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Summer Slump

I love summer!

A more relaxed schedule, sleeping in a little later since the kids don't have school, and long days with lots of family time - movie nights, swimming in the evening, and stormy nights around a flashlight playing games.

But as much as I love a more flexible schedule, it can sometimes lend itself to a lack of motivation to complete chores. I have discovered that giving my children a little bit of structure can also give me a little more structure on these relaxed summer days.

If you have followed me for a few years, you know that I love a good chore chart and good chore system. I tend to change things up in the summer. It gives us time to try things out and make adjustments before our more stringent school schedule settles in. This summer is no different.

I read on an ADHD support page on Facebook about a more tactile version of a chore chart, and immediately thought this was going to be a great way to transition to a new system and give my children a little more autonomy in completing their chores. My kids are now 17, 10, and 8, so they know what is expected, but don't often do those tasks at the exact moment the instructions are given. I want to respect their time and build their time management skills, while also increasing their responsibilities and assigning age appropriate chores. For this new system, coil bracelets and key tags are used to guide the chore list and children remove the key tags as chores are completed.

To create this new system, feel free to shop my Amazon links at the bottom of this blog. (As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases).

I used the key tags and wrote down our chores - both of my youngest children also have summer math and reading, so I made sure to add a tag for those. They each have a few chores that they "own". For instance, my youngest just started unloading the dishwasher, my middle just started loading the dishwasher, and my oldest is to put food away and help cleanup after lunch/dinner. These only have one owner. The other chores are swapped around so that all of the children share them over time.

For the most part, this system has been fairly successful. It isn't perfect, but is the most flexible system I have ever used. The children wear the bracelet until all of the key tags have been removed and placed back into the jar. Each child has 5 bracelets so I can arrange them for the whole week. Some things are listed each day, some only appear on one bracelet each week.

If you love chore systems and like shaking things up a bit, this could be a great system for you! One of the reasons I like it is that instead of the boys having the same chores every week, I can switch it up a bit. One dusts the den, the other vacuums. Next week, we can flip it. The same goes for every room and every chore (with the exception of those specific chores they "own). This allows for interest and expanding their skillset.

I also firmly believe that children should be praised for their effort and gently correct their cleaning style and end result only if needed. This means, if we have company coming, I usually double check important rooms like the bathrooms and kitchen to be sure they are cleaned to my standards. Thankfully, as the children are growing up, this is getting to be less and less of a concern.

If you try this system, I would love to hear your thoughts!


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