I've always so badly wanted be the kind of organized mom who always has her house in order: who always has all the important papers neatly filed away, who always knows where the scissors are, or even just the household phone...of which we have FOUR, who can manage to cross everything off her "to do" list, and who always remembers the passwords on the computer. But I'm not an organized mom.
With that said, I wasn't surprised when chore charts didn't work in our home. I've purchased three different styles in the past year, all with good intentions, but our lifestyle is not one that allows for everyday chores such as "set the table for dinner" when half the week we just eat picnic-style around the coffee table. Our schedule and lifestyle are really not conducive to hanging up a chore chart and filling it up with daily tasks.
I filled a mason jar with tasks that can be completed by my kids. About half can be done daily (but we'll live if they're not), and the other half are weekly chores. If it's a daily chore, I put an asterisk at the end. The kids know to put this back in the "To Do" jar when the job is complete. If it doesn't have an asterisk, it gets put in the "Done" jar until the beginning of the following week.
Our rules are as follows:
1. They must do two jobs per day.
2. They are not paid for these jobs. This is part of being in a family.
3. They cannot put their slips back in and try for a "better" jobs.
4. They may trade a job with someone else, so long as that is agreed upon by both parties.
5. They get to take a break on the weekends, or if we're out of the house all day.
To be honest, my children are not outstanding at all of these jobs. Sometimes they are great, and sometimes I get frustrated when they don't realize that simply pulling the tops off of the weeds does nothing beneficial. My 5 year old has no idea what a baseboard is, much less how to wipe it down. But I remind myself that we're working on habits now, and proper form takes times. I always ask them if they are proud of their work, and praise the heck out of them if they stayed focused and tried hard....even if there is no obvious indication that work was attempted.
Do I still wish I was organized and put-together? Of course. But thankfully I'm learning that households can be a wee bit chaotic and still get things done. And that kids can figure out a ton of other things to do with unused chore charts and their coordinating stickers. =)