Summer Schedules and Chore Charts
June 5, 2019 | by ashlynn reynolds-dyk
After three lovely winters, it seems summer has finally arrived! Whether we are ready or not, school’s out and the kids are home. This means so many things like more quality time with the kids and plenty of fun activities. It also means exhaustion and a whole lot of “I’m bored’s” because you know, kids think you have to be going 90 mph 24/7, but that is only for people who are IMMORTAL.
So, with summer here, the kids home, and me being VERY HUMAN, I always like to have a daily schedule and a list of chores for the kids. For us, this is especially important since my kids are at home and not really out of the house (aside from a few lessons or camps here and there) in the summer. Don’t get me wrong, summer is certainly for sleeping in, wearing swimsuits all day, and eating s’mores for breakfast (No…? Just me?). I’m not here to ruin that for anyone. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a control freak; I like things orderly or I get, we might say, anxious? Some might use a different description;) Regardless, I think anyone can benefit from a little order in the house to help maintain sanity.
I cannot keep up with all the moving parts in my house, so I absolutely NEED my three little tornadoes maintaining at least some level of hygiene and picking up after themselves. That said, I’m a firm believer that everyone - kids of all ages included - needs to be held accountable and help out around the house. It’s a good lesson for kids and there is a plethora of research that backs this up. With that in mind, I just finished our Dyk Family Summer Schedule and Chore Chart. This is the first time I have combined the schedule with the chore chart. Ultimately, whether combined or separate, it is all about expectations and responsibility.
In the past, I’ve had a separate chore chart where the kids can add a sticker after each chore is completed. From there, I usually have some kind of incentive… all stickers filled in for the week means a trip to the dollar store or froyo! That said, incentives may vary by age. This year, my kids will be expected to do their chores which are integrated into the daily schedule and there is not going to be a sticker for every chore (although that worked well in the toddler years). Rather, they will simply know it is an expectation, and if they get everything completed consistently without having to be hounded, we will, at some point, have “treats” like a trip to the Zoo or park or ice cream shop.
I have to offer a disclaimer which is that my schedules have plenty of flexibility for days we have lessons or weeks we have camps. For the most part it provides a skeletal overview of the day (but not the entire anatomy of the day) and serves as a checklist that everything gets completed.
One of my favorite parts of creating schedules and chore charts - you know besides the whole control (er, I mean order and organization?) - is designing them! I think it is fun to use a variety of fonts and colors adding in clip art or photos here and there.
Tips for Getting Started
One year, before the kids were old enough to read their own names, I put their pictures on the chore chart along with a picture that represented the task, so they knew more or less what their chores were. It allowed them to better understand the chore chart, which brings me to my next point. Yes, there are certain chores that are best paired with certain ages just as incentives for completed chores may vary by age. There are quite a few resources out there on this topic; if you Google “chore charts by age group,” you will get a plethora of information. Click here for one of my favorite visuals that breaks down chores by age.
Finally, if you want some organization of schedules and chores but are not the type who thinks it is fun to make these things (Just me again?), click this link for a great description of various schedule and chore tracking apps. I think I’m going to give these a try this fall when we revisit our daily schedules!