Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Family Chore System

The author of "The Everyday Family Chore System," Vicki Bentley, is a homeschool mom of eight and foster mom of fifty. This woman knows firsthand how important it is for everyone to contribute to household chores in order for the home to run smoothly. In this booklet, (yes she describes it as a booklet because she understands busy moms don't have time to read lengthy books) Mrs. Bentley will help homemakers understand that the first step in any successful chore system is to train the child, then implement the plan, and then she discusses how to do the actual chore system. She also provides and allows the original purchaser to reproduce what she calls the How-To-Do-It Cards, Job Labels, and she also leaves some blank so you can customize to your own family's needs. 

Receiving this book to review was so timely for our family. I have recently discovered how poorly I have trained our youngest child. Our first two children are very close in age and I simply trained them together when the youngest was just a baby. I think I just expected my youngest to learn by watching her older brother and sister. So, this book reminded me of the great need to train my youngest child in how to do her chores and have the same expectations for her as I do the older two children. The How-To-Do-It cards are amazing. The children can clearly see all the expectations of their job on a small piece of cardstock. So, there is no confusion on whether or not they have completed a job or not, because if they've accomplished everything their card tells them to do, then they've done their job well. Here is an example of a How -To-Do-It card (as recommended by Mrs. Bentley) I made for my children to use when cleaning their bedrooms.

Bedroom Checklist
  • Clean clothes are put away
  • Dirty clothes are in the hamper
  • All shoes are put away
  • Bed is made
  • Shelves, table, and top of dressers are tidy
  • Dust and Vacuum
  • Empty trash
  • When I stand in the doorway and look into my room it is nice and tidy

This little card is on a small piece of cardstock and I stuck it on their vanity mirror in their bedroom so they have it each Monday when they clean their bedrooms. However, the part we're working on is the daily maintenance of their bedrooms. For example, my daughter's friend just came into our house last week, and when she walked into my daughter's room she said, "Wow! I can see your bedroom floor!" I thought to myself, Wow! This chore system is working. You see, every Monday my daughter cleans, organizes, dusts, and vacuums her bedroom, but things fall apart in a day or two and you'd never be able to tell the room had been cleaned. With the daily chores in place, she has to make sure the room not only gets cleaned weekly, but stays clean. 

Another great tip I learned from this book is how I need to rotate the chores so the children learn to clean all areas of the home. For instance, my daughter shouldn't always have to take care of the dog because the other two need to learn and share that responsibility as well. So, each week the children get new jobs. For instance, this week my oldest daughter has dog duty, my youngest daughter has bathroom duty, and my son has kitchen duty. These jobs rotate each week so each of them learn the different jobs and they're not stuck doing the same jobs over and over. It is working great and the kids have already (in four weeks) caught on to the new lingo. I hear them saying things like "K, you have dog duty this week and Cody is out of food!" They're getting it and this has been the easiest beginning of a new school year and I believe it is all due to reading and implementing things I learned from The Everyday FAMILY Chore System. At the end of the day, things are clean and orderly around here because everyone knows their jobs and how to do their jobs well (thanks to the how-to-do-it cards). I am thankful for Mrs. Bentley and her willingness to share all her wisdom in this wonderful little book. 

This book is great for families just starting their children out on a chore system or even families like ours who have been doing it a while. This book has helped me not just do our weekly chores, but give the children daily tasks to help us maintain all our hard work throughout the week. 

Pricing and Ordering Information:
You  have two options when ordering this product. You can order an e-book for $17.99 or a print version for $19.99. 

You can read more reviews on  this product over at the Schoolhouse Review Crew's blog. Some TOS Crew members got to use and review another product available from Everyday Homemaking called, Everyday Cooking. Check it out! Be sure and visit Everyday Homemaking's website to learn more about all the products available. 

*DISCLAIMER: As a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I received this product for free for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.*


Jennifer aGlimpseOfOurLife said...

We stopped our old chore system about the time we took a spring break months ago. This looks like it would be very helpful.

Vicki said...

Thanks for sharing all the wonderful ways you used the tools in the book. I loved reading your personal touches! I appreciate your thoughtful and thorough review.