As the summer was approaching I knew we needed to get our act together and get some sort of system up and running. We have tried a few chore charts and failed miserably. So miserable that I lost one set, not sure how… There seemed to be too many parts, things moving, and we didn’t last long with staying on track. I knew I wanted more help from my littles, I knew I needed something that was easy, to the point, and predictable for everyone’s sake. So I was on the hunt for another chore chart. I follow Fun, Cheap, or Free on Instagram and saw the clipboards that she does with her kids on her storyboard. I thought to myself, I could do that. So off to the computer I went. Maybe not right then, but shortly after. I believe she has made a video that explains more about it. But don’t leave just yet, keep reading to see what we have started at our house.
My kiddos are 6 years (Mr. E), 4 years (Miss L), 2 years (Miss S), and almost 6 months (Miss N). You might have to adapt this to make it work with your kids; their ages and personalities. First I thought of all the things I wanted my kiddos to accomplish each day. In an ideal world this would be done in the morning so we have the rest of the day to do other things. Sometimes it happens and other times it’s 2:23 pm and my son is still in his pjs. My list included: eat breakfast, make bed, get dressed, brush teeth, clothes away, clean room, reading, cleaning sticks, Mr. E has math page, and Miss L has Up Start for when she get registered sometime this summer. Both Mr. E and Miss L have two cleaning sticks, while Miss S has one.
Next you get to be as creative or as uncreative (making a new word!) as you want. You get to make your lists. I wanted something that didn’t need to be checked off or printed up all the time. So our lists are ones that we go through out loud to see if they are done. I made mine on Power Point. For Miss S her pictures are bigger with small font because she’s 2. Miss L’s is pretty much the same but the pictures may be a bit smaller and the font might be bigger. At first I didn’t have any pictures for Mr. E but he wanted some so I added very small ones. I want him to focus more on the words. I printed up each page and put them in a plastic page protector. I taped those bad boys onto our kitchen wall up high enough that my girls couldn’t touch them and keep pulling them down.
Now it’s time to introduce the new plan! My older two kids have a chart in their room with morning routines and evening routines that I added to the new Daily Lists. So some of these things were not new, just a new way to do them. I showed each kiddo their list and went over it with them. The first day they were pretty excited and happily ran around doing their tasks. I was working out close by them so I would have them read off their chart and let me know if they finished an item. When they had finished a task I yelled, “Check!” They loved it and still ask me to “check” it off as we go through them. Some things, like make bed, clothes away, etc. I run up to their rooms to visually make sure they did them.
Some tasks on our Daily Lists are pretty easy to understand why they are there: make bed, put clothes away (sick of finding dirty clothes in the weirdest places!!), brush teeth, and clean rooms. Those things need to be habits and just make our life easier when they are done daily. Also, some of them are easy tasks to complete. I love lists and like to be able to cross things off, even things I know I will do daily, talking to you brush teeth. 🙂
It has been so much fun to see my 2 year old grab books and sit on the bottom step reading. This spring she has really gotten into looking at books, and I love it. I don’t care if they sit and read their own books, have me read books to them, or read books with each other. The point is to get exposure to reading and continue their love for reading. We have books or magazines in almost every single room in our house, minus our bathrooms. We read with our kiddos before naps/quiet time and at bedtime. I added reading because it is important, reading is a blast, and I want to help them get into a better habit of reading on a daily basis.
Mr. E’s math pages are the math worksheets that came home from kindergarten. Most of the time they didn’t finish their worksheets in class. As they came home we started doing them but then I had a baby and that stopped. So I started saving them and that is what we do now. Up Start is a free online preschool that is offered in Utah and a few other states. It is 15 minutes 5 days a week. We will get to start sometime this summer so I thought I would add it so I didn’t have to remake her Daily List later.
Cleaning sticks! We had some cleaning sticks that went with another chore chart system we had done just a few months ago. These sticks were extra chores that my kids could do to earn money. But that never happened! Haha! I guess earning money wasn’t as important as not doing anything extra. Little stinkers! We did these sticks for a bit but it wasn’t working very well. I mean how many times a week do I need my baseboards “cleaned”? After a few weeks of doing our new Daily Lists I made different cleaning sticks that are working much better. (You can read about our new and improved cleaning sticks system here.) When it’s time to pick a cleaning stick my kids pick one with a green side sticking up. Once a cleaning stick is done my kids put it back with the red side up. This just helps to rotate the jobs better.
I feel like we have a purpose to our day and have something to accomplish each day. After my kids have done all of their Daily Lists they can then watch a show or play with friends if they want to. Since we only have one TV and our kiddos are not allowed to play on our phones or iPad then they need to wait until they have all finished their charts before watching a show. Whoever finishes their chart first gets to pick the show. That way I don’t have to try to keep kids that haven’t earned a show from watching it while another has earned it. It’s a sanity saver!
I am liking our Daily List so much! I love how easy it is to use. I love how plain and to the point it is. It is simple and easy for my kids to use and understand. What are you doing this summer to keep your life easier?