Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer To-Do's

We've had this "jobs board" on our fridge for about a year now.  During the school year each kid has seven tasks in their top box: potty, teeth, dressed, breakfast, hair, shoes, and backpack/lunch.  As they do things to get ready for school they move the (magnetic) task to the lower box ("done").  This means if a kid is stalling or playing I can glance at it and say "hey, you still need to do a lot of stuff, move it!" or see that they're done and skip the fight.  And if the kids finish one task they could see a reminder of the things left to do without constant nagging.  It was a huge help.  Huge.  Probably saved my sanity with all the mornings of everyone milling around doing their things.
For the summer, I moved potty, shoes, and backpack/lunch off the board.  Timing on those isn't a big deal.  They do still need to dress and brush teeth and Katie should brush her hair.  

However, the kids are constantly asking for things to do to help.  True story: last Tuesday they came tearing upstairs asking if they could please unload the dishwasher while I put Augs down for the night.  And then they swept, swiffered, and mopped the floors.  I don't even do that.

So the summer system--which is still very much in development--has lots of household tasks they can opt to do.  Some need to be done everyday, some less frequently.  Jorge's dedicated task is checking his tomato plants on the back patio.  He and I are the only tomato eaters in the house and are very excited about his garden's growth.  So everyday he has to check on them and water if necessary.  Katie's summer task additions are to water the herb garden and her fairy garden which are right next to each other on the front porch.

The rest of the tasks float around on the top but get moved to the middle-bar when they're on the "please do very soon" status.  On the middle bar right now are "fold the laundry in the dryer", "feed the pets-AM", and "empty the dishwasher".  It's running tonight and will be ready for some love tomorrow morning.  Mom and dad do these tasks, too.  If we do it we move it back up to the top of the list and out of the way.  Team work.

Across the top we have (L-->R):  dustbuster, wash laundry, sweep floors, porch flower boxes (water), swiffer, spot cleaning, indoor plant watering, bookshelf tidying, toybox tidying, windows, feed pets (PM), organize the shoe pile area, and load the dishwasher.

The kids will kill each other daily to get windows and spot cleaning.  That's why there are two squirt-bottle jobs.  Loads of laundry are also hotly contested.  The rest are just the things we tend to do daily and the kids like to help with.

No rewards, no threats, no incentives except a job well done.  They do their jobs and then play, or play and do their jobs.  It's all part of the house hold routine.

Not on the list are setting and clearing the table since those happen by default and not everything has to have a job card.

This is super easy to set up.  I open a Word file and use clip art to find something visual for each task.  Then I cut them out and put some clear packing tape on the front of each and another layer of tape on the back which holds on a roughly 3/4" piece of cheap magnet (I cut up some that have been lurking around from various local political campaigns of years past).  Trim and toss toward the fridge.  Done.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. I did a similar visual get-ready-for-school chart, but your movable version is much better.