Thursday, May 17, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday Thursday - Chore Clips

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.

20 comments:

Rocks In My Dryer said...

I LOVE this idea.

Anonymous said...

Katherine! Katherine! Katherine!

I think I can do this!!!

I've been struggling in the area of chores, trying to figure out what system works best around here. I haven't been successful with chore charts and while I like our kids having regular duties, most days there's something extra that needs to be done.

I LOVE this system! Thanks so much for sharing it!

Chris in Canada

Susanne said...

I am so blatently stealing this idea. I have struggled with the same thing, remembering to get them to do little things I notice throughout the day. Although I have found that the frustration of being made to get up and do a 30 second job does help them to think twice about where they throw down that backpack, or leave that sweater, or not clean up the crayons.

Rachel Anne said...

Awesome idea, I'm stealing it too.

marian said...

I love this! You're... um... what was I saying? Ummm... Oh. ...not the only one losing her mind in this way, and others...

Andrea said...

This is great.
But do you have a regular list of chores that they do? Or is that on the index card? I have specfic chores for specific days.
What I really like about this is that you can leave notes for them as well. NEat!

Chris said...

I love this idea too!

Kimberly said...

Excellent!
My hubby bought a bugle for my 4 year old boy. And, yes, he wants to blow it all the time. So, He gets to "blow the bugle" with the accomplishment of his daily "chores", such as, getting dressed, making bed, brushing teeth, etc. It works!

Anonymous said...

Just stopping back because I couldn't remember what that great idea was that I'd read here. ('Wish I was joking about that...)

marian said...

And temporarily forgot my name. I don't like anonymity. That last comment was me. Sheesh, it's bad. =)

Rachel said...

What a GREAT idea!

~~Rachel
www.nothinggold.net

Beck said...

That is SO smart, Katherine! I'd love to use that with my OWN family!

Karen said...

This is a great idea! My girls are pretty young but I've been needing a way to organize what they need to do.

txmommy said...

this is a really good idea, I'll have to do it this summer. We always have trouble in the summer, the kids ask to go somewhere and I say yes and totally forget about what I wanted them to do.

Lori said...

I love this idea, and will be implementing some form of it very shortly.

Thanks for sharing!

Jennifer said...

I *love* this idea!! I am constantly interrupting my children and asking them to do something small *right now*, because I'm afraid *I* will forget. Like you said, they would *love* to be able to lump all those things together rather than being interrupted every time I *notice* something. I know I have clothespins...off to find something to mount them on! Thanks!!

chickadee said...

this is a great idea. i'll have to write it down so i won't forget it.

She-Ra said...

hmmm... I think I like this one!

Org Junkie said...

Katherine, I don't know how I missed this but it is such a great idea! I am so going to start this with my kids. You are so smart!!

Laura

Sonja said...

Very Clever but Very Simple..