We have tried countless chore chart systems and did not end up sticking with any of them. While we were always looking for a system to make our home run more smoothly, trying to implement a new method proved to be more stressful than helpful.
While at our state homeschool convention this year, we happened upon the Accountable Kids booth. I was hooked instantly, while my husband was hesitant it would just be another program we would start and abandon within a few weeks. We ended up going to a Vendor workshop and saw the program in motion. We both saw value in the program and agreed to give it a try in our home.
We are finishing up the first month of using the system and we love it. We can already see a vast difference in the daily running of our household. The house stays cleaner, whining and bad attitudes are slowly deceasing and the girls are finding joy and a sense of accomplishment in helping around the house.
How it Works:
- The program comes with a board (which you personalize) that has five pegs and a set of chore cards. You also get multiple Tickets, Bonus Bucks, Date Cards, Best Behavior Cards, and Privilege Passes. A Quick-Start DVD comes with the program that explains it all step by step. There is also a book that is sold separately that I highly recommend.
- The parents decide which chores will be core chores that must be done each day. Those that you are not willing to pay the child to complete. (Brushing teeth, getting dressed, making beds, etc). Those chores go into one pile and are divided into morning chores, afternoon chores, and evening choress. You then decided which of the remaining chores will be weekly chores that must be done and which will be extra chores (chores you are willing to pay the child to complete).
- The daily chores go on the first peg and as a child completes a chore, he/she turns the card over and places it on the next peg. Once all morning chores are completed, the child will earn a ticket. (Also goes for lunch chores and evening chores).
- Tickets can be used for various desired activities (watching TV, playing video games, staying up late, playing outside, etc). Once you decide which activities will become ticketed activities, you must require a ticket EVERY time the child wants to do one of these activities. If they don’t have a ticket, they can’t do the activity.
- If a child earns all three tickets for completing all morning, afternoon and evening chores, he/she will receive a sticker on their date card. Once all stickers on the date card are earned, the child gets to go on a date with a family member of their choosing.
- Tickets can be lost for bad behavior. Before beginning the program decide which behaviors warrant the loss of a ticket and communicate this with the child. If the child chooses to exhibit one of these behaviors, he/she loses a ticket every time.
- The extra chores go on the 5th peg. If a child chooses to complete one of these chores, he/she will earn a Bonus Buck. Bonus Bucks can be traded in for a predetermined amount of money at the end of each week. This is a great incentive!
- Best Behavior Cards and Privilege Passes are set up and used at the discretion of the family. The DVD and book give great examples for using these cards.
This program is so much more than simply a chore chart. It instills a sense of worth, value, responsibility, values and confidence in the child. My children absolutely love being able to flip over the chore cards as they complete their chores. We’ve been using the program for a month and they are really seeing the correlation between completing chores and being able to have fun throughout the day. If they decide not to do their chores and they don’t earn a ticket, then they have a very boring day. The amount of begging, pleading and nagging to get the girls to help out around the house has dramatically decreased.
The children know what chores they are expected to complete. It’s their responsibility to do them. I do not remind them to do the chores. Once the girls realized that they will lose tickets every time they demonstrate a bad behavior, the bad behaviors have slowly disappeared. They take pride in earning tickets and do not want to lose them. One of their favorite things is adding a sticker to the date card at the end of each day. They look forward to these dates and it’s a great way for parents to spend one on one time with the child. This program is a great way to reduce the amount of watching TV, playing video games or playing on the computer.
You need a complete system for each child and the cost is $45 per system. We noticed that whining and arguing got worse before it got better. This was a complete change in lifestyle for our children. They did not like the program at all in the beginning. They hated having to have a ticket to do activities they previously could do whenever they wanted. Once they grasped the idea that this was how life was going to be, they began doing their chores (without being asked) and earning tickets. The program is also a major adjustment for parents and any other people who provide childcare for your children. Everyone must be on the same page. Consistency is the key in making this program run smoothly.
I recommend this program to all families with children ages 3-14. It has certainly made a positive impact in our household.
Heather Bowen is a wife, homeschooling mother of two little girls, Labor & Delivery nurse and a follower of Christ. She blogs about all things family, faith and homeschooling at www.upsidedownhomeschooling.com.