Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Look what my boys are doing right now.
I'm hearing things like, "Mom, can you come inspect my work?" and "Can I unload the dishwasher?" and "Did someone already take out the garbage?" and "It looks like the kitchen laundry really needs to be folded."

I haven't asked anyone to do anything. I haven't even made lists. Instead I've done basically what it says in an article from Family Fun magazine.

I made a list of every job around the house I could think of. From basics like "put away your clean laundry" to deep-cleaning items like "wash the inside windows of a car." I alotted each job one to six points.

Roscoe and I went shopping for jars, stickers, and vase fillers. Now each child has their own jar. When they do a job, they get that many "jewels," and when the jar is full they get a reward.
~ I thought this would be a nice system for summer since it gives the kids more leeway. If they want to skip chores for the day, they can. But I am promoting a bit of competition on how fast kids can fill their jars.

~ The idea is "see a need, fill a need." So you can't get jewels for doing a job that didn't really need to be done (like taking out a mostly empty trash can)...

~ ...conversely, if a job that needs to be done is ignored, I'll ask someone to do it. But then they only get half the jewels.

~ Last night I ended up setting the dinner table, which I never do. But since busy bees were working on other jobs all over the house, I didn't mind one bit. Sometimes it's just fun to do someone else's work.

~ There are certain members of the family whose progress throughout the day can be tracked by the trail of messes they leave behind. Jewels will be deducted from those who leave messes.

~ Jewels will also be deducted for half-way jobs, which I abhor.

~ If a little kid wants to do a job that's a bit out of their league (like trimming a bush), they can ask an older kid to be their mentor. The two work together, then both kids get jewels.

~ Roscoe and I worked to get our jar-to-jewel ratio so that it would take about a month of work to fill the jar.