Sunday, February 2, 2014

My Favorite Job Chart of All-time

So, I'm going to introduce the job chart that has been used in our family for well over 15 years. I love it because it's so versatile and it helps me keep track of what has been done. I can glance at it and know which children have done their jobs. It also has each job detailed so that the kids don't have to argue with me about whether or not a job is actually done. This is actually a photo of when we were using it about 10 years ago. It has since morphed to accommodate older kids and a new batch of younger kids. I've actually replaced the three college age kids' names with the younger kids names. Throughout the years, I've changed what is in the columns. Some summers, I would have one "kitchen chore" column, a "inside job" column and an "outside job" column. One of my favorite things about this job chart is that it's so changeable. I can easily add new jobs. In fact, over the years I have a HUGE pile of job tags that I can add. Often I get up in the morning, look around the house, see what jobs really needs to get done and hang the corresponding tags on the chart. Then the kids get up and look at the chart and groan...but, hey, that's life. I also sort through my "pay jobs" (purple cards) an only hang the ones that really need to get done. Oh, and of course, the biggest change is that, over the years, I've had to substantially increase my pay for the older kids. By then, though, we often came up with job contracts at the beginning of the summer and the kids bid on the contracts (an idea I got from reading "Cheaper By the Dozen"). Maybe, I'll do another post on job lists and contracts when I get around to it.

A description of how we used the chart back in 2002 (it has changed a little throughout the years): The first column with the heart keeps track of whose "Special Night" it is. That's when each child gets to stay up late and do something with mom and dad. The five columns after the names are all the jobs they have every day: (1) Morning jobs (prayer, make bed, teeth, get dressed), (2) Practice (piano & German homework), (3) Daily Chore (clean family room, living room, kitchen etc.), (4) Value (did they do something in that month's value-"dependablity" or "honesty"? We try to focus on a different value each month--this month we're working on being more dependable.), (5) Evening jobs (clean room, get ready for bed, brush teeth). As they complete each task, they get to turn the tab over to the "Happy Face" side. If all their tabs are turned over before 7:30 without too many reminders, they get to add 25 cents to the "money column" (that's an incentive to get them to do everything on their own). Otherwise, they don't get paid for doing these "required" daily tasks. If they want to earn extra money, then they can look on the "To Do" chart below. When they complete an "money" job, they move it over to the "Done" side and add the appropriate "money" to their hook. The column on the far right is Saturday jobs. No one gets paid for Saturday jobs. They just have to be done. On the bottom, I store extra "chores" and "values" so that I can hang them up as needed. In the bottom righthand corner (yellow cards) are all the chore descriptions. So, when I say "clean the bathroom", they can read on the card exactly what I mean by that. We've been giving the kids a base allowance each week. (Ben gets $1 and the girls get 50 cents--they'll get $1 when they turn 8). They don't have to do anything to get the base amount.  For example, each week Ben hangs up his '$1 tab' and then on the days he earns extra money, he hangs up the appropriate tabs on his "money column". Then, usually on Fast Sundays, during Family Council, we pay them the money. All they need to do is go up and get their money tabs and cash them in. We then sit down and take out tithing and a little chunk for savings. They get to put the rest in their piggy banks.

So, here is the latest version of our job chart. Lately, I haven't been using the pay tags as much...but you can see that there has been considerable inflation on the pay tags. I added another column of daily chores. I also covered up my college kids' names and replaced them with our little kids' names.