A Chore and Homeschool Routine Chart That Works

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Chore and Routine Chart

I don’t know about you, but I am in over my head. Have you seen Mom’s Night Out yet? My house may not be as messy as Allyson’s was, but I can so relate to being “stress paralyzed” because of the mess around me.

I have tried to implement chores with my kids. Slowly they are learning how to do certain activities to help around the house, but unless I tell them what to do, the cleaning seems to be left to me.

One day I stopped.

No more, I thought. There are 5 of us in this house. I am one person. We all live under the same roof, therefore we are ALL required to pitch in and help maintain the house.

I knew in my head I wanted a chore system that was visual, simple to implement, and easy to display.

There are so many wonderful bloggers out there in the blogosphere who have created fantastic chore cards and charts. But I knew what I wanted and nothing really fit.

I found these Task Cards by the Unlikely Homeschool and this Kids Routine Chart and Printables by Cornerstone Confessions that I liked and decided to put them into one system. Once you do the prep work, maintaining the system is simple.

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I’m a teacher by nature, as you know, so I do not like to reinvent the wheel. But I do like taking the best and making it better.

Here is what I came up with!

Setting up the Chore and Routine System:

Materials: cardstock, printer, paper cutter, laminator, velcro circles

Cornerstone Confessions has a great concept with the charts, the velcro, and moving the dots as chores are completed. But I was not going to cut out all of those circles. I am a paper cutter queen!

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I printed Kathy’s “My Day” chart, put the two sections together and laminated them. And because the goal is to move all of the squares down, I wanted it more visual, so I took a yellow sharpie and made a stripe that appears once a row is completed.

Instead of cutting out all of the circles from Kathy’s system, I made my own routine and chore squares which fit her chart squares. I also added in a few extra chores that we do around our house. I also made some blank squares for adding future chores as I see a need. I have those routine squares as a FREE printable for you if you want to try this system.

I did not have velcro circles, but I highly recommend your using them. I had long strips of velcro, so I cut out tiny squares to stick on the chores and charts. It took forever AND my scissors got majorly sticky! And at one point I realized that I had put the wrong side of the velcro on the squares and I had to pull off the sticky squares and start again. So be sure to pay attention.

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I wanted ONE chart for school, household chores and daily routines. I LOVE the Work Box System Jaime has at the Unlikely Homeschool. So I downloaded her system and, because I have three kids, I could print out three different colors of charts. I only printed the large “holding” chart and the task cards. The task cards fit into the chart squares that I laminated! Again, I used the velcro for the chart and the cards.

At this point, each child has a school task holding chart, one daily chart, and lots of chore squares. I store the extra squares in a snack zip bag, one per child. Everything is small enough to fit into my binder where I keep my homeschool lesson plans.

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Implementing the Chore and Routine System:

Each evening, while preparing for school the next day, I look at my homeschool planner and place the school subjects for that day on the card for each child. I have found that we pretty much do the same subjects every day. Only a few change, so this makes it simple to set up the card each night.

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The morning and evening routines stay the same for each day. If we have different activities, like friends coming over, or a doctor’s visit, then I add them to the chart.

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I also assign age appropriate chores to each child. Perhaps I want a child to learn a new chore, or practice one, like sweeping. I usually assign this type of chore for a week. Then I’ll assign one or two smaller chores that might change throughout the week, like vacuuming, or dust mopping the floor.

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So now each child has a chart tailored to his or her needs and abilities. I keep them on the piano bench, which is in a central location in our home. At times, the kids like to carry the cards as they do chores so they can move the squares down as they complete a task.

Does the Chore and Routine System Work?

At first, I tried to do these charts for each day of the week. I have found that the weekends are too difficult to keep up with. So, I have the kids do the morning and evening routines, but everything else just kind of happens on Saturday and Sundays. I will say that RB will fix his own card now for the weekends. He likes taking off all of the school activities!

When the kids wake up in the morning, they know to make their beds, get dressed, and be ready for breakfast. If I notice that they have started playing instead, I remind them to “check their cards” and they go right away to start their tasks.

The cards are great at helping me to remember to give the kids their vitamins, get my youngest’s teeth brushed, and the kids are keeping their rooms neater!!

Throughout the day I’ll remind the kids to “check your cards” and off they go to see what is next. If they start to become bored I’ll say, “Go check your card! What chores do you need to do?” If it’s time for dinner I can ask, “Who is supposed to empty the dish washer and set the table?” and they can answer me.

Do I get whining? Yes, sometimes. But they obey and do it because they know this is helping them to take care of our family and our home. {Or, because they know they’ll get in trouble if they do not do it. Ha-ha!} They like the fact that at the end of the week their chores will change, especially if they have been stuck with one they do not particularly like. And the other day I caught my oldest “swapping” chores with the youngest because she wanted to sweep and he didn’t.

Cooperation! Yea!

One of the things I like about this system is that the school tasks and chore responsibilities can grow with the kids.

Are There Rewards?

YES!! The kids know that if they get EVERYTHING done on the their charts, then before bedtime they get to put a marble in the jar. Once the jar is filled, then we get to have a family ice cream outing! Every now and then there is a chore or a school task that does not get done because of events beyond the control of the children. I do not count those against them. The point is to encourage good habits, not be picky.

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Are there rewards for me? Absolutely! I am observing that I can give more responsibility to my older children because I see their success with smaller tasks. They like the challenges! And because the kids are taking more ownership in the house I’m beginning to hear comments like, “We need to clean this up now or we”ll have a bigger mess later!

If you decide to try this, be sure to get your FREE Printable Here —-> Chore and Routine Cards

If you think of any more chores or routine options that would be good to add to the printable, leave a comment below and I’ll see about updating it!


A Chore and Homeschool Routine Chart That Works — 2 Comments

  1. So glad that this system is working for you. My kids are grown now, but we still laugh about the overly complicated chore system I tried to implement when they were younger. They couldn’t keep up and I couldn’t keep it going. I loved the idea of the marble jar- a tangible reminder of obedience with a promised sweet reward!

    • This one still seems a little complicated at times, but I have seen FAR MORE complicated ones…ones that take up a huge wall and are color coded. Whew. Those stress me out just thinking about them!

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