Anyone need a chore checklist? I have one! And since it seems to be working well, I thought I’d share.
Each of my 3 boys has a laminated card that includes a list of all the things that have to be done on any given day. It looks like this:
Their name is up top, followed by several sections that have character trait headings. These are the traits we’re attempting to train through the chores that are listed: responsible, faithful, healthy, helpful, disciplined, and kind. They have to check off each item in each section every day with one exception: in the Helpful section, they focus on a particular task depending on the day. If it’s Thursday, for example, they know that the focus is the kitchen and dining room. The list of chores associated with each of the zones is on the refrigerator, so they divide those tasks among themselves. When all of the tasks are done, each of them can check off the zone for that day. You wouldn’t really even need to list the specific days here but I originally had a slightly different system so feel free to tweak according to your needs.
It’s a pretty straightforward system. In case you’re wondering, “the Chosen One” is a system that my husband and I came up with to solve the problem of who would take out the dog. Here’s how it works. We have 3 boys and there are 7 days in a week so it works well for us for each boy to be the Chosen One twice each week: Liam is Monday and Thursday, Quinn is Tuesday and Friday, and Aaron is Wednesday and Saturday (Loys and I handle Sundays together). On that day, they are basically my go-to guy for anything I may need: go get some eggs from Chicken Alley, run to the schoolhouse and pick up Leiana’s Algebra book that I borrowed, take the clothes out of the dryer. You get the idea. They also have to take out the dog, empty the dishwasher, and help me with meal prep if I need a helper. Lest you start to wonder why anyone would ever want to be “chosen” in such a way, there’s also a significant upside: on your particular day, you are also the one who gets to sit in the front seat of the car next to Mom, or have the last piece of dessert if there’s only one left, or have first dibs at your choice of the video game being played or movie being watched. It’s a title that is both a responsibility and a privilege and out of all of the countless things we’ve tried to do over the years, it’s the one thing that has stuck. We all love it and it works for all of us–including Decker, for whom it was all designed in the first place.
One other thing: on the back of each of the boys’ checklists are a few scriptures dealing with areas that are sometimes a challenge for them. I use them as an easy way to remind them what they should be doing when they make a poor decision. I want them to understand the fundamental reasons that I am asking them to do certain things or behave a certain way and these scriptures are their guide.
I realize that chores and scripture verses are both areas that you would probably want to customize to your particular child and beliefs so I’m providing this particular download as a Microsoft Word document. You can open it up, fiddle with the fonts and colors, and make it your own. The way I made my cards was to print it as it’s set up (one card per letter-sized piece of paper), then fold the paper down the middle so that the checklist is on one side and the scripture verses are on the back. If you don’t want to use the verses, you can delete them and get two checklists per piece of paper. I then laminate mine so they can be wiped off and easily reused.
I hope you find this helpful. If you end up using them, please come back and leave a comment. I’d love to know how they work for your family!
P.S. You’ll see on my sample card that I have blanks for Tuesdays and Saturdays. Tuesday is our CC community day and because it’s such a long day for us, I decided not to assign a particular zone. Instead, I’ll just assign chores that need to be done that day as they come up. Ditto for Saturday, which is the day to do bigger, seasonal chores around the house and outside. Because those are less frequent and subject to change, I decided to just use blanks and write them in.