Our Family Routines
Routines. You would think that once we got them down-pat we wouldn’t have to work on them again. At our house, we are always working on sticking with our routines and schedules. Our routines change with each season, with each new activity added to the schedule, and with each new child that was added to the family. What worked one month ago might not work right now. My goal is to make sure my kids are in the routine of following a routine. :) Here’s our set-up for this year:
Daily Meeting—aka Breakfast
Our day starts so much better when we all eat breakfast together. Since I have a captive audience, I go over our job chart, any school-related items not on their daily school schedule, and Bible.
This is my view at breakfast. I purposely created this “command central” wall this year. It helps me remember what’s going on, who has to do what, and what I need to do first. It might not be the prettiest kitchen decor, but I needed something that was functional. The black organizer was purchased from Hobby Lobby on clearance, the 2 clipboards I’ve had forever, and I moved one of our dry erase boards from the school room into the kitchen.
See the cute cards in the middle? I just added those today! We’ll be going over a virtue each week during breakfast. I’ll be posting more about We Choose Virtues very soon!
The Chore Chart
We’ve tried many different types of chore charts over the years. We had good success with Accountable Kids until the 4th kid entered the mix and my older kids got older. I thought I had a good web-based chore chart system, but after using it for several moths, I realized it just doesn’t work for our family. We tried chore lists where each child was responsible for a specific job, but the kids got burnt out on their jobs fast. In addition, certain kids weren’t learning how to do specific jobs because those jobs weren’t on their list. Finally I remembered a simple chore chart Smockity Frocks posted. I was desperate for something to work this year, so I made our own circle chart version (see her post for step-by-step directions.) I figured if it worked for her big family, then maybe it would work for mine.
My outer plate is divided into 4 main sections which are sub-divided into three job segments. I color-coded the job segments- blue section, purple section, green section, and red section. I did this to make it easier to see which jobs each person had to accomplish, and I also created detailed chart (below) that listed more details about the job.
The inner plate has my name plus my three older kids’ names (Someone moved the circle before I took this picture so everything is not lining up perfectly.) Then I added a tiny circle with my 2 preschoolers’ names. The preschoolers get two big helpers to help them. The big helpers make sure the little girls do their morning routines each day. The little girls also get to help the big helpers with some age-appropriate tasks (i.e. folding wash clothes, help with setting table etc.)
On the kitchen door I wrote out the job expectations for each chore. This picture shows what the “green” person is in charge of for the week. I have each color’s job listed on cards so that my kids have no excuse for not knowing what I expect. This also helps break up the job into manageable steps for the week.
I color-coded my kids this year, so each child has a specific color book pocket. The white index cards are “infraction cards” aka “home blessing” cards aka extra jobs. The kids have figured out various ways of earning these :) The stop-light color sticks are for my little girls. We are working on a few specific things with them so if they are on task, the green stick stays in front. If they get a warning, the yellow is in front, and if are warned again, the red stick is in front, which means there will be some sort of consequence. Right now loosing iPad time is a good incentive. The purple sticks are reward sticks. I place them in the pocket and they can be redeemed for extra privileges.
We’ve been using this chore-chart system for 3-weeks now and it is working great. The kids like that they only have to endure their jobs for a week and then they get switched. It is easy to keep track of who has to do what, and each child can easily see what is expected of them.
Do you have a family chore chart? What have you found works best for you?