We introduced the children to their chorepacks last night, so I thought I would give you an idea of what we’re doing. I read the book Managers of Their Chores by Steven and Teri Maxwell first. To start, the children each have a clip on plastic holder similar to a badge holder and one set of cards for their morning chores. After these become routine we will make another set for evening chores.
We began by laying out the scriptural theory, so to speak, behind work. We talked first about life in the Garden of Eden, and what the verse in Genesis 2:15 means:
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it.
I asked the children if ‘to dress it’ meant to put clothing on the plants and animals. They laughed, knowing that was silly. After talking about how it means to take care of the garden we talked about things a gardener or a keeper (like at the zoo) does to take care of things. Next we talked about ants, referring to the verses in Proverbs 6 telling us to look at the ants’ example to see how they work. Makayla just happens to have an ant colony on her dresser, so the children were familiar with how the ants have worked hard each day to build tunnels and work on their home. We then related our home and chores to the jobs in an ant colony.
Finally, we clipped on the chorepacks and pretended our way through each card. We showed them how the cards are numbered, have a picture and words for the chore, and even their name, as you can see in this picture. After they do a chore, they move the card to the back of the stack and do the next one. They have similar chores at first, which we acted out:
- Get Dressed
- Put Away Pajamas
- Brush hair.
- Brush teeth.
- Read scriptures and pray.
- Make their bed.
- Pick up their bedroom.
For the younger children we gave them each a scripture story book with pictures to look at a story each morning. Here is Joseph this morning reading his scriptures: We also showed everyone how to make their bed (some already knew, but we all did it). Here is a picture of Daniel this morning making his bed. He was quite proud of himself! Next the children split into different chores. Makayla feeds the cats (outdoor) and practices piano. Joseph cleans the downstairs bathroom, including wiping out the sink. Emma cleans the upstairs bathroom, including sink. Daniel is my breakfast helper, so he and Oliver come down and help me with whatever needs done that morning for food.
The last step is for them to take off their chorepack and put it on my computer keyboard. This is the signal that tells me to check their chores. I teasingly told them I might come up to smell their breath (to see if they brushed their teeth), or sneak up and look at their bed, or see if I can find anything left out on their floors.
Now, please let me say a few things before you run off to work on a chore routine for your family! I have to say that the book Managers of Their Chores is completely worth the money. I really learned a lot and was equipped and motivated with not only how to get our chore routine running smoothly, but with the reasons why it is so important. Buy the book if you want to try this! I resisted for so long. We even tried making our own version of chorepacks a long time ago and it failed, but reading the book has put all the pieces into place, including a strong foundation of why we should bother. The book comes with the chorepacks for four children (you can buy more) and these are a much higher quality than the cheap badge holders I had purchased when trying to make it up myself. I can see how these will last so much longer.
The other thing I bought was a 1 year subscription to the ChoreWare website, which is how I made our cards so quickly and easily. Not only does it have the forms from the book to download, including editable forms and cards, but I was able to input each child with their specific chores and print our chore cards in one afternoon. The best part is they offer free picture graphics for the cards if I choose that option when printing, so my younger children don’t need to read to use a chorepack. You saw them up above, but go look at the picture again to see what I mean. The graphics are color, but we print everything in black and white, so ours are not.
And Emma picking up things in her bedroom: In case you were wondering, yes, Makayla will work herself out of using the chorepack fairly soon, as she is old enough that once the routine is in place she won’t need the cards to remember what to do. However, I suspect that more distractible children like Emma may use a chorepack for years.
Oh, and a small disclaimer – I am not affiliated with Titus2.com in any way. I bought the book with my own money, and I’m so glad I did! This post is also linked to Works for Me Wednesday, as I hope this really will work for my family long term!