I haven't participated in WFMW for several months, and now I remember why: deadlines are too overwhelming for me!
Oh well, when Wednesday falls apart, it's Works For Me Thursday at the Raising Five house!
With a bunch of kids, my memory has progressively gotten worse. As the years have made our life more and more complicated, I've made just enough mistakes to realize I have to WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN. My calendar is my life.
When it comes to the kids, I forget stuff, too. I'll be walking by and see the softball bag lying right there in the living room, but the offender is nowhere to be found. If she's doing homework, at a friend's house, or at school, it may be a while till (a) I can tell her or (b) she can get to it.
Of course, mostly, I walk away and I forget. Or if I do find her and tell her, she's in the middle of something else, it's not an emergency, and I'm always a bit distracted anyway (gasp!). The child forgets or does an incomplete job. Either way, the chore doesn't get done.
Enter chore clips.
Of course, I made mine with what I had (a wooden ruler and three clothespins each hold three 3x5 or 4x6 cards) but I'm sure you crafty people could come up with something much cuter. A paint stir-stick would work, and, hey, they're free.
I hot glued a clothespin with each child's name on it to the ruler. Now, when I think of some small chore I need them to do, I write it down and clip it with the clothespin. On Saturdays, I'll make a whole list. Other times I'll write an encouraging word. To inspire them to check their clip, sometimes I'll attach cold, hard cash when I see that they've done something really well and I want to reward them.
My big kids like it because I'm not constantly asking them to stop what they're doing to do a 30 second chore. They'd rather take 10 minutes and do several things all at once. The little kids love feeling "big" and contributing to the family (their instructions are a combination of pictures and short-vowel words, and they ALWAYS end with "Get a kiss from Mommy!"). The only complaint around here is that there is not more cash, more often...
So when the kids ask if they can get on the computer, go to a friend's house, or go play, all I have to do is say, "Did you do everything on your list?" If the answer is "yes"(and I like them to bring the card to me - keeps exaggerating and omitting to a minimum), they are free to go. If not, I don't have to try to remember what it was I wanted them to do. It's all written down.
(Daily self-care jobs are here and daily chores for bigger kids are here.
If you haven't been by Shannon's in a while, be sure to let her know how much you appreciate her sponsoring WFMW for over a year. She's awesome.