I’ve been talking about the chore system we implemented, which is based on the Maxwell’s Managers of Their Chores. It’s taken about a month for us to make it a successful, daily habit, tweaking the details along the way. But what a great blessing it has already been!
Most of the chore packs I see out there use lanyards or clip-on badge holders. The cards are in the holders, and the kids move the cards to the back of the pack as they finish. But I also noticed that many people who have tried this system with younger kids stop using it because the kids lose their chore packs or the cards fall out and become a problem. So I came up with a different way.
The chore packs I made can be worn on the child’s neck, which I think works better for my littles than the clip-ons. It is big enough for awkward fingers but doesn’t make them tip over. They can flip the cards over as they finish, it displays the current task they’re on, and when they get to the end, they can put the chore pack away and I know to go inspect their work when I can.
|Office supplies! Score!|
For each chore pack, you’ll need:
- A lanyard (I found them for $.99 at the local office supply store)
- Card stock
- A stapler
- Chore cards (I’ll explain these a bit later)
- Hole puncher
- Book rings
- Key rings with labels (optional)
- A pen or pencil
- A laminator (or a Kinko’s, etc.)
- Take a piece of 8.5 x 11 card stock and laminate it. Cut it in half so you have two 8.5 x 5.5 pieces. Fold those in half width wise.
- Use one of your laminated “cards” and tuck the lanyard rope into it so that the attached ring will be on the back of the child’s neck (there haven’t been any problems with snagging hairs). Tuck the rope in tightly and staple the card so that the rope stays secured.
- Punch two holes through the card, just under where the rope is secured. A book ring goes in each of these holes.
- Place your chore cards under the holes on the base and eyeball where the holes on the card should be so that they will line up when attached. Mark those spots with a pen. Once all the chore cards are marked, punch the holes in them.
- Put the chore card on the rings in the order you want them completed. The last card can be a common task/location (for us, all the kids meet at the table for Bible quiet time), or some kind of symbol to indicate they’re finished, such as a smiley face.
- If you want, attach a key ring label at the neck with the child’s name on it. You could also just write it in pen on the chore pack base.
This is where buying the Titus2 system would especially come in handy, because they provide chore cards as well. But here are some ideas.
- If they can read, just plain text for the chore – “Make bed”
- Take photos for each chore – a photo of their bed for “make bed”.
- Use free clipart that represents each chore.
- Search for chore printables. Many blogs out there have free printable chore images for various systems. I could not find one that covered all our chores, so you may have to mix and match. One of the main ones I used was from Homeschool Creations preschool chore chart printable.
- I guess you could draw some, if you have any drawing capabilities, which I do not.
A few things to note:
- I tried glueing instead of stapling. Didn’t work – just wouldn’t stick. But you’re welcome to try. I haven’t had any snagging problems, and it was an easy fix.
- It took a while for the kids to get adept at flipping cards. The base is a bit big. You might consider making it smaller and/or using smaller book rings (or even the key rings) for securing the cards. But it’s working for us now, so we’ll stick with it.
- To start out, we just picked a handful of daily chores for each kid. I’ll talk about weekly and monthly chores in another post.
|Chore Packs hanging on the wall in the kitchen|
- Titus2 – If you buy Managers of Their Homes directly from their website, it comes with everything you need for a successful chore pack system. I checked the book out from the library and tried to implement it on my own, but you can do it faster and with more support resources if you buy the book. The Titus2 system includes the book, lanyard sets for 4 kids, access to printable chore cards for pre-readers (using pictures), a support forum, and more. For $12 more you can get a year of access to ChorePacks.com that has even more resources.
- Women Living Well – chore packs using photos. She also has a great video showing the system.
- Lily of the Valley– Chore packs, includes a link to printable chore cards.
- Like a Warm Cup of Coffee – This was another example that was really helpful as I set up our chore packs.
Once we had our chore packs ready, it was time to show them to the kids and try them out! I’ll post about that next.