"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Job Jar

School is officially out for summer. I'm happy, excited, anxious, worried, overwhelmed, delighted, ambitious, and many, many other emotions. This will be my first summer juggling four children full time. I love my kids! They are the best kids a mom could ask for, but at the same time... I'm just hoping I don't go absolutely insane. I like change, but it always seems to be a lot of work. I'm looking forward to a summer schedule, summer activities, and spending more time with my kiddies outside.

We have implemented a "Job Chart" to be completed each day before anything else can be done. Friends and "screens" are limited to two days each (and additionally limited by time), and the rest of the summer is for family time, reading, adventures, exploring, etc.

The kids helped create their own list of what to do every day. Not all of the items are actually jobs:
It includes personal things like "brush your teeth", and "say your prayers",

and practicing things like "piano" and "speed stacks",

and helpful things like "pull 25 weeds", and "make your bed",

fitness things like "ride your bike" and "running",

as well as academic things like "handwriting practice" and "complete one math page".

Good things like that.

They were excited about the charts, but the thing that really got them going was the


Yes, really. We filled up a glass jar with all kinds of jobs that no one wants to do, and they are clamoring over drawing out more and more jobs. And they have actually completed all of them. Voluntarily. Without whining. I'm astounded.

Yesterday Mason scrubbed the shower and vacuumed the stairs, and today he swept the front porch and filled a bucket with rocks he dug out of the grass. Ellorie has picked 100 weeds, dusted, washed, and oiled the piano, and swept the kitchen floor. Averie actually dusted all the blinds (with a little help.)

The secret?

A second jar.

"The Reward Jar"

We filled a second jar with all kinds of rewards. They get to choose one reward when their charts are completed for the day, and then an additional reward for each extra job they wish to choose. It's magic.

Ellorie scored the mother-lode yesterday when the first reward she picked was "Mom has to clean your room". It was a mess too. Suddenly they saw the beauty of the reward jar. Some other rewards are things like "$ .25", "picnic lunch", "go to the park", "feed the ducks", "stay up an extra 1/2 hour past bedtime", "Choose a small treat from the grocery store", "Pick what's for dinner", "Play a family board game", etc. The jar is stuffed full.

So far it has been excellent motivation. I'm sure the excitement will slowly dwindle. But for now, I'm taking full advantage.


Dave and Shatzi said...

I love the job/reward jar idea! I've been trying to figure out the best way to work chores/jobs (like worksheets) into our summer days also. Still trying to figure it out. I think Bria might be going through Ellorie withdrawal a little bit. She talks about her and draws pictures for her. She's made a few "invitations" to various parties that she's got planned. How she is going to pull them off, I still don't know. I think we might be making some friend rules here pretty soon. We seem to have kids over here pretty much 24/7!

leslie mae said...

We have jars too. They are the good and bad consequence jars. But I like the idea of having chores in one instead of bad consequences. Hmm. Maybe it's time to change things up a bit and hopefully make it exciting again!

Bryce and Sharee said...

Such good ideas! I love the idea of the reward/job jars. I have been trying to organize Case's day better and it would be so much easier if it was written down! LOL.

Kimberly said...

Wow, this is true genius, and pure inspiration. Now that we have our 8yr old in our care, we need all of the Tips we can get!

-kimberly (a fan from afar)

Heather said...

Brilliant! I think I might try that.

carol said...