If you missed it last week, I’m on a mission to get life organized. Last week I organized my closet and my makeup drawer and these last few weeks I’ve been working on getting my kids organized. I’m not talking about organizing toys or labeling shelves and bins in their room. Rather, I’ve been working on creating a schedule for them to help them get their tasks done and have them help me more.
It’s important to Soren and I to have our kids learn how to work and to pitch in around the house. We’ve struggled with anything consistent in that regard so this is my first strong effort in that direction. We want our kids to work and our kids want to earn money so a job chart was a great place to start helping the kids gain new habits and routines. (I’ve also created lists for myself and Soren and we didn’t want to leave the kids out.)
For each boy I made a list of things they needed to do every morning and night. They differed a little based on age and ability, but Easton and Kesler are so close in age that the charts are mostly the same. (Easton is 6 in First Grade and Kesler is 5 and starts Kindergarten in the Fall.) You can see the charts below.
Kesler can’t read yet, so after I printed his list I drew little pictures next to each task to help him figure them out. I didn’t make this a big list of jobs, but instead some tasks that they do already and others that we wanted added in. The papers go in a plastic sleeve, taped on the back of their door and they cross each task off with a magic marker as they do it each day. They check in with us at the end of the day and then wash it clean for the next morning. If they do all of their list for the week they get paid $2.50 on Saturdays with the potential of doing extra jobs during the week to earn more money.
We’ve done this for three weeks so far and while it hasn’t been perfect, things have gone much better than they used to! Having the kids empty the dishwasher for me in the mornings makes it so easy for me to load it up all day long and then run it at night. The boys picking up 15 things each at the end of the day lessens the number of things I have to pick up. (And no, 15 little Legos don’t count!) They are also required to put away their laundry so I’m motivated to get it folded for them in anticipation of their job.
This last week we fell off the wagon a little bit and the kids didn’t do their jobs everyday. They either didn’t get up early enough or didn’t do them after school. And so they only got paid $1 each. They were bummed, but they knew they didn’t meet the requirements so it made sense to them. This plan does require everyone to stay on target and work together which I love, but if I fall apart, they do too. So we are learning and are back at it again this week. What I love is that we can keep modifying the list or the plan as new challenges arrive, but the most important thing will be consistency.
How do you help your kids with a routine and jobs? Any tips for making things even better? Check out last week’s organization post here and stay tuned for next week when I share all of my new lists and plans for me!