The only way I know how to keep our lives from descending into mass chaos is by making lists. List-making is something of an obsession, actually. I jot down everything from carpool schedules, grocery lists, naptimes, chores, conversations, ideas, rhyming poems, things I should have said but didn't.
Each morning I draw up my to-do list and check it off through out the day. I know, I know. This is a sickness. But it just feels so gooooooood.
Anyway, one of my lists was becoming repetitive so I decided to transfer it to a permanent fancy-shmancy Excel spreadsheet. You know you're a nerd when tinkering with a spreadsheet is the highlight of your weekend!
It took me about a month to fine tune the Chore Chart spreadsheet; but I finally finished it up this past weekend. Oh, the tidiness! Oh, the cleanliness! Oh, the sweet delight of a well-executed spreadsheet!
Before I drew up the list, the older kids were already working through their assigned duties. This new list simply combines and structures everything they've already been doing.
Mostly, it keeps them on task. They don't have to check in with me every five minutes. They know what to do, check off the list and by day's end–receive a sticker for a job well done. At the end of the week, the stickers can be redeemed for special treats.
Do the kids check it off every day? No. Do I give them a sticker every day? No. But that's beside the point. We have a plan and even if we veer off course for a day (or week), we have something to come back to.
In our house, the play's not the thing. The spreadsheet is!