I shared my summer chore chart on Facebook last night and received A LOT of feedback. Some encouraging, some wondering why I would make my kids work so hard in the summer, some asking how old they are, if I have a summer schedule….
So here is the truth. I love, love, love when my household just clicks along and things are ordered and done on time. I don’t really love, love, love schedules and planning. This is a problem. Keeping a big family running and relatively happy requires logistics matched only by Amazon or FedEx. Enter chore chart and summer schedule. It is the only way.
It was not fancy.
If it were fancy and detailed it would never work around here.
For those of you who asked why chores in the summer. Because I think kids should do chores. I just do. I want my kids to be appropriately self-sufficient, to understand there is a time to work and to learn to care for their things. They are 10, 8, 6 and 4 so they have different, age appropriate chores. For example, my 4 year old moves the mats in front of the sink and shower so my 8 year old can sweep. Also each chore takes only 1-10 minutes.
Another great question was how do I get my kids to do this without complaining.
They don’t always.
The first week is the hardest, then they just sort of settle into the routine. Also, there is a little bit of bribery. If you look at the schedule below you will see “Free Time” from 7-8 in the morning. This free time includes being allowed to play X-Box, only if your chores are done for the day. They also know fun like the pool, splash pad for play dates do not happen if chores are not done. **You have to be willing to stand firm on this, but in experience only once. They have to know mamas not playin’ when it comes to chores. 🙂 In our family peer pressure comes into play too. They all work together to get their stuff done so we can go have fun.
(If you don’t think your kiddos should have to do chores in the summer that’s cool, we can still be friends. It’s your house, you are the boss.)
As for a schedule. Yep. We have one. I have been working on it for a few days. I could not decide what was going to be best and I made the nearly fatal mistake of looking on Pinterest. Oh. My. It had me doubting my laid back, written on notebook paper schedule in about 2 seconds.
But then I decided it is my schedule, I can do what I want to. Blocks of time work better for me. And this is more for when we are hanging around the house all day.
Here is the basic breakdown
You cannot get out of your bed until 7. (my boys are early risers)
7-8 Downstairs chores and free time
8 You can come up for breakfast
8-noon NON-electronic free time. Play outside, downstairs, do art, ride your bike, read, play with your baby sister etc. (If you complain you are bored during this time you are referred to a chore for $ chart)
after lunch– Math flash cards or reading time then Free time again
4ish You are free to play electronics while I work on dinner
after dinner– 10 minute family pick up time
Free time until bed
If you have been considering a schedule or a chore chart I hope this post has helped you. It doesn’t have to be fancy and to the hour. I would encourage you to try it. I truly believe my boys function a little better with a little bit of structure to their day. I know it keeps me less stressed and more able to enjoy them while they are home.
If you are a mastermind at schedules and chore charts share your ideas! I love learning ways to improve this operation.