Monday, June 6, 2011

Managing the summer chaos

With six kids, there is chaos. No way around it. There is also a mom who wants to stay sane and accomplish something each day. I want the kids to learn to get things done first and then they can play for most of the day. I want the kids to learn that we have to work together as a family to keep things running smoothly. So a few years ago we started "Summer Stations". The kids have to get their regular chores done first (dishes, laundry, bedrooms, garbage, sweeping etc.) and then we spend an hour and a half or so rotating through different stations. They change periodically but usually include piano practice, reading, writing, playing with a younger sibling, outside work (weeding or watering), and sometimes a 'mom's choice' chore. We are usually done with all the work and stations by 10:00 and then the kids get to be free for the rest of the day. It helps me feel like we accomplish something and get the stuff I want done (piano, reading etc.), helps dad in the yard, and helps them in their responsibilities.

I recently made a chart to keep it all straight. The pictures of the kids are all velcro-ed on and can be moved around so they can start on different stations each week. I included the 2 little kids but they don't usually do stations as one is napping and the other is being played with.

Along the bottom I have a pocket for the bigger kids to earn good behavior computer time. Every stick is worth 10 minutes and they have to earn 30 minutes before they can redeem their minutes. Sticks can be taken away for bad behavior and added for doing extra chores. This way I don't have to listen to kids whine to play on the computer all the time. If they have the minutes and their chores are done, they can redeem them. Everyone is happy.

This is our regular chore chart. I'm not thrilled with the nails but haven't changed it to be something cuter yet. We just move the sticks around each week to rotate the jobs.Linked Here:

1 comment:

  1. A great idea! A fun way to get the kids involved in the household chores! :)

    Have a great week!