In an attempt to be organized this summer while my kids are home, and to give them some accountability and responsibility while keeping them off electronics all day, I am working on a daily chore schedule. My kids have never had a set chore schedule. They know they are responsible for keeping their rooms and bathrooms clean, and they do the dishes and other odd jobs when I tell them too, but they have never had a set schedule. I definitely think that we have done them a disservice in this area, so I really want to work on fixing that this summer. Part of the problem is that during the school year, they are never home. My oldest pretty much goes straight from school to practice and gets home anywhere from 9:30-10:30 every night depending on the night. Somewhere in there she has to study and do homework, so there isn’t a whole lot of time for her to do chores. We don’t think it is really fair for one to have to do all the chores while the other one gets out of it because of practice. Our weekends are pretty much booked during the school year as well with meets, competitions, and traveling. This is why I think the summer is a perfect time for them to take on more responsibility with keeping the house clean. There are certainly things that they can do each day to help me out.
My husband and I have also been discussing the fact that we need to really teach them how to manage their money. We even discussed opening an account in each of their names where they deposit money and learn to keep up with all of it. When I was young (probably around my youngest daughter’s age), I won a monetary reward for a paper that I had written. I think it was $50 maybe. Anyway, my parents took me to the bank and opened a checking account in my name. I got to pick out my own cute little checks, and I thought I was the coolest thing. I was responsible for keeping my checkbook balanced and depositing money that I earned or got as gifts. It was a great lesson for me at that age. We really want our kids to learn that important skill while we are around to help them. I doubt that we will be getting them checks (Who really uses them anymore?), but we could get them a debit card. I was thinking that this daily chore schedule could tie into that because they could earn money for doing their jobs. It is all about teaching them to be more responsible, be held accountable, and how to manage their money.
I have been working on a chore chart to get the ball rolling on this, and I want to start it next week. I have assigned each of them a job to do every day, and each job has a monetary value attached to it. Here is the schedule I have created.
I typically do laundry on Mondays. I will continue to wash and dry the clothes and sort them into the designated baskets. They will be responsible for folding and putting away their own clothes as well as towels.
They will alternate each week between dusting the main level of the house and upstairs. For example: One week my oldest will be responsible for dusting every room upstairs and my youngest will be responsible for dusting every room on the main level. Then they would switch the following week.
This will be the same as dusting. One will vacuum the entire main level and the other will vacuum the entire upstairs level.
This is another alternating task. Each week they will be responsible for cleaning their own bathroom, but they will alternate cleaning the master bathroom and the half bath on the main level.
They will alternate cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming down there.
They will be responsible daily for keeping up with the dishes. One week one of them will be responsible for loading and unloading the dishwasher all week while the other is responsible for hand-washing anything that can’t go in the dishwasher.
I have created the chart below to serve as a visual reminder and for us to use to check off competed jobs. My husband or I will initial after inspecting each job and note if money has been earned or lost. I really think that these jobs are doable for them. They won’t take them all day, and it will give them some time away from their devices while teaching them a lesson. They are not going to be happy about this when I first introduce it, but I think they will do it with ease by the end of the summer. I hope that it will become habit. I know that once school starts again, it will be way more difficult for them to complete their jobs, but I hope that I will be able to modify it slightly so that they can continue to contribute to the family and our home. I don’t think it is ever too late to teach them responsibility and to care for their things. Yes, I wish we would have been more strict about these things years ago, but now is the perfect time to start.