Sunday, September 2, 2012

CREW Review- The Everyday Family Chore System


Direction cards.


Everyday Homemaking has published an e-book, The Everyday Family Chore System, that has all that and more.  With my oldest having just left for college this past week, this e-book (as well as a physical copy that I will be giving away next week thanks to Everyday Homemaking) could not have arrived at a more perfect time!  We needed to reevaluate, revamp and retrain and this was just the book to get us started.  Let me tell you what it is first, and then I will tell you how our family used it.

The Everyday Family Chore System was written by Vicki Bentley, a mom of 8 who has fostered more than 50, yes 50, children.  After finally finding a system that worked for her, she started sharing her knowledge with her friends.  It took off from there.  The Everyday Family Chore System is a book that provides the how-to's of getting your children involved with household chores.  It begins with a life skills checklist listing age appropriate skills and chores that your child should know or be able to do.  Following that are numerous ideas of how to implement a chore system.  That is one of the reasons I love this book.  Vickie understands that no one way is perfect for every family and so she presents lots of variations to a chore system.  My favorite idea- Kids on a Mission.  This is where the job labels (which Vickie supplies) are attached to clothespins labeled with each child's name.  The children then wear those clothespins and return them to a cup as they complete the chore listed.  If I had younger children, I think I would take it one step further and paint the clothespins a specific color to represent each child- green for Dick, red for Jane and so on.  Obviously most of my children are a little old for this method, but I will admit that it has crossed my mind that it might be a good training tool for a certain someone who seems to "forget" what they are supposed to do on occasion.  ;)
Getting ahead of myself...
One of the pages of chores
The Everyday Family Chore System also provides note card directions for accomplishing many of the life skills and chores Vickie talks about.  Here is one of example-

As Vickie says, "I realized that the problem wasn't that our kids couldn't figure out that they were supposed to tidy the kitchen (or sweep the stairs, or tidy the bathroom)- the problem was that their idea of tidying the kitchen was drastically different than my expectations.  Thus the How-to-do it Cards system was born!"

How true!  By cutting out and laminating the How-to-do-it Cards your child has a built in reference and no "I didn't know how to" excuse.  Job not done up to par?  No words needed- just point them to the cards.

Now, I realize that when you begin this system, like anything new, you will have to spend some time in training.  But after all, isn't that what we as parents should be doing?  We should be training up children to be responsible and productive members of society, even ones who can clean a bathroom or do the laundry without their momma eventually.  It doesn't just happen- it takes the guidance of a loving parent to show them the way.

How did we use this system with mostly older children?
My kids have been cleaning for years now as part of their daily chores, but recently we have switched over to a once a week family cleaning time.  Everyone randomly picks a "zone" and that is their responsibility for that Saturday morning in addition to their own rooms.  Works for us.  But, what I found was that while the children were pretty good about doing what they "knew", give them a new zone and man, were we in trouble.  That's where Vickie's How-to-do-it cards were a God send to us.  We had some huge gaps in our knowledge especially with the younger boys and with the help of the cards are slowly filling in those gaps.  Again, it takes time.  Rome was not built in a day, nor are our children trained up in a day.  But we are getting there, being blessed and working as a family.  Again, Vickie has so many ideas and variations listed, you are sure to find one that works for you!

You can order the ebook of The Everyday Family Chore System for $17.99 or a print version for $19.99.  A companion CD is also available for $6.00 entitled Getting Kids to Help at Home.  I would encourage you to visit Vickie's Web site and see this and all the other wonderful resources she has to offer!

This review is part of the Molly Crew, the other side of The Old Schoolhouse Magazines' Schoolhouse Review Crew.  The Molly Crew reviews fun things that pertain to home and family.  Look for more exciting Molly product reviews to come! 
 To find out what fellow CREW members had to say about this product as well as Vickie's cookbook click on the banner below!
Disclaimer- I was given a free E-book  in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone and were not influenced by the company in any way.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you were able to tweak the system to make it work for you. That's my goal -- that it would be a tool for families (not a burden!). Thanks for your thoughtful review. :) -Vicki


Thanks for commenting. I love hearing from you!