We’ve made the transition. The charts are up, the reward cards and chore cards are cut and posted on the wall, and we’re busy, busy, busy accomplishing our goals for the day.
2 Thessalonians 3:10 says, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” In John 17:4 Jesus says to his Heavenly Father, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given me to do.” And in James 1:25, we are admonished “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”
Chores are about so much more than “chores”. They are about preparing our sons and daughters to do what the Lord has for them to do. They are about receiving grace and earning provision in a world desperate for “laborers.” They are about realizing that very little in life is “owed” to us, and that the Lord gives up ample opportunity to gain the desires of our hearts if we would only put forth the effort. Chores are about taking responsibility for our own consequences and empowering an individual in relation to the world around him. They are about working and playing, setting goals and accomplishing them, doing the hard things even when we don’t want to. I think the best thing about chore charts is that at the end of the day, even if the house is a mess again and yet another meal needs to be prepared, we have a visual reminded of all that was accomplished.
We had been using a list system where my children had laminated lists of their chores and they used a Vis-A-Vis marker to cross through each item they had finished. BORING!!!!! And I got so tired of searching through all the items to see what had been done, what still needed to be done, etc. Also, sometimes those lists seemed endless, and there were no rewards or goals built into them, just “Have it all finished at the end of the day. ” So, we’ve gone visual. Our new chore charts are made with PCS and include time allotments and rewards. We also have incorporated a system where the kids get to pick some of their chores each day instead of having to do the same one all the time. While I hope SOMEONE can use the actual charts below, for most people their charts are going to need to be custom made. www.mrsriley.com has all you need to make your charts exactly the way you want them. This is how our new system looks:
1. I designed a different chore chart for each child according to their abilities. Charts were printed, laminated, and rough-sided velcro dots were placed on the front of each trophy (reward) square and on the front of each “family chore” square. The clock cards indicate the child must have the previous chore done in that amount of time. The trophy cards mean if the child accomplishes that portion of their schedule, they can select an Award Option Card. The family chore square allows the child to select their choice of chore and place it on their square. This is an excellent motivator, I have found, to get the children to work through their schedule quickly, because then they get their first pick of the chores. Aren’t there always some chores that no one wants to do, and then there are those everyone wants to do? Who would have thought they would be racing to “get to” pick their family chore?
2. I created Family Chore Cards which were picture cards of various chores that needed to be done weekly. There are multiple cards of some activities, like sweeping, where I wrote in the specific area to be swept. These cards were then printed, laminated, cut, and soft-sided velcro dots were placed on the back of each card. The children are also encouraged to choose additional Family Chore Cards, because for each extra they choose to do, they receive one Reward Option card.
3. I created Reward Option Cards which were pictures of normal every-day activities that the children engage in that I consider privileges; things like TV, Wii, computer, snack, hot coco, a 9 o’clock bedtime versus 8:30. I also printed up cards indicating taking an article of clothing or a toy out of the “Confiscated” box. (If my children leave toys or clothing on the floor, I have been known to pick said item up and deposit it into the “Confiscated” box.) There are enough cards made of each reward option so that all three Middles can pick the same option if desired. These cards are returned to the Rewards Board at the end of each day.
4. I printed “Chore Choices” on one piece of 8-1/2 x 11 colored paper and “Rewards” on a second piece of 8-1/2 x 11 colored paper, laminated them, and attached four vertical strips of rough-sided velcro tape to each sheet.
The report from the Peanut Gallery is that the new charts are “Pretty Good,” and that being said with a smile on their face, so I think all is well. One thing about charts is that it lessens my role as the “Bad Guy,” and they are held accountable by a piece of paper. What I love about this is that they are in control of their own destiny. If they have had 10 articles of clothing in the confiscated box and that is just making them miserable, they can use all their reward options the next day to claim clothing, or they can even do extra jobs to earn more rewards. Because this system is based mostly on things they were already receiving, I am not having to go to the work to try to dream up motivators and rewards. I’m pretty convinced if one of my children isn’t working diligently, they really don’t deserve that afternoon TV time or hot coco. Know what I mean?
For a simpler and much younger version of PCS (PECs) Chore Charts, see my post https://wordsofhisheart.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/pcs-pec-chore-charts-for-preschoolers/