A List Maker's Life: Teaching Responsiblity

Friday, September 23, 2011

Teaching Responsiblity

We have been refining systems in our house lately as we get into the school year groove.  It has been especially important as our children have recently discovered the wonderful world of playing outside with the neighbors every. free. second.

{{me whispering}} I really do smile about the bang of the doors as they and their buddies are in and out & out and in.

Anyway, when school started I recognized that we needed to establish the “whencanIpleasegotomyfriendshouse” answer to help us be consistent and concrete.
Enter the Chore Chart!

Loosely following the instructions on How to Make a Magnetic Message Board, I put together a magnetic frame. As you will notice I divided the board into four sections – one for each of our children – using a long, skinny strip of white sticker.  The sections are labeled with the kids’ names using simple white alphabet stickers.
The color coded magnets for each of the kids assignments were made on my digital scrapbooking program and printed on photo paper (although they could easily be done on any type of program and sent through a color printer).  Once they were printed I cut them into 1- 1/2 inch circles and glued them to magnetic circles.

{Sneaky trick: our magnet circles are all cut from those lovely magnetic type business cards that the kids like to collect when we visit any kind of trade show or expo}

The older two kids have word labels and descriptions for their responsibilities.  Many of Gibson’s magnets have graphic symbols instead.
Light blue jobs -  things the kids need to set out for the next morning
Dark blue jobs – personal care (shower, bath, teeth, etc.)
Orange jobs – related to laundry (sock matching, folding, putting clothes away)
Purple jobs– homework/lesson practice
Green jobs  - taking care of their rooms (make bed, pick up toys, etc.)
Yellow jobs – misc. help around the house (set table, gather garbage, empty dishwasher, etc.)
We keep the yellow jobs at the very bottom because these are things they take turns doing. Each of them gets 1 yellow job on school nights and a few on the weekends.
Kevin hung the Chore Chart at kid level in our entryway, right where they tend to dump all their gear from the day. It would be hard not to glance its way before running out the door.

Halfway down each column I added a small sticker dividing the assigned chores from the finished chores. As a job is finished the kids slide their magnet below the line.  When all (except the dark blue) magnets are moved the kids are free to head out to play.

It works for us! 
What about your family?  Do you have a system for assigning chores? 


  1. That is a super good idea. When I was a kid, my mom would leave us notes. Which would end up (by no fault of ours OF COURSE) under other things so we 'didn't see them'. She once resorted to writing in soap on the mirror so we couldn't ignore her.

  2. Girl, you are brilliant! :) Great idea.

  3. LOVE!! That is very similar to what I would like to put together and haven't. Guess this weekend I will be making the time thanks to your inspiration!!

    Great job and thanks for sharing!!

  4. Thank you for sharing this, love the idea to make the magnets from recycled business cards. Genius!

    I'm sharing this on my blog, thanks again!


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