IT WORKED FOR ME:
Chore schedules have been the bane of my existence for many years--basically since I decided I actually wanted my kids to do chores. I'd come up with something, it would work for a couple weeks and then it would fizzle. I have likely tried dozens of concepts--from earning points, to earning money, to earning TV, to earning a non-screaming mother. However, I've never had one that stuck--until now. And I didn't even come up with it myself. My friend Sam did and I promptly copied it, made a couple adjustments, and since implementing it I have had not one--NOT ONE--complaint from anyone, myself included, and the house is cleaner than it's been in a very long time.
HOW IT WORKS: Instead of each kid having three or four chores every day, each kid has one day a week where they do all the chores. In addition to doing all the chores, they each have an extra individual chore only they do on their day, they make dinner (they choose one meal and make it each chore day of the month--by the end of the month they can make it themselves), clean up after dinner, read the scriptures, say family prayer, and they get to sit in the front seat. On the days they don't have chores, they only have to do 10 minutes cleaning their room. On Saturdays they each choose 3 chores from the list, first come first serve, they get assessed extra time in their room if it needs attention (3 of my kids get an extra 30 minutes every week, the other one uses her 10 minutes a day well and gets out of extra cleaning). They get $5 a week in pocket money if they fulfilled all their obligations. If they didn't, I deduct accordingly.
BENEFIT FOR ME:
- I have one child a day to keep up with. If I have to remind them several times I threaten to deduct money. I've actually deducted twice, and they were appalled and cleaned up their act the next week (pun intended)
- On their non-chore day the kids can't do anything electronic til they've done their 10 minutes, but that's easy for me to keep up on cause it's only one thing.
- I get out of making dinner 4 nights a week and they are learning to cook, but I only have to help one kid at a time.
- I still get to cook 3 nights a week.
- Although I'm not big on allowance, I've cut back on buying them treats at the store, movie tickets and other extras I used to buy because they didn't have any money. Now they buy their own treats and they haven't even noticed that I'm buying less cause they are excited to buy their own stuff. It's evened up to be about the same amount of money.
- They are learning to pay tithing on a regular basis--fifty cents a week.
- They only have to worry about chores one day a week
- Six days of the week they are "off"
- They know exactly what's expected of them each chore day (I have a list in a page protector that they mark off with a dry erase marker)
- They get pocket money
- Mom isn't screaming all the time
- They don't get blamed for someone else not doing their job
- They all got to choose the day that works best for them and they can plan it in advance.
These are the chores we do at our house:
- Feed & Water dogs
- Put Dogs in at night and out in the morning
- Feed chickens & gather eggs
- 5 minutes upstairs bathroom
- 5 minutes downstairs bathroom
- 5 minutes straighting the basement
- 10 minutes misc. cleaning (ask mom)
- 5 minutes straightening mud room
- Empty red basket (this is a basket at the top of the stairs where I put all the stuff that goes in their bedrooms downstairs)
- Empty and sort recycling bin
- Put away your own laundry (they each have their own shelf in the laundry room)
- child #1--fill chickens water container & do own laundry
- child #2--bring in milk & do own laundry
- child #3--pooper scooper (he actually volunteered for this one)
- child #4--organize mom and dad's shoes (this one was my idea :-)
- NOTE: My kids get a laundry sorter for their 11th birthday and are expected to wash their own clothes from that point on.
So, that's what's worked for us. I'm anxiously awaiting what's worked for you.