin have learned how to fold most of their clothes. They take out the trash and the compost (they were doing that), bring in groceries, make their beds, help sort dirty laundry, set and clear the table; and Caleb has begun learning to clean the bathroom, wash the dishes, and sweep.
I am excited about the future, when one of them is twiddling his thumbs waiting for me to finish up with another during homeschooling, and I can just say, “Go check your chore chart,” and later find a clean sink after a busy day of homeschooling! 🙂